A Preview on Balinese Pastime
Balinese is a perfect example of Homo Ludens (playing creature). A serious approach to a problem, subject or work is considered as a lack of mastery on that respective problem, subject or work. The easygoing and humorous approach toward a problems or a task is considered as sign of mastery and perfect knowledge on that matter. Balinese finds it hard to be solemn even in a sacred religious ceremony a ribald talk and joke exchange are not unusual sights.
Since there is a great demand on easygoing and humorous quality in Bali, Balinese develops many kind of pastime in order to soften nerve and build an easygoing character. Cock fighting, cricket fighting, maceki (a kind of poker game), matuakan (drinking tuak), maarakan (dringking arak), magecel (exercising a fighting cock) or even bengong (sitting in front of the house gate doing absolutely nothing) is considered as a good way to kill time and amuse one self in Bali. But since the government ban gambling and drinking liquor many Balinese pastime ceased to the edge of extinction. In former time Cock fighting, cricket fighting, and maceki (a kind of poker game) can be find everywhere and every time in Bali but today these pastime is held secretly in some remote places. Magecel (exercising a fighting cock) still can be found in rural areas. Late in the afternoon is the best time for magecel (exercising a fighting cock), older men gather on village public hall, or on shady street, massaging their roosters and discussing the merits or demerits of the fowls.
Although many Balinese pastimes undergo a serious drawback, bengong (sitting in front of the house gate doing absolutely nothing) remains untouched and now at its prime. For Balinese, street is his living room. Some Balinese can spend hours doing nothing, just sitting in front of the house gate and watching the vehicle goes by on the street. Balinese is very fond of this pastime. There even a house structure dedicated and named after this pastime, Bale Bengong (gazebo like structure with four pillars). This structure is designed to accommodate this activity, since it has no wall and has open view to all directions.
In early evening the tuak (palm beer) drinking clubs offer another pastime to be enjoyed. Many villages have tuak (palm beer) drinking clubs that meets every evening and where men discuss the events of the day while enjoying the tuak.
This is only a preview; the detailed of these pastimes will be given some other times.