Gecko may be small, but he had a giant-sized problem; at least according to an interesting Balinese folktale about this lizard.

Every night he was awakened by the fireflies outside his window. And when Gecko didn’t get his rest, he got a little grumpy. So he went to Elephant as the head of the village to complain. His request that the fireflies stop working at night set off a comical chain of problems for everyone in the village. Through this cumulative tale from the Balinese tradition, Gecko learns that his well-being depends on that of the entire village; and now he can finally go to sleep, a little wiser.

Aside from being told as a personified animal in the folktale, a number of Balinese people believe that geckos are the ‘Home Gods’. These Balinese deem that the geckos in their homes are the ones protecting them from all the bad influences on the outside. The other Balinese people who don’t see geckos as gods still consider this particular animal as creatures that can bring goodness and luck. It is, therefore, many Balinese families lay offerings not only for their ancestors and gods, but also for the geckos occupying their homes. The offerings are meant for the geckos to not create disturbances and bring prosperity to the homes; probably, just like it is told in the folktale, also to make it easy for the geckos to go to sleep at night (thus, not making noises).

A Balinese woman who sells traditional Babi Guling (suckling pig) in the Soputan of Denpasar said that her family was ‘troubled’ after her husband killed a gecko in their house. The woman stated that exactly one day after the ‘killing’ took place, her family began having financial and even relationship problems). Their problems ended after the woman and her husband laid offerings for the gecko in their house.

Geckos certainly hold a special position within the Balinese tradition – despite its famed reputation as the mosquito extinguisher. Since there are many geckos to find in Bali, it’s a good chance for the non-believers amongst you to test whether or not this animal really can curse your luck! However, hopefully you won’t try to cure your curiosity because, ‘god’ or not, geckos are living creatures too!

Every night he was awakened by the fireflies outside his window. And when Gecko didn’t get his rest, he got a little grumpy. So he went to Elephant as the head of the village to complain. His request that the fireflies stop working at night set off a comical chain of problems for everyone in the village. Through this cumulative tale from the Balinese tradition, Gecko learns that his well-being depends on that of the entire village; and now he can finally go to sleep, a little wiser.

Aside from being told as a personified animal in the folktale, a number of Balinese people believe that geckos are the ‘Home Gods’. These Balinese deem that the geckos in their homes are the ones protecting them from all the bad influences on the outside. The other Balinese people who don’t see geckos as gods still consider this particular animal as creatures that can bring goodness and luck. This is why many Balinese families lay offerings not only for their ancestors and gods, but also for the geckos occupying their homes. The offerings are meant for the geckos to not create disturbances and bring prosperity to the homes; probably, just like it is told in the folktale, also to make it easy for the geckos to go to sleep at night (thus, not making noises).

A Balinese woman who sells traditional Babi Guling (suckling pig) in the Soputan of Denpasar said that her family was ‘troubled’ after her husband killed a gecko in their house. The woman stated that exactly one day after the ‘killing’ took place, her family began having financial and even relationship problems). Their problems ended after the woman and her husband laid offerings for the gecko in their house.

Geckos certainly hold a special position within the Balinese tradition – despite its famed reputation as the mosquito extinguisher. Since there are many geckos to find in Bali, it’s a good chance for the non-believers amongst you to test whether or not this animal really can curse your luck! However, hopefully you won’t try to cure your curiosity because, ‘god’ or not, geckos are living creatures too!

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Namhar Hernanto

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