Throughout the months of July and August it is common to find tooth-filing ceremonies throughout Bali. Tooth filing ceremony in Bali is religious ceremonies for human. Because this ceremony owns very high esthetics and meaning. Common known as Mepandes/Metatah/mesangih. This ceremony only held for children who start grow up.
Balinese People believe that this ceremony will control 6 vices that exist in human life and known as “Sad Ripu” such as:
- Kama means lust or greed
- Lobha means avaricious
- Krodha means Anger
- Mada means Drunk and blinded minds
- Moha means feeling confused
- Matsarya means Jealousy and envy
Cutting tooth doesn’t mean that they cut all their tooth, they just cut the 6 rows of top teeth including canines. Usually local people held the religious ceremony together with their friends who has the same age. Indeed tooth filing ceremony in Bali is one of parent responsibility to their child, because giving a good advice to their child. One of the restrictions for participating in this event is a woman who is pregnant. And in certain occasions this ceremony can be performed in bulk and together with one village.
The characteristic of a child who can follow the tooth filing ceremony are, for woman do after getting a first menstrual period and for man after they experiencing voice changes.
Ceremonies are usually held between 4.00 am to 6.00 am, before the sun rises, and are accompanied by religious songs. After the tooth filing ceremony, the teenager is considered to be a mature adult. In recent years, families have taken to holding their children’s ceremonies in a group.
If you are lucky enough, you will be able to see the tooth filing ceremony during the months of July and August, ask around and you can find out when and where you can catch a tooth filing. It is one of Bali’s most idiosyncratic ceremonies – one that you are unlikely to find elsewhere in the world.
The Process of Tooth Filing Ceremony
The teeth filing (metatah) process takes about 10-15 minutes. The filing is done by a dental specialist called as sangging. Before the ceremony started the sangging will read magical spells to ensure that ceremony run smoothly.
When the ceremony has ended then teenagers whose teeth are filed will bite betel leaf. The saliva will be collected on an ivory coconut. The ritual ended with a sprinkle of each teenager with purified water (tirtha).