Signatures, Extra teeth and a child.

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Bert Vierstra

Active Member
Nov 5, 2002
After long discussions with the head of the village, the religious head of the village and the father of Dewi, we decided that our marriage would be a Hindu marriage and nothing else. Later we would study on all legal consequences regarding a civil marriage and arrange this.

I had to file some papers they later told me, including a copy of my passport, a “marriage permission letter of the Dutch consulate” and me entering Hindu religion. Fine, no problem I thought. Until, after consulting a notary in Ubud, these papers were only necessary for a civil wedding. Paranoia struck me again. They were trying to make me do something I didn’t want. What’s behind it, damned…

We had a preliminary meeting with the Hindu high priest, I had to become angry with the family to see the man BEFORE the marriage, and again the civil marriage was a point of discussion, and again I explained that I did not know all the legal consequences. The high priest explained to the family that I was a good man, and again everybody agreed on a pure religious marriage. Smiles all over.

At the marriage day, there was a map of papers, and the local village head asked for the papers necessary for a civil wedding. I looked at the papers in the map, and yes there they were again, the civil marriage papers. “I am not going to sign these, and I have been over this many times already”, the village leader grabbed a copy of my consulate letter, and I didn’t have the guts to take it back. Already fully dressed with my bride on my site I started to imagine how to run away from the marriage, and decided to do so, if they tried to force me. Again they agreed on a Hindu marriage. I kept my clothes and lipstick on. Ringo took pictures of the discussions.

After the conclusion of the marriage they told me that I had to sign the papers for becoming a Hindu, “Yes I know” I said.

The priest declared us man and wife, and wanted me to sign, guess what ? again the damned civil marriage papers. I tried not to explode, remembering the speech of the priest during my tooth filing...( I am not an animal I am not an animal)

In front of the village leaders I had to explain again why I didn’t sign, and said that I am bloody serious with Dewi and we will marry civil within tree months after knowing all consequences, and arranging “things” by notary.

Extra Teeth.

During the dressing up for the ceremony, I wondered why the sisters were getting dressed up too. “God, they are going to make me marry the three of them”, I thought. But then the uncle, nephew, grandfather, grandmother, mother and father of Dewi were dressed up too. It was for the tooth filing. They never told me. I asked Dewi, and she said, that she thought I knew. I tried to smile. Later I learned that this is common practice, when there is wedding ceremony paid by a foreigner, they grab as much of God as they can.

A child.

When we rented our new house and were there alone for the first time in the evening, Dewi felt that there were people in the room and had a shiver. I caught her emotion and also felt “strange”. Dewi believes in the “other world”, as many Balinese do. Pak Made the owner of the house, knows about a beautiful women that lives near the garage door.
Dewi feels many times uncomfortable in the house. We buy “plankier” , small offer wall temples for every room (we also have a kamar suci, praying room) and start to pray almost every night and buy banten (small offers) and incense. We have about 8 places for the offers in and around the house. After the marriage our new pembantu sees a child running in our house. We did not. Later in the evening Dewi mentions this to a neighbor in Pemaron, far from our house. She knows the story. About 16 years ago a prostitute rented the house from Pak Made, had a child and threw this in the little “river” flowing trough our garden. The age fits the description of the view of the pembantu. Today Dewi asks Pak Made, and he confirms. The spirit of the boy has to be fed daily now, with special banten. The boy is welcome. There are many lost souls on Bali. Dewi is afraid to see him, but I am not. I love him and want to play with him. Maybe we should offer some clothes too. But no cigarettes, because he is too young, I tell Dewi. She smiles, but is scared when we come home at night. Yesterday evening we heard him pee in the bathroom. Just married and already a 16 year old son.


Rites of Passage

The Rites of Passage

Birth, cutting of teeth, puberty, marriage are milestones that need special ceremonies, the rites of passage. These rites are aimed to purify and provide the individual with the appropiate spiritual energy to survive in a world full of dangers.

These rites fall under the socalled manusa yadnya ceremonies which are focused on the human being. Every manusa yadnya ceremony consistst of four basic sub-ceremonies.

one of these sub-sceremonies is called the majayajaya. This ceremony can be simple, medium, or large and elaborate. In general a family would choose the latter however the financial situation of the family limits this choice, as a large ceremony is quite expensive.

Such a large elaborate ceremony is called eteh-eteh madudus agung and consists of 14 distict rituals.

You can already guess: Bert, Dewi and her family had the full-blown one.

The essence of the purifying ceremonies is to get rid of ones negative emotions like bad thoughts, greed, jealousy, selfishness etc.


~~~~~~ Bert in Discussion ~~~~~~~

You might find this link useful regarding marriage and family laws:



Nov 16, 2002
well well well

Welcome to the world of enlightened expat husbands then, Bert :D
You do have a story to tell, and do it very nicely. Hmmmm, does it remind me of something...? YES, ist does :p


Apr 4, 2013
Near Ubud
A little comment about the child spirit:
In some culture, they would perform some sort of ceremony to help the spirit pass to the other world.
Other culture would try to do exorcism rituals
It seems in Bali, or in your case you just accept the spirit and nurture him, but even your wife is still not comfortable with the situation.


Active Member
Nov 4, 2007
Perth W Australia
A little comment about the child spirit:
In some culture, they would perform some sort of ceremony to help the spirit pass to the other world.
Other culture would try to do exorcism rituals
It seems in Bali, or in your case you just accept the spirit and nurture him, but even your wife is still not comfortable with the situation.

WOW , you have been going back through the posts ferdie.

The last one was June 2003....


Kennetha Kost - Home
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