Yet another Instagram photo of a foreigner being disrespectful at Bali temple sparks outrage

An Instagram photo showing a foreign male sitting on a shrine at a Bali temple went viral on Oct. 1, 2022, and sparked backlash from netizens. Photo: Screengrab.
An Instagram photo showing a foreign male sitting on a shrine at a Bali temple went viral on Oct. 1, 2022, and sparked backlash from netizens. Photo: Screengrab.

An Instagram photo showing a foreign male sitting on a shrine at a Bali temple (a big, big no, in case you need a reminder) went viral over the weekend and, naturally, sparked backlash from netizens and officials of the Island of Gods.

The photo, posted on the Instagram account @dreamchaser_traveling, depicted the foreigner sitting on a pelinggih (shrine) in Bedugul National Park in Tabanan on Saturday. Donning a black pair of jeans and white long-sleeved shirt, the man was all smiles in the picture. In the caption, he wrote some thorough details about the park’s botanical garden.

To give the fellow the benefit of the doubt, the post was perhaps meant to be informative. Considering the frequency in which foreigners have been reprimanded for committing cultural faux pas, however, it has become increasingly hard for the Balinese people to turn a blind eye.

The picture went viral after being reposted by some of the island’s renowned social media influencers. The foreigner reportedly apologized and deleted the picture, claiming that he was not informed that such an act was forbidden and that the photo was taken when no one else was around.

Per this article’s publication, the Instagram account has gone AWOL from the platform.

Gusti Made Ngurah, a member of the island’s village council who supervises religious, traditional, art, and cultural affairs, said that a set of Bali Gubernatorial Regulation from 2020 forbids any form of desecration towards religious symbols, including pelinggih.

He called on local bendesa (village chiefs) to keep on raising awareness about the regulations to prevent more religious and cultural faux pas.

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