Guest Post: Tenganan Pegeringsingan Village

Since I was out of commission for the first couple of days of my own retreat, I asked group member, Jamie Slaten Weil if I could repost her description of the outing I missed. Writing and photo credits to her.

Today was a special day in Tenganan Pegeringsingan Village located 15 minutes from where we’re staying. This was a rare opportunity to peek into a non-tourist authentic Balinese community.

We were invited to a coming of age ceremony for the boys of Tenganan. This only happens one time per year and we were lucky enough to be there. We were invited to start the day at the home of Wyan whose entire extended family and friends welcomed us with cane sugar pops made especially for this occasion and tea. Tasted like mochi pops!

Dogs belong to the village, wander in and out of homes, alongside chickens, roosters, cats. The homes integrate outdoor and indoor space to create an open air feel with a temple in the back. Tween girls (often on their phones) were garbed in beautiful traditional costumes and makeup. They would stand later in the village center watching the boys in their ritual which was to draw blood on the back of the other with a thorny leaf plant.

I grimaced at the description before we went but that was my ignorance and filter. Each pair had their own vibe, but the overall feel was playful and collaborative, not competitive. As the day progressed, men of all ages participated, including very old ones and boys as young as 7. This was a party for the whole village and the sense of celebration included everyone, including us.

Truly a special outing followed by a writing class to integrate it with an excellent teacher. Let’s wrap that up with a reflexology hour at a spa which was somewhere in the neighborhood of $18 with tip.

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