In the middle of a raging pandemic, blowing out candles the traditional way and sharing food with others are obviously big no-nos, but evidently a public health crisis wasn’t enough to stop some politicians in Bali from partying like it’s 2018.
Over the weekend, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) celebrated the success of the 2020 regional elections held on Dec. 9, with customary candles and tumpeng (Indonesian rice dish) to mark the occasion.
Clips from the event have been making their rounds on social media, showing Bali Governor Wayan Koster (who is also PDI-P regional leader in Bali) and a couple others pulling off their masks to blow out candles. Perhaps they are not aware of flapping one’s hands to extinguish the flame as a more pandemic-appropriate alternative to blowing out candles.
— Saya Bersedia Divaksin (@Bagasta8) January 24, 2021
This was followed by the governor cutting the tumpeng and then serving a bite for two others using the same spoon, before someone offered different spoons for the rest of the group.
“Why would you make an event like this during a pandemic.They pulled off their masks, and then fed different people with the same spoon eww,” one user commented.
“Blowing the candles together, using the same spoon together as well. What are the masks for? As long as they are in power, this will not be processed [legally]. Amazing, no?” another user wrote.
“[Doing something] like this but always blaming the public for disobeying health protocols. If the elites laugh at health protocols and leave it as is… then how to educate the public?”
Koster today responded to the mounting criticisms by saying that the event was only attended by around 25 people, who wore masks and observed social distancing and that they have also gone through an antigen rapid test that showed negative results.
“It was only when the candles were blown out that the masks were pulled off, masks were used before and after,” Koster said, adding that the use of the same spoon at one point was simply because it’s faster.
Read more news and updates from Bali here.