A real bonus of the trip to Bali was stepping outside of the tourist scene and checking out the lives the people of the Island. We were fortunate to attend a very old custom of the Balinese Hindus called Potong Gigi (Teeth filing ceremony)
Potong Gigi ceremony marks the milestone for a Balinese entering adulthood (18+ ish). The ceremony helps people rid themselves of the invisible forces of evil – teeth are the symbol of lust, greed, anger, insobriety, confusion and jealousy. Filing the teeth therefore renders someone both more physically and more spiritually beautiful, as well as symbolising the rite of passage for an adolescent into adulthood. (source)
It doesn’t always take place on the 18th birthday, it’s not unusual to take place between the 18th-20th birthday and it is often cheaper to do it the same time with other family members. As this ceremony its one of the most special days in their life, heaps of money and time is put into this age-old ceremony.