Customary Law of Banishment: Bali

For the Balinese, the kasepekang (banishment) is the ultimate punishment as Balinese culture is rooted in the community, in which every family is a member of a banjar. The eldest member of a family usually resides in the village where the banjar is located.

As religious rituals are an important part of Balinese-Hinduism, the banjar holds a strong position for families. The banjar upholds the value of gotong royong (working together), in which every member of the banjar helps organize religious ceremonies.

Complicated ceremonies, such as weddings and ngaben (funeral ritual) are carried out with the help of community members from the banjar as Balinese Prodita Sabarini says.

Three families from a village in Klungkung regency faced a similar punishment earlier in the year, after the banjar in Tegalbesar in Negari, Banjarangkan, punished them for providing a statement to the police regarding a land dispute with the banjar’s’ klian.

While the Balinese embrace modernity with the fast development of tourism, customary laws are still heavily applied within the community. Several parties believe the awig-awig on kasepekang is outdated and should only be used as a last resort.