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Home » Wedding and Chapel

Inter-caste Marriage in Bali  

by on Monday, 13 October 20083 Comments | 2,870 views

For Balinese, get marry and have children are obligatory, as what have been explained in Jaratkaru story (see the article). Someone must have suputra (good children) in order to expiate their parent’s sin. However, many of them feel that Balinese wedding ceremony is very complicated one; spend much time and much money. Moreover if that is the wedding ceremony between the two different castes since the higher-caste parents will be reluctant to let their children to marry those from lower caste.


Imagine that two people from different caste conduct a wedding ceremony which the man has higher status. It is possible that a bride conduct matatab (the core of Balinese wedding ceremony) with a Keris beside her instead of the groom in order to keep the groom dignity. Moreover, before the ceremony is held, there is may occur a conflict in the man family. Since his family and some of higher caste families are hard to accept the fact that their son choose a woman from lower caste to become his wife.

The conflict also may occur when the woman has higher status than the man. The woman’s family is firm to forbid their daughter marry with the lowest class man. That is the reason why the man’s family usually sends a good mediator who can speak Balinese very politely to propose the woman. This is important since if the mediation is unsuccessful the wedding will be delayed or the worst: canceled. But if the mediator succeeds, it does not guarantee that wedding ceremony can be conducted soon. There are several things to do first before the ceremony. Choosing dewasa ayu, a proper date for conducting the ceremony, preparing all the stuff, and nyerod a ceremony for demoting the woman’s caste to be as the same as the man’s are several of them.

There are a lot of ways that can be chosen to ask propose a girl; the best way is memadik (proposing a girl involving both woman and man’s family). Yet, sometime if the conflict between two families cannot be settled in memadik but the woman and the man love each other they will choose ngerorod (eloping). Indeed Balinese allow this way of marriage. This is the last way that will be taken since taking this way is like playing a gamble. If ngerorod have been done then the girl’s parents never accept it, they will consider the girl as the others, not their daughter anymore. For Balinese, the latest one is such a big problem. The girl loses her relationship with her family.

Well, the marriage between two different castes usually causes a conflict and sometimes can be complicated. Fortunately, many parents belong the higher caste finally understand that there is no use to hamper their children to get marry with their choice nowadays. No matter from which caste the chosen belong to.

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