Children in Bali before their first tooth loosing are considered as a representative of god. They are not responsible for their action because as Balinese believes, their mind is still undeveloped. It is the god within them that acts through their body. The parents do not intimidate their child, but rather coax him into obedience as an equal. Balinese father tend to show more affection than mother, it is an usual sight to see a father takes a walk, and play with his child, sometimes talk with his child as if he is a grown up.
In Bali, especially in the rural area, child seldom has a chance to be pampered. No child has more than minimum of adult attention. No sooner is the infant weaned, than it goes into the care of another child. The growing infant find himself immediately part of child society, to which he must adjust himself. The child grows among other children as a children’s republic, with an independent life of its own. Only by independence and lack of pampering can one explain the well-mannered seriousness and the self-sufficiency of Balinese children.
The children seldom quarrel among themselves; this republic of children has a convention, the violator of this law simply banished from the children republic and from the playground, no one will talk and play with him, a horrible punishment to the children who accustomed with the communal spirit. This early development seems to the root of perfect social adjustment of the adult in the Balinese society. The Balinese child grows from his infantile playgroup into a perfect adjusted adult society.
[photopress:balinese_children_1.jpg,thumb,pp_image] [photopress:balinese_children_2.jpg,thumb,pp_image] [photopress:balinese_children_3.jpg,thumb,pp_image]
Since Balinese lives in close compact compound and what happen to someone is known to the other family members, the child absorbs the daily event without any hindrance. No special behavior set for the child apart from those grown-ups, and nothing is hidden from him. He listens to all the conversations of grown people. A child in Bali knows all the fact that the adult knows. He has a right to participates in every conversation and activity in the family.
Balinese children have a responsibility to help the family in everyday work or in the preparation of ceremony. A boy usually helps his father in the work at the rice field or at home. Providing grass for cows, bathing the water buffalo, hoeing at the rice field are some sort works that is given to a boy. A girl usually helps her mother in the kitchen or cleans the house and the yard. Through this assisting, the children learn how to work when they are grown up.
In the preparation of ceremony children usually involve as assistants for the grown up. They are usually assigned to make coffee for the grown up, washing the plate or glass, fetching a tool or material for ceremony, making stick for satay or simply accompanying the grown ups while they are working for the ceremony with a conversation of the latest news in the village.