Guadalcanal Diary had this great song called “Cattle Prod” but for some reason I can’t find the lyrics and YouTube doesn’t have any video version. Probably for obvious reasons, now I think about it. I’m annoyed by the geographic restriction on this site, but anyone in America can maybe listen to it at Rhapsody.com.
I’m going to have to spoil the delight of discovery here, but the reason I bring the song up is because it’s about a guy who loves to love cows. Like this dude, apparently.
Humans can’t make cows pregnant but that doesn’t stop these villagers from taking steps to make sure a man’s sin is washed away with the cow’s carcass:
Villagers from Julah in Tejakula, Buleleng, tow (see photo) a pregnant cow behind a boat into open sea as part of a local traditional ritual.
The cow, which is five months pregnant, was thrown out to the sea about 3 kilometers from land Monday. The villagers believe the animal was impregnated by a village elder.
During the ritual the man, who was caught red-handed having sexual intercourse with the cow two months ago, joined the boat trip in order to throw away his clothes to to symbolize him discarding his sins.
Julah customary village head Ketut Sidemen said the ritual, called gamya gamana, or freak weeding, and had been conducted there for generations. The decision to perform the ritual was made a local residents meeting.
In line with customary regulations, the perpetrator, identified only as PS, 70, was sanctioned to fund the expensive ceremony, which aimed to cleanse him of any bad influences.
What precisely is the “local traditional ritual” here, the drowning of an expensive pregnant cow, or the man having sex with one? Either way, this is an icky situation that makes little sense to outsiders. Does it make more sense to the locals or do some of them also wonder why they do these things?
Drew Curtis made some good points in his book, It’s not News, it’s FARK. The sensational aspect of this dinky little article far outweighs its use as a means of understanding the culture and people of Bali. But, when you work in a career that lives by its deadlines, research is the last thing a person wants to waste precious time on. Thus, the onus is on the reader to dig deeper to find facts about these places and events but most don’t bother. By tomorrow, another sensational story will take centre stage and this star will fade.