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A Ritual Requirement

Badung, Bali Regent Concerned that New Underpass Operating Before Balinese Religious Rituals Performed

(5/26/2013) The Bupati of Bali’s Badung regency is concerned that the Island’s brand new Simpang Siur Underpass in Kuta is operating - albeit on a trial basis – without traditional mlaspas and mecaru ceremonies being undertaken beforehand.

Speaking to NusaBali on May 22, 2013, Anak Agung Gde Agung said: “Gosh, the Underpass has come this far without my hearing that mlaspas or mercaru ceremonies have been held? In fact, this is very important and must be held as a spiritual (niskala) necessity. This is my concern right now.”

The Regent has asked the department of public works and waterways for the regency to coordinate the project managers to ensure the ceremonies are soon held. Adding, “I, as the personal responsible for the Regency call for these spiritual ceremonies be held in accordance with Balinese tradition and in order to ensure the future safety of the underpass. This is Bali.”

In accordance with Balinese belief, no major undertaking should be commenced without first seeking the blessing of God and the spiritual world.

When Agung was asked if the regency would pay for the subject ceremonies, he reportedly simply smiled, and said, “This is a Central government project.”

When NusaBali asked the official in charge of the Underpass project, he confirmed that the Balinese ceremonies would be held in conjunction with the official opening of the tunnel. He was, however, unable to confirm when exactly the formal opening of the underpass would take place.