This paper will focus on cockfighting in Indonesia and show how it is able to contribute to a correct perception of Balinese mentality.
First of all, it must be noted that the choice of the activity is not accidental. One of the most respected researchers of the field Clifford Geertz pointed out the following: “to anyone who has been in Bali any length of time, the deep psychological identification of Balinese men with their cocks is unmistakable” (Geertz, 2005, 60). In other words, this nation was able to find a peculiar tool of expressing their aggression as well as other feelings in a manner that would be effective, on the one hand, and quite safe for the all the participants, on the other hand.
Another point that should be noted in particular is that cockfighting is not some kind of a novelty in the Balinese culture: the rituals that are based on this activity go back many centuries which allows arguing that it has been one of the pillars that constructed the identity of this nation. Indeed, while at first it was a ritual offering of blood a creature to appease the evil spirits, latter it developed into an effective tool of self expression and keeping the inner world stable.
Indeed, one would make no mistake that the Balinese people like participating in cockfights not only because they strongly associate themselves with the birds, but also because it provides a valuable experience of meditation and allows them to learn more about themselves which the two creatures fight. In other words, the introspective function of this activity is self evident: numerous generations relied on it in order to understand the deep motives behind their actions which enshrined this sport as a traditional activity as well as religious ritual.
Having examined the evidence which was presented in the paragraphs above, it is quite