Authorities in Tabanan regency are taking the task of monitoring closed tourist spots to the next level, with officers wearing traditional Balinese costumes and masks to turn away visitors.
In Bali, local customs have taken a somewhat prominent and unique role in the province’s efforts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The role of traditional villages have been front and center, right next to the police and provincial government, with even Balinese folklore taking the spotlight just last week to capture the public’s attention for matters related to COVID-19.
A video taken near Yeh Gangga Beach in Tabanan is circulating on social media today, showing two visitors on a motorbike approaching the entrance of the beach, only to be stopped by a group of officers in traditional costumes and clothing, telling them to “wash their hands” and “wear masks.”
The video shows three officers wearing the costumes of Rahwana, Hanoman and Sangut. Rahwana and Hanoman are characters in major Sanskrit epic Ramayana, while Sangut is a popular character in Wayang, a traditional form of puppet theater in Indonesia. Meanwhile, a couple others in the video can be seen wearing traditional clothing typically worn by Kecak dancers while singing a tune from the Balinese performance.
“After the situation returns to normal, you are welcome to visit Yeh Gangga Beach,” the man behind the camera can be heard saying.
According to a popular Instagram community post, officials from the Yeh Gangga traditional village has not put up any barriers to the beach entrance, but are instead focusing on educating passersby and those looking to trespass on clean habits and preventative measures in their efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the area.