Bali is, without doubt, one of the most culturally rich islands in the world. In fact, its carved temples, dances and immaculately manicured rice terraces do all seem too perfect to be true, even down to the people’s smiles. But take a closer look at those smiles and the perfect teeth do seem a bit too perfect and for good reason. Those flattened teeth are the result of an important piece of dentistry that every young Balinese man or woman experiences in their life, known as Potong Gigi, or tooth filing.
Tooth filing is part of Bali’s religious traditions and is not performed for cosmetic reasons. In fact, so important is the tooth filing ceremony that without it, the Balinese believe they may experience serious social or behavioral problems later in life, or their personality may change altogether.

Balinese religious life is surrounded by a belief in a variety of deities – gods and demons that inhabit different levels of the cosmic and real worlds. These deities range from the holiest in the mountains to the lowest that inhabit the ground and the sea. There are gods and goddesses in every walk of life which have special forces of their own. They inhabit temple statues, trees, even fly through the air. They exist together in a dual concept of good and evil, clean and dirty, etc. As such, both the good and the evil spirits must be appeased, and offerings are thus made at the myriad temples on the island.

It is not only the good spirits that are worshipped, for Bali has a dark and evil side too. Terrifying demons and monsters walk the earth and although they are seldom seen, they too must be appeased. These demons can take over and inhabit the body of an animal or human and wreak havoc in the community, so it is very important to strike a balance between offerings made to all spirits that swarm the island. At every stage in a person s life, he or she is susceptible to influences of the supernatural — from demons and layak to good spirits which may bring luck. Purification of the body and mind is therefore central to Balinese religious life and the tooth-filing ceremony represents one such rite of passage from childhood to becoming an adult.

According to the Balinese, long pointed teeth resemble the fangs of animals and these give the personal characteristics of the animal sides of human nature and ferocity. The Balinese believe there are six of these evil qualities: desire, greed, anger, intoxication, irresoluteness, and jealousy. These are liable to flare up, along with animal instincts, when the canines are still sharp. To prevent this, if the points of the canines are filed down, together with any prominent points of the lower teeth in a special Potong Gigi ceremony. Although this may prevent the person taking on animal instincts and beautify the smile, it is, unfortunately, offset by early tooth decay since the protective enamel is removed from the points of the teeth, exposing them to acid decay. The situation is exacerbated in those who go on to chew betel nuts since the caustic lime rapidly attacks the teeth.

The Potong Gigi ceremony usually is undertaken for members of the same family together since it is a very expensive occasion to host. It is often necessary to wait until the youngest child is of age. Girls are ready for tooth filing only when they have reached sexual maturity and boys are usually older, about 17 or at least after puberty. A person must have their teeth filed before marriage and since marriage is early, the ceremony is often undertaken as a prenuptial event.

The high priest is consulted first to choose an auspicious day from the Balinese calendar. Every day has a different function – the best day for rice planting, the best day for cremations and other festivals, as well as tooth-filing days. The dentist’s chair, so to speak, is specially constructed for the ceremony from bamboo in the form of a rack covered with coconut leaves, blankets and a variety of offerings and frangipani flowers. Surrounding the platform is food for the guests and a huge display of skewered suckling pig, fruit, and whole roasted chickens adorn the entrance to the ceremony room.

Questions 1-6
Choose the appropriate letters A—D and write them in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
1. The Balinese have their teeth filed
A. to have a perfect smile
B. for cosmetic reasons
C. to avoid problems in life
D. to change their personality
2. Balinese spirits
A. are usually easily seen
B. are only found in the mountains
C. can all fly through the air
D. can be found anywhere
3. Layak are probably
A. good spirits
B. evil spirits
C. tooth-filing experts
D. people whose teeth have been filed
4. When do many Balinese have their teeth filed?
A. just before getting married
B. as part of the marriage ceremony
C. in early childhood
D. when the high priest has time
5. Where does tooth filing take place?
A. in the dentist’s surgery
B. at the village temple
C. on a special platform
D. in the family residence
6. What is the most likely source of this passage?
A. an undergraduate essay
B. a scientific journal
C. a current affairs news magazine
D. an airline magazine
Questions 7-13
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage
YES – if the statement agrees with the writer
NO – if the statement contradicts the writer
NOT GIVEN – if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this.
7. Most Balinese are nervous about having their teeth filed.
8. Only the canine teeth are filed down.
9. Tooth decay soon occurs in the filed teeth.
10. Balinese religious tradition is rich and varied.
11. The tooth filing is done by the high priest.
12. There is a feast after the filing has been done.
13. Balinese custom does not permit the filing to be done for more than one person at a time.
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1 . C

2 . D

3 . B

4 . A

5 . C

6 . D

7 . NG

8 . N

9 . Y

10 . Y

11 . NG

12 . Y

13 . N



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  2. I just want to know where are answers of the given questions? Please, give some advise on how to find the answers.

    Thank you.

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