Bali locals furious after tourist meditates naked in temple

Outrage over ‘humiliation’ of Balinese culture

Benjamin Parker
Thursday 05 October 2023 11:53 BST
Bali is known as Island of the Gods, in part due to the large amount of temples found throughout
Bali is known as Island of the Gods, in part due to the large amount of temples found throughout (Getty Images)

Authorities in Bali are investigating a foreign visitor who was filmed meditating naked at a Hindu shrine, sparking anger on the Indonesian island.

Officials have vowed a crackdown on misbehaving tourists after a spate of incidents involving acts they say disrespect the popular holiday spot’s local culture.

The latest example gained widespread attention after Balinese influencer Ni Luh Djelantik reposted a video of a tourist baring all multiple times between Saturday and Sunday, attracting hundreds of thousands of views.

The caption read: “So disrespectful. Meditating nak*d on our temple ? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F*CKIN MIND? How could you do this, humiliating Balinese and their belief? Immigration Officer please get this person, we’ve had enough! This is a humiliation to us Balinese people.”

The first post has received more than 10,000 likes. The original video uploaded by the man meditating appears to have been deleted.

“We are still carrying out investigations regarding this incident,” said Tedy Riyandi, head of the immigration, reportsThe Jakarta Post.

It’s understood that the man who sparked the backlash with his meditation has been identified by authorities but his name and nationality have not been publicly disclosed as the search goes on.

“The efforts currently being made by the Immigration Office are to contact the foreigner’s social media account, but to date there has been no response,” Mr Riyandi added. He said the search was being coordinated with Bali police and they were still trying to determine the location and the time at which it took place.

Bali attracts millions of overseas visitors annually but several high-profile cases since the island reopened after the Covid-19 pandemic have drawn wide-spread attention – with some tourists being kicked off the island.

In March 2023, a Russian man apologised after posing semi-naked on a sacred site in Bali. The tourist, known as Yuri, sparked outrage after sharing a since-deleted post to Instagram, which showed him mooning on top of Mount Agung.

The following month, a Russian woman who posed nude for photos in front of a sacred tree was deported just days after being arrested for disrespecting the landmark. It came a year after a similar incident, also involving a Russian visitor.

Soon afterwards, Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating maritime affairs and investment minister, called for a tax on tourists because Bali’s reputation as a low-cost destination has “encouraged many low-income foreign visitors” which has caused “a rise in unruly behaviour”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in