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Home » People & Community, Religion, Wedding and Chapel

Marriage Problems in Bali  

by on Wednesday, 15 October 2008One Comment | 1,875 views

For Balinese, a marriage in Bali is not just a union of two individual but also a passing of the baton religious and social responsibilities from father to son. Son inherits everything, wealth, debt, religious and social obligations, family temple, and of course obligation to perform cremation ceremony for his parents. Woman move to her husband house after the wedding ceremony is concluded. She cuts all her social and religious responsibility with her biological family.


A serious problem occurs when a family has no son only daughters. There is a threat of broken family line and cycle of reincarnation. To fix this situation a male may have to be adopted. Another solution is for the bride to take the role of the male heir in her own family and the husband becomes a nominal female. This is called a nyentana marriage. Though the bride takes the role of male heir but in everyday life and socio-religious events she does not take the male task. The groom after marriage lives in his wife’s house, abandon his own house and family temple, inherits his wife’s family house and temple, he also represent his wife’s family in social and religious events.

But what will happen if the groom and bride are the only child in their respective family, both families need a heir to continue their line. Of course the parents of the groom will strongly opposed the Nyentana marriage in which the groom has to leave his parent and stay in the bride house, and continuing the line of the bride’s family and vice versa.

This problem can be solved with an arrangement known as “negen dadua” (carrying something in both shouders) in which the groom takes the social and religious responsibilities of both families (his and bride’s family) and can inherit the property of both families. This kind of arrangement is not popular in Balinese society but it solves the problems of social and religious responsibilities, continuity of the line and inheritance.

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