Nglesung - Background
Telling a Balinese Story about “Ni Bawang teken Ni Kesuna”
Om Swastiastu. Me and my friends are going to tell..going to..a folktale “Ni Bawang teken Ni Kesuna”.
Once upon a time there was a husband and wife couple, with their two daughters. The eldest name is Ni Bawang, the youngest name is Ni Kesuna. The husband and wife lived in the village. They worked the ricefield everyday.
Their two daughters are polar opposites of each other, as contrasting as the earth and heaven. Ni Bawang’s personality differed markedly with that of Ni Kesuna’s, as antithetical as water to fire. Ni Bawang is a diligent child, always ready to lend a hand to her parents. Eloquent, she never say anything bad toward others. She diligently studied everything that was appropriate for a girl. Helping her mother at the kitchen, preparing “canang”, never shy away from her religious duty. Unlike her sister, Ni Kesuna. Ni Kesuna is a liar, lazy, and can sell a slander easily. That's why her mother believes her when she said that Ni Bawang dallied with boys when washing clothes at the stream.
One day, on that time, Ni Bawang has just finished pounding the paddy, then she went for her bath and took a jar along with her to fetch water home. Since she believed in everything Ni Kesuna’s told her, there Ni Bawang was beat up, scoured with hot water, and was ordered to leave.
Ni Bawang went away crying . After distances away from her house, it was said that she reach a river, and met a yellow crested bulbul. The yellow vented bulbul took pity with Ni Bawang’s ordeal. Ni Bawang was gifted with gold accessories such as “pupuk” (a crown to protect baby’s head crown), ear rings, necklace, rings, bracelets, and silk. It’s inconceivable for Ni Bawang to own such beautiful attires. She decided to live at her grandma’s house.
She never went back to her parent’s place. It was said that one day Ni Kesuna met her sister by chance, in her splendid attire. So she asked her where did she get all those from. After being told by Ni Bawang, Ni Kesuna got greedy. She also want to have exquisite clothes and accessories like the ones owned by her sister. That’s why, Ni Kesuna told her mother to beat her up until she was covered in bruises. After that, she went away crying, and met with the yellow crested bulbul. It was said that the yellow crested bulbul pecked her body and filled it with tiny animals. After arriving at her place, those tiny animals/insects make short of Ni Kesuna which resulted in her losing her life. That is what happened to arrogant liar. Slandering friends would bring about bad end. Crows came croaking, this short story has reach its end.