Right now we have our semester break and so there is plenty of time to explore new things in Bali. Our room cleaner´s husband called Ngurah once told me something about a special way of gambling here and as I was very curious he invited me to go to see a cockfight.
So we drove about 20 minutes to a hidden place somewhere in Kerobokan where they built a huge stadium for about 500 people. Ngurah just told me that I should stay by his side all the time and so I did. After climbing up a rusty ladder we had a perfect view over the arena. First it was very quiet but when the men entered the fighting ring with their roosters everyone seemed to get nervous. People started shouting and everyone tried to place his bet for the rooster that they thought would win. I did not exactly understand how the bidding process works but in any case Balinese people bet a lot I think!
After the bids were placed the trainers put some sharp knives onto the legs of their roosters and then tried to get their chicken more aggressive and wild. Suddenly after a special signal the two roosters were released and started to fight. They were jumping and hurt each other with their beaks and feet. As there can only be one winner they have to fight until one opponent dies. Sometimes fights only last about 30 seconds but if two strong roosters are in a battle it can be very long lasting, bloody and brutal.
Officially these fights are not allowed, but as you might know the Balinese police is very corrupt and we also saw them taking money from some “bosses” at the arena and disappear afterwards. But that´s the way things work here and so cockfights will still exist as this is a “real business” for many people.
All in all it was a very interesting experience for me to see the cockfights and it´s worth going there in my opinion, but if you have a weak stomach and don´t want to see blood – you better stay at home.