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Dealing with Rat a la Balinese  

by on Wednesday, 2 July 20083 Comments | 2,140 views

Rat infestation has become worldwide problem that happen in all parts of the world and no wonder every civilization has their own way in dealing with rat. If Germans have their Pied Piper of Hamelin, Balinese have their own way in dealing with rat infestation.

In Bali, rat is given an honorable title “Jero Ketut”. The word “jero” is a title for honorable man” while “ketut” is a name for the youngest of four siblings. This title is given to the rat since Balinese believe that rat is a sensitive animal that does not like to be treated disrespectfully. The older generation of Balinese usually forbade their juniors to swear or used dirty word to rat lest it will become more and more troublesome.

In dealing with rat infestation Balinese usually make a small offering (segehan) which is presented to the rat so and request it to go away from their house compound. In Tabanan regency, when thousands of rats attack the rice fields, the farmers of Tabanan will hold a Nangluk Merana ceremony.


The Nangluk Merana ceremony usually begins with a great rat hunt. Hundreds of farmers go down to their rice field and start the rat hunt. Thousands of rats are slaughtered, and then their corpse are pilled and cremated with ritual ceremony like human corpse. This cremation does not performed in the cemetery but on the beach. All paraphernalia such as cremation tower that are used in human cremation are also used in this rat cremation.

Another way in dealing with mouse infestation in the rice field is to summon the magical weapon or protective deities in the form of Barong to the rice fields. In Puri Gede Tabanan (the great palace of Tabanan) there is a magical heirloom that is used to chase the rat away. When there is a serious rat infestation problem occur in the rice fields in Tabanan regency, the farmers will go to the palace and ask for the heirloom to be brought to the rice field to chase the rat away.

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