I’m not sure what religion this falls under. Probably more like superstition. Whatever… the upshot is that if you catch a boy having sex with a cow, it’s the cow’s fault and you have to drown the poor (sacred!) animal in the sea.
It all went rather horribly pear-shaped for Balinese teenager Ngurah Alit after he had sex with a cow. He reckoned he’d had some kind of vision which made him think the animal was a beautiful, enticing woman. Bad luck, that.
According to The Jakarta Globe, the 18-year-old from the seaside village of Yeh Embang in Jembrana, was “caught stark naked positioned behind the cow in a rice paddy field”.
As if getting caught having intercourse with a farm animal wasn’t bad enough, Ngurah then had to marry the cow as part of a public “Pecaruan” ritual to cleanse the village of his foul deed.
Bali is a majority Hindu island but who knows if any of this has anything to do with Hinduism, or if it’s just the local witch-doctery gone absolutely stark raving mad. Same thing, really.
With the teenager’s distraught family, scandalised friends and neighbours, police and reporters all looking on, Ngurah fainted when the time came to seal his vows of marriage to the unfortunate beast.
Then the villagers had to drown the cow in the sea:
As part of the ceremony, Alit’s victim and new bride was drowned in [the] ocean.
Alit, on the other hand, was symbolically drowned and bathed on the beach.
“Only his clothes were thrown into the sea,” the villager said.
Village chief Ida Bagus Legawa declared that the village had been “cleansed” from the “defilement from the incident”.
I’m relieved that it all ended well for the village. Too bad about the cow and the poor boy, who will be traumatised for life by this grotesque public humiliation.
Some Indonesians wouldn’t see any injustice in this at all. Check out the comments by the female human rights worker in Aceh province who said women who wear tight jeans are to blame if they get raped.
This kind of black-magic often has very regrettable consequences.
Last week 12 children died when a suspension bridge they were standing on collapsed into a river in Aceh as they watched a similar “cleansing ceremony” to rid a village of bad luck associated with a measles outbreak.
(Photo courtesy of Pikaluk via Creative Commons)