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Image: Silence please. Credit @agamsaputraa

On the day of Nyepi, all people on Bali cannot use fire, nor hear music, and they must stay home, or indoors, for 24 hours. And now according to many reports there is a possibility that the Internet will not be operating on the day either.

At a joint meeting on February 15 of the Bali Province Board of Religion it was decided to ask the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information (Kominfo) to turn off the Internet in Bali on Nyepi, the Day of Silence, March 17. The decision and appeal only came to light on Monday this week.

“We will have a meeting with Kominfo to ask them to follow up the plan and ask all of Internet operators to turn off their services,” said the Head of Dharma Hindu Parisada, I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, when he was contacted by bbc.com on March 6, 2018.

Ngurah Sudiana said that when celebrating Nyepi, the Hindu community must perform Catur Brata Penyepian and not perform four kinds of actions. The first one is amati gni or not light a fire, then amati karya or not work, amati lelungan or not go anywhere, and amati lelanguan or stay away from any kind of entertainment. The prohibition of the Internet is included in stay away from any kind of entertainment.

“Nyepi belongs to the Hindu community, so it won’t be a problem if the internet is turned off for a day. The joint meeting decided to ask the internet providers to turn off the internet services on Nyepi,” he added. Sudiana said that the joint meeting was attended by the Indonesian Dharma Hindu Parisada, the Bali Province Government, the Bali House of Representatives, the Bali Province Forum of Religion Tolerance, Bali Polda, and the other local institutions.

The approval letter was signed by Bali Governor, Made Mangku Prastika, Korem 163/Wirasatya Commander, I Gde Widiyana and the Head of Bali Polda, Petrus R Golose. The letter contained eight prohibitions, including television and radio broadcasting in order to protect and respect the sacred day of Nyepi.

They hope the Internet will be turned off from 6am, March 17, 2018 until March 18 at the same time. “I am sure Kominfo will support the plan to help the Hindu community, so they can focus on the Nyepi celebrations,” Sudiana said. If Kominfo does not agree, he will still ask all of the Internet operators and the Hindu community to follow the recommendation.

According to Sudiana, quoted by Kompas, there is another reason they want the internet off, which is for security. Learning from experience in previous years, inter-community friction occurs as a result of information spread on social media. “Last year there was a pecalang (local banjar guards) incident in securing people, but on social media the information was twisted to eventually become something else,” said Sudiana. There are also occasions of residents outside snapping selfies and posting online, which is also disconcerting to religious leaders.

Meanwhile, various opinions have come from businessmen and Bali citizens related to this recommendation.

I Gde Wiratha, part owner of several hotels, pubs, restaurants and cruises in Bali – including Ku De Ta and Double Six – supported the plan completely. The no-internet condition can be a special attraction for tourists that want something different he opines.

“Good, if it can be done right, it means this is the only place in the world where individual interests are decided for the respect of the universe, a day of tok, 24 hours a year. Where else in the world can it be so?” he asked. He also said that there will be no problem from the business side, either.

“Business is relative, sometimes quiet sometimes busy, but I am sure Nyepi creates a positive impression for Bali. Bali has been the number one tourist destination in the world for many years, for people who really want peace, need rest and self-introspection, where else can you find that?” said the businessman who has thousands of employees.

However, the representative from the Regional Tourism Promotion Agency, Anak Agung Suryawan Wiranatha, said that this recommendation is too excessive. “When celebrating Nyepi, introspection must come from the inside. Moreover, there are other religions in Bali, so this recommendation goes too far,” he said.

The debate about internet and Nyepi rages on many social media platforms with some agreeing and others disagreeing.

We will bring you the latest news on this topic as it comes in.

 

Showing 105 comments
  • Adam Crispin
    Reply

    Nyepi without Netflix? It will never catch on.

  • Jez Tryner
    Reply

    Arrrrrrrrrgh !!!!! Nooooooo

  • Peter Anderson
    Reply

    I agree, no Internet for 24 hours. Read a book.

  • Susan Darcy
    Reply

    Your addication is showing…

  • Teddy Bear
    Reply

    Just another way to destroy tourism in Bali. Don’t they realise that some people who desperately need the internet to communicate with family members who may be ill . The religious leaders may perhaps not be concerned about this now however they may next year when they see that numbers have fallen yet again.

  • Stuart Beat
    Reply

    Instagram?

  • John Bergman
    Reply

    It’s not as fun. Twitter is also kinda boring. I just made more playlists.

  • Ranei Wood
    Reply

    Bad idea. Not fair on tourists.

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      I was told many tourists
      came for the Balinese culture

    • Monika Szabuniewicz
      Reply

      So entitled.

    • Angela Powiro
      Reply

      Loool

    • Angela Powiro
      Reply

      Even many balinese, hindus hates this…

    • Monika Szabuniewicz
      Reply

      Really? Nobody l know hates this.

    • Ranei Wood
      Reply

      It’s something that the newer generation are not that excited about.

    • Anny Hartog
      Reply

      Ranei Wood it’s ONE day!

    • Alison Gallyot
      Reply

      Then don’t come to Bali during Nyepi. Pretty simple really.

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Alison Gallyot No, I would recommend as many people come to Bali as possible to experience Nyepi while they can. Gde Wiratha has a point

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Ranei Wood What are they excited about?

    • Susan Darcy
      Reply

      Alison Gallyot What seeing the Ogoh Ogoh parades is fantastic.

    • Alison Gallyot
      Reply

      I know I watch them every year

    • Monika Szabuniewicz
      Reply

      The new generation not exited? Really? They all seem sooo spiritual yoga and consciousness all the way….hmmm

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Monika Szabuniewicz Bless them

    • Angela Powiro
      Reply

      Monika Szabuniewicz u just havent heard all of them yet

    • Angela Powiro
      Reply

      Monika Szabuniewicz spiritual yoga? not drunk of arak?

  • Paolo Bali
    Reply

    One more reason to leave the island and go spend some money somewhere else!

    • Peter Anderson
      Reply

      Why leave the island, enjoy something that’s true Balinese. Didn’t you come to Bali to enjoy the Balinese lifestyle & culture?

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      Peter Anderson time for a change…here everyone seems busy playing their smartphones and littering the island.

    • John Bergman
      Reply

      You can’t really escape the phone thing. It’s a pandemic. But Europe is so refreshingly clean!

    • Alison Gallyot
      Reply

      Please do….byeee!

  • Monika Szabuniewicz
    Reply

    Didn’t you people come to Bali to enjoy the culture?

  • Charles Verhaeghe
    Reply

  • Charles Verhaeghe
    Reply

    Yes let’s go to “Krakatoa” like during the old days…
    That’s was to be “connected”
    And fun……

  • Raymond Rausch
    Reply

    please not….

  • Michael Wood
    Reply

    Turn it off for a week!

  • Ramon Meijer
    Reply

    Explore Indonesia’s other islands!

  • A Philip Martin
    Reply

    To turn off your personal internet should be your choice…especially while you are on holidays, however, businesses need this line of communication to book future hotels, tours and just inform other potential tourists. Yes, the Nyepi period is only 36-48 hrs but potential tourist need answers (even if you decide you want to shut down)

    • Alison Gallyot
      Reply

      Use a VPN…log in from a different country. Jeez, really not that difficult.

    • Adam Crispin
      Reply

      You need access to the internet for a VPN to work… if the ISPs turn off the connections its gone… much like you can’t access the Internet via a VPN during the many and frequent downtimes for the Internet gernerally here.

    • Susan Darcy
      Reply

      24 hrs dawn to dawn

    • Claire Louise Jonson
      Reply

      You’re not suppose to work on Nyepi. It is a day of silence. If you read the history and the story behind silent day then you would have more understanding and hopefully a little more respect. If you don’t want to participate go to a hotel or leave the island.

  • Herling Untu W
    Reply

    Its completly stupid to stop tv or the internet. Nyepi should be out of choice not inforced. To stay home is one thing but to inforce private sensors is undemocratic.

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      and damaging tourism….

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Paolo Bali not only tourism but to ask everyone to stay home is very acceptable but now to cut tv internet etc is breaching into a human right issue. Why not tie everyone with ropes until the next day its really a undemocratic behaviour. More like a religiouse dictatorship. It wont make people rexpect it more but the contrary.

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      …the issue is the thousands of selfie in the middle of the deserted roads on nyepi day in the last 2/3 years…which brings the reality undeniable…..the curfew is only for turists and bules.

    • Anny Hartog
      Reply

      Maybe read a book! What a fuss.

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      Anny Hartog if we need Nyepi to read a book we are in deep shit Madame.

    • Anny Hartog
      Reply

      Indeed!

    • Anny Hartog
      Reply

      Herling Untu W since when has Indonesia (Bali) been a democratic country? Lol.

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Anny Hartog you are right but everyone claims it is the third democrasi in the world. Just like to rub it on the face when it is glaring that its not.

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Paolo Bali Sorry we are in deep shit

    • Susan Darcy
      Reply

      What a bunch of cry babies ….I want my tv I want my internet …how did you survive before them?

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      Susan Darcy it’s not before anymore apparently….

    • Javert Marques Pereira
      Reply

      democratic should be the ticket back home if the culture isn’t for you

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Susan Darcy its got nothing to do with being a cry baby. Its about individual rights. To be respectfull is a must but to keep your freedom is also a form of respect. To forbide tv is not going to give more respect but its bringing more strain as toe stepping always result in backlash. Now to stop internet is again a breach of privasi and security. I have a better idea just cut the electricity problem solve. So forget your ice cold beers and ice cream.

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Javert Marques Pereira good boy.

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      Guys I insist…closing Internet is not for us that are not religious….

    • Anny Hartog
      Reply

      Gosh, what are you guys going to do all day/night? I have a good suggestion – wank on a bit more. Too much?

    • Anny Hartog
      Reply

      Doesn’t do anyone any harm!

    • Susan Darcy
      Reply

      Herling Untu W Good idea !

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Anny Hartog sorry but to do so i need the internet.

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Javert Marques Pereira aircon make noise and fridges also. No electricity is the solution.

    • Anny Hartog
      Reply

      Use your imagination man!

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      Herling Untu W Bingoooooo!!!!

  • Jo
    Reply

    I think it is a great idea.. get off the grid for a day or if you don’t like it get off the island!

  • Don Havig
    Reply

    Herling . get over it ..if you can’t live without your tv or ph …please leave this beautiful island. Is it your chiuce to live or are you inprisoned.

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      This is my home since 1972 you twart.

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      A little testy then are we…

    • Nicholas Jon Schwaebe
      Reply

      Don the Dotard. Herling Untu W has the moral ground here. One’s beliefs should never be imposed an another.

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      Nicholas please spare me your insults. .. a twat & a dotard!!!!
      My family and I embrace Balinese culture.
      Nyepi is a unique experience found only here and you guys bitch about your human rights. Pretty shallow thinking.

    • Nicholas Jon Schwaebe
      Reply

      Wonderful Don! I applaud your embrace of Balinese culture. Do you fast and meditate taking the full embrace? I too love Nyepi and always make sure I’m in Bali to appreciate the world standing still…the dark sky and stars, the only sounds are barking dogs, chirping frolicking squirrels, doves cooing and birds singing…and lamentably the humming sound of nearby hotel air conditioners. It is a great day to “drop!” …Extra spiritual!!!

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      Nic …whos the dotard now

    • Nicholas Jon Schwaebe
      Reply

      Check your mirror Double D

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Don Havig i love nyepi and always have as the silence reminds me how it felt in the old days when you coukd hear the ocean and gentle breese in the palm trees. But like nick said its not about experience or respect but its about having freedom and respecting others choices. If iam in a close house i am intitle to my privasi and no one should have the right to come into the room unless invited. To cut tv or the internet as nothing spiritual about it but just obstruction of privacy. So you if you really want to play the bali thing go to a temple during ogoh ogoh sit cross leg and fast and meditate for 24 hours as thst is what the most dedicated bali people do. Think about this when you pop a cold one open during nyepi.

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      Herling ..you and Nic should get together on Nyepi and spend the 2 days together. And then you 2 can celebrate your rights together cus nobody else gives a shit .

    • Seminyak Edits
      Reply

      I’d just like to remind everyone that personal derogatory, degrading and nasty comments will be deleted. Peace out

  • Don Havig
    Reply

    Stuart ..where do you find all these nutters who come to Bali

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      I suppose everyone has a right to express their opinion Don. Personally I think we are very fortunate to be able to experience Nyepi.

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      I guess some peoples opinions should be kept to themselves.
      We are all visiters here and should honor the customs and culture we all so dearly appreciate.

    • Sarah Dougherty
      Reply

      Stuart Beat you doing the Seminyak crawl with us? Michael Travers is gang leader.

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Sarah Dougherty what is a Seminyak crawl?

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Ian Johansson Yep we’re a special bunch for sure

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Don Havig ho god think iam going to puke.

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      I hope every one enjoys this special day just around the corner. With or without all the convieniences

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      Herling ..puke all you want …cus come Neypi you are going to be one pissed off guy..so how about that..

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Don Havig every year we have nyepi camp about 150 people praying together its really nice you should try it. Long live freedom f off control and bullying. People should have freedom to do what they please especialy in there private space. Rather it is to meditate or download porn is nobodies businesse. Is this so hard to understand?

    • Don Havig
      Reply

      Herling. U friggin retard.
      Neypi is obviousuly something you just dont want to deal with in you time on this planet.
      There are so many elderlies that just want a little piece and quiet in thier senior years..chill out dude b’cus the day will come when you to will be reflective of days gone by.

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Don Havig Next word both of you are deleted

  • Wouters Karel
    Reply

    This is a message to the pro,s and con,s ! Please do.not forget we are all guests here on this magical island with its ancient culture. Nobody will die of it if there is no internet available for 1 day. Yes we bring in money for shure but that doesn’t give us the right to make the decisions here. If you don.t like it book a another Islandstay around Bali for 3 days. Respect is the issue here people!

  • Sarah Forbes
    Reply

    Im soooo lost. An internet-free day sounds like a dream to me

    • Adam Crispin
      Reply

      I’ve decided that at least my email server won’t be working that day 🙂

  • Marcy Meachin
    Reply

    Do it

  • Tom Kin
    Reply

    How can Mount Agung be monitored?

  • Don Havig
    Reply

    I am looking forward to this day of silence…i bought a new book that will be thouroghly enjoyed

  • Deborah Cayetano
    Reply

    Introspect come from within. Government should not get involved. I can be quiet on that day and not have TV. But I’d like to be able to call my family and have a chat on skype, the one day I will have the time to do so.

    I don’t have a problem with over usage of the internet so I guess this will be harder for some than others.

  • Piero Montanari
    Reply

    Nyepi is a nice chance to reflect…….and to relax. Only 24 hours….

  • Mmengko
    Reply

    Me as Indonesian do not like this. Its not because I can’t be in a social media just for a day but because means other beliefs or religion would be able to impose such rules. Like the Muslims can ask the government to banned all restaurant to open during fasting ramadhan period, when they are fasting. Government should not interfering people believes or imposing some religious practice to be followed by the non-believer.

  • John
    Reply

    Everybody’s forgotten that this is the Balinese year of 1940.
    Internet hasn’t been invented yet.

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