Metatah, Tooth Filing Ceremony

Metatah, mepandes or mesangih are the local words for tooth filing ceremony, one of the important ceremonies in Balinese life. The ceremony is performed for Hindu Balinese when they come of age. Even though, it doesn’t mean that this ceremony must be done as soon as the children had reach his/her puberty. Many Balinese have this ceremony done after few years, even after they got married and have children. Many reasons why Balinese family don’t do this ceremony as soon as their children get puberty, one of them is financial to cover expenses as when they perform metatah (due to the customary local community) they usually invite all relatives, friends and banjar (community member of the village where they live) as well.

Metatah ceremony can be carry out at home as a family feast, or at grya (high priest house) which is the simplest one, private and invite nobody, or join ‘collective metatah’ in the village, coordinated by the banjar (community council). However, it doesn’t necessary all about money if someone do not do metatah at home but join collective metatah or at grya.

Metatah is an important ceremony for Balinese. Every Hindu Balinese undergo metatah in their life. In case if somebody die and they have no metatah ceremony yet, the family will do this ceremony before bury their body so they soul can meet their parents’ soul afterlife.

Metatah ceremony is symbolic to release someone from ‘sad ripu‘ shackle (six negative characters of human): Kama (negative desire), lobha (greed), krodha (anger and cruelty), mada (intoxication and madness), moha (confusion), and matsarya (jeaulosy).




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