Balinese special sports–Mud Wrestling & Cricket fighting

The Balinese are keen on preserving their traditions, so they have many games you can witness all year long.
For example mud wrestling and cricket fighting!

In Gianyar in central Bali, you can find Mepantigan mud wrestling – a revived sport that was nearly extinct. Balinese martial artist, Putu Witsen, set out to preserve the art of mud wrestling and has created Mepantigan Bali, an integrated multi-sensory performance featuring Balinese martial arts combined with fire dances, traditional drama, and gamelan – in empty and muddy rice fields. If you are not watching the dance which depicts the drama about Kebo Iwa, a legendary giant warrior in Bali, you could join in on the fun of getting down dirty and learning some wrestling moves with the troupe yourself.

146And if you don’t want to participate but just watch real action there is cricket fighting. “Mepalu jangkrik” as it is known in the local tongue – it involves crickets that were traditionally caught in the rice fields by young boys, who put them in special bamboo tube cages to be kept as pets for their chirping or occasionally entered into a ring for battle. Some crickets were carefully selected, and “trained” specifically for fights. And that in- cludes a special diet, physical training, and even baths and massages!■

Bali Pocket Magazine