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Potong Gigi Ceremony

by Dayu

Bali Culture: Potong Gigi ceremony

Potong gigi ceremony in Bali, is one of a series of activities for the “Manusa Yadnya”
ceremony (religious ceremony for humans). Potong gigi ceremony (tooth filing ceremony)
means cleaning the vices that exist in human beings. In Bali its known as Metatah or
Mesanggih. The 6 canines in the top row of teeth will get filed or flatten, the
ceremony is an obligation, customs and culture that is still being conducted by the Hindus in
Bali for generations until today. This ceremony is considered very sacred and its intended for
children who started growing up, where for the girls who have menses or menstruation, while
the boys had entered puberty or voice has changed, this ceremony also means the parents
prepare their children to a life of maturity, its also called niskala.
The six vices in human beings or also called Sad Ripu that need to be cleaned are:
1. Kama (desire)
2. Krodha (anger)
3. Lobha (greed)
4. Moha (drunkenness)
5. Mada (arrogant)
6. Matsarya (envy).
If these vices are not controlled, they can lead the young adults to things that are not good or undesirable, these vices can be harmful and dangerous for them in the future.
Therefore, its an obligation for all parents to provide advice, guidance and pray to Goddess Ida Sang Hyang Widhi (God Almighty) that their children will be spared from the
influence of these 6 vices that have existed since birth.



A tooth filing ceremony is one part of the Manusa Yadnya ceremony that must be
implemented by the Hindus. This ceremony implies that in the lives of Hindus, namely:
– change the behavior of a human being who has been able to control himself from the
temptation of Sadripu influence.
– Fulfilling the obligation of parents to their children, to find a man’s true nature.
– To meet again in Heaven, between children and parents after both died.
Implementation of this ceremony is the duty of parents to their children, so their children can become good and true adults. This is why Hindus parents arrange to conduct the tooth filling ceremony to help their children fulfill their good purpose and obligations in life, and the children shall repay their parents for this ceremony by conducting the cremation ceremony for their parents when they die.
This is Filial to their parents in accordance with the teachings of the Lontar Putra Sesana (one of the Hindu
religious books).
Where in Bali .

Where in Bali

Usually the tooth filing ceremony is held in the parent’s home. On the day before the
Ceremony is held children are not allowed to go out of the house at all. It is believed that, at this
time they are in a state of fragility and are easily affected by external distractions and temptations.
Before the ceremony procession ends, there will be an event where kids will beg for the
blessing of their parents. In this procession, usually this is a very touching moment as parents will
begin to release their children to the world of adulthood, and their children will begin to take
responsibility as a man or woman and be dutiful to their parents all through their life.



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