Foreigners defying Nyepi rules is one thing, but locals?
Dozens of residents of Sumberkelampok Village in Buleleng defied the pecalang (Balinese traditional security officers) by going to Prapat Agung Beach in Gerokgak during Nyepi on Wednesday at approximately 10am. An hour before them, three men on their motorbikes also went to the beach despite warnings from pecalang. They said they wanted to go fishing.
They insisted that they were used to vacationing at that particular beach during Nyepi.
“But still, Nyepi means [they should have] stayed at home. And yet they came with motorbikes. Even the [Ngurah Rai] airport was closed [during Nyepi],” said Sumberkelampok Village Chief, Wayan Sawitrayasa, as quoted by DetikBali yesterday.
Wayan confirmed that the stubborn offenders were not adherents of the Balinese Hindu faith.
The village chief says he regrets the violation and acknowledged that this is the first time the pecalang were stationed at the beach, as the area was previously under the supervision of officers from the West Bali National Park.
“In the past, we only monitored the big roads,” he said.
Clips of the beach visit were shared by some of the island’s prominent social media accounts, including social media activist Ni Luh Djelantik.
“Come in, one by one. Nobody forbids it, even if it is the Bali Police chief,” said a man in the video after he lifted a roadblock at the beach’s entrance.
Two men who reportedly led the group, AZ and MR, were arrested by the Gerokgak Police later that day. AZ admitted that he was the man in the video.
“I took an initiative to open the roadblock so there would not be a congestion of people,” said AZ.
The two perpetrators apologized for their behavior in a mediation session with village officials, which was facilitated by the police. Even so, AZ and MR are still detained pending a decision from the paruman (Balinese traditional forum) to determine whether the villagers would press charges against them.
“We are revising our awig-awig (local guidelines) because this is something that has become a habit. So that it won’t be repeated in the future,” said Sumberklampok Village Customs Chief Jro Putu Artana.
We recently published a guide on the dos and don’ts during Nyepi (Day of Silence) this week. Some people clearly missed the memo.
24 Mar 2023
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