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Omen in Balinese Point of View  

by on Thursday, 24 July 2008No Comment | 1,016 views

Omen, a concept that can be found in every civilization around the globe. Some people believe it, some do not but each civilization has its own version of omen and develops their own way in interpreting a natural phenomenon that is believed to be a sign of what will happen in the future; and Balinese is no exception.


Omen is called “sipta” in Balinese language (sipta means “sign”). For Balinese, rare natural phenomenon such as the appearance of comet, or disaster such as flood or hurricane are considered a sign that something will happen in the future. For example, the series of omens that is believe to signify the fall of Balinese kingdoms in the early 20th century was recorded by a high priest, Ida Pedanda Ngurah of Mengwi, in a geguritan (traditional Balinese poem) entitled Bhuwana Winasa (the end of the world). This geguritan was written in1918.

Here is the section in which the ill omens mentioned:
“Now the Kingdoms have been defeated, fated by the All-Powerful.
There was a sign, the palace of the rajah of Badung,
at the temple of Suaragiri was inundated by rains, the shrines collapsed.
And the palace of the gods at Uluwatu likewise was destroyed by thunderbolt.
The Hall of Audience at the palace of Pemecutan, blown apart by the winds.
The beautiful beringin tree of Tabanan enveloped in spider’s webs,
so it turned white, a sign of great danger”.

Nowadays, not all Balinese believe in omen, and among the believers only few of them can read the meaning behind the natural phenomenon around them.

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