Into the Ring – illegal cock fights in Bali [video + photos]

What’s the first rule of cock fights in Bali? Don’t talk about the cock fights.. This underground “sport” is a favorite amongst Balinese men and you can hear excited shouts almost daily in every other gang (small street) in Bali. All you need is a small dusty ring, two cocks and plenty of local men holding a fair amount of Rupiah cheering their favorite.. However, if you want to see the real deal you need to know someone on the “inside” who can take you to the more hidden places where some serious gambling occurs and where you won’t find (m)any tourists..

Even though gambling is illegal in Indonesia – thus making most of cock fights illegal, there is also a religious aspect to cock fights that makes some of it legal. Namely, all important Balinese Hindu ceremonies require a blood sacrifice to appease the spirits and sometimes the cock fights will even be held inside the temple. In any case the one we witnessed was not a part of the ceremony and our “insider” took us to a secluded place, through many narrow streets – so many, in fact, that it would have been impossible to find our way out on our own or find the place next time. These were the precautions against the police raids which do happen from time to time, but it certainly contributed to the overall feeling of excitement.

Finally, we are at the arena, total chaos – or so it’s seems to us – several dozen serious looking men waving the money around, gesticulating wildly. All bets are collected, one of the men is attaching the taji (a small steel dagger) to the cock’s leg, preparations are almost over and you can feel the anticipation in the air. The judge indicates that the match should begin, the arena clears out and suddenly it’s very quiet – the match begins.

The fight itself is not for the faint hearted and certainly not for a couple of vegetarians who are having a moral dilemma about killing mosquitos in their room, but it is and has been a part of traditional Balinese culture for generations and that in itself makes it interesting enough to share with the world.

Suggestion: Turn on HD.

And a couple of shots..

Hope you enjoyed. Share = Love

Cheers,

Srdjan & Lana



7 Comments

  1. denko wrote:

    Gotta admire your boldness! :) Cool photos and video, you can sense the atmosphere.

  2. alexwende wrote:

    Wow man, awesome photos again!

  3. Name * wrote:

    Kiro brate zakon!
    metall

  4. Marco wrote:

    Hi Srdjan
    Compliments for your shots!!
    I recently started to get interested in the world of photography, I’d like to know what kind of technique you used to retouch these pictures (I think these are retouch :-) ) I know just that you have used a Nikon D40 camera
    Thanks