Squats by the beach: Influencer accused of insensitivity for exercising near religious ceremony in Bali

Screenshots: Instagram / thecanggupole
Screenshots: Instagram / thecanggupole

The beauty of Bali’s beaches may be well-known across the world, but did you know that the sights you get to see here are often more than just great waves and gorgeous sunsets? Let us be your humble guide and let you know that when you visit, you might witness a traditional ceremony or an exclusive behind the scenes from the life of an influencer. Or both, if you’re lucky.

Yesterday, Canggu-based Instagram community account @thecanggupole posted a video showing the two contrasting scenes right next to each other, with a beach in Bali as the backdrop.


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Ignorancers In The Wild @influencersinthewild #thecheek #prayforbooty 🎥 @tatjana__lucia

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The beginning of this short clip showed a swimsuit-wearing foreign woman doing squats by the beach (with her crotch hovering up and down above an innocent dog, no less) while a friend walked around her with a camera to capture the moment. The video then panned to the left to show a group of Balinese women in traditional clothing as they prepared what appear to be offerings for a ceremony.  

Bali’s beaches are still officially closed (though there are few exceptions as to who is permitted access, including for fishing and religious ceremonies), as part of the province’s measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, this past week has shown that people are disregarding the restrictions and are flocking to the beach anyway. 

The clip, which is making its rounds online and has since been reposted by other accounts, triggered criticism from netizens, many of whom are lambasting the squatting woman and her friend for ignoring that a religious ritual was about to take place right next to them. 

We’re not sure yet if the squatting lady is a certified trainer or if she was only squatting for social media clout, but from the two reps that we saw in the clip, we have to say we’re pretty impressed with her squat form.

Yet this has gone down as another case of misbehaving tourists in Bali, if public discourse on the incident is anything to go by. Bali has certainly seen its fair share of disrespectful tourists over the years, including a video showing a couple from the Czech Republic washing the woman’s private parts with holy water from a Hindu temple in Ubud. 

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with making social media content, especially with Bali as the backdrop, it should really just be common practice to take into account local context and what’s happening around you. 

Do you find the squatting woman in the video disrespectful? Let us know in the comments.


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