- Bali has commenced its annual “day of silence” where its airport shuts, TV stations go silent, and people stay inside with their windows covered.
- All four million people in Bali must observe the 24-hour Hindu reflection period of “Nypei,” which began at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday (5:00 p.m. ET Wednesday.)
- On the day, reserved for self-reflection, Bali’s radio stations don’t broadcast, cell companies cut off all mobile internet, and some people fast.
- Balinese religious wardens arrest locals and tourists for violating the rules.
The Indonesian island of Bali turned off the internet and shut its airport on Thursday for an annual “day of silence.”
The day – called “Nyepi” – allows people to reflect on the previous year. It started at 6:00 a.m. local time on Thursday (5:00 p.m. ET Wednesday.)
It will last a full 24 hours, and marks “Saka,” New Year’s Day for Hindus in Bali.
All beaches and public spaces were cleared of people for the dawn start time, and TV and radio channels stopped broadcasting and became silent.
Bali is a popular tourist destination, especially for Australians, and visitors are not exempt from the strict rules.
Tourists visiting the island must remain inside their hotels for the full 24 hours too, but they can do as they please inside.
468 flights – 261 domestic and 207 international – were either rescheduled or cancelled from and to Bali’s Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport due to the festival, the Jakarta Post wrote.
Four of the major Indonesian phone companies turned off all mobile internet access on the island.
Balinese people will stay indoors and cover up their windows, as well as not turning any lights on.
Religious wardens – who are allowed out to patrol and enforce the day – sometimes arrest locals and tourists for violating the rules, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
Ambulance crews are still allowed to work during the day, and ambulances are the only vehicles on the road.
Wayan Gota, a hotel manager in Kuta, told the AP: “For me, through the ritual of observing thoughts while meditating on Nyepi, in essence I get the opportunity to evaluate my achievements for the past year and rearrange the plan of life for the next year.”
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