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Page 20

No Money, No Honey

no money no honey
say the young men of Bali
the girls here are beautiful
but love is not free

young nymphs will beguile you
with their dark flashing eyes
no money no honey
say the men with long sighs

so they woo now the tourist
of face round and plain
they resemble the banteng
but the work is well paid

no money no honey
what a hard load to bear
for our women we work hard
anytime anywhere

The Balinese do not have a word in their vocabulary for the abstract idea of romantic love. A Balinese boy does not idolize the girl he is attracted to, and matters of sex are not solemn and mysterious prohibitions. The Balinese are extremely discreet in their intimate relations; lovers are never seen together in public, and it would be extreme bad manners for a boy to make suggestions to a girl in public.

The Bali Aga people consider adolescents to be pure, and their purity is jealously guarded since they perform special rites in village magic. Sexual licence on the part of a boy or girl is considered a crime against the village. Girls of high caste (triwangsa) are strictly chaperoned until they marry. Girls usually marry in their late teens and boys a few years older. It is considered unusual not to marry for the next rebirth would be a lower one. Full acceptance into Balinese society comes with marriage, for only then can a man join the village association.

A Balinese man seeking love usually has marriage in mind. However girls are not so easily persuaded, and generally are not in a hurry for marriage. If a Balinese girl marries someone of another nationality, she is no longer considered Balinese. Divorce is not difficult, but it is not common. A divorced woman must leave her children with their father.

There are two forms of marriage; mapadik (formal) and ngrorod (informal). Mapadik is marriage by request; a formal courtship where the suitor must bring many gifts to the girl’s home. It is very expensive, for the girl may delay marriage for quite some time. Ngrorod on the other hand is inexpensive and full of drama, which the Balinese love. There is a feigned kidnapping of the girl and everyone concerned puts on a wonderful theatrical performance. The parents pretend to be distraught and search for their daughter. A honeymoon then precedes the wedding; the couple will then have a small religious ceremony according to customary law (adat).

Offerings are made to the earth goddess, Ibu Pertiwi, who then witnesses their union. At a later time there is a formal ceremony where the couple are blessed by the priest, and their union is announced through offerings and prayers made to the ancestors and deities of the house temple. The woman is formally accepted into the man’s family and becomes a member of his caste and clan.

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