After proposed plans circulating the news of an additional 3-days of ‘Nyepi’ Day of Silence, the Majelis Desa Adat (Customary Village Assembly) and Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) of Bali announced today (8 April 2020) that these plans would not go ahead.
– This article is based on several published sources, taken from Indonesian news –
The proposed plan was to hold a 3-day Nyepi from 18-20 April 2020 around the island of Bali; this was seen as a soft implementation of a lockdown, perhaps (and this is speculation) as a way of convincing the Balinese to stay home through religious means, or as a way of avoiding the term “lockdown” which may have incurred panic.
It was mentioned that this ‘special Nyepi’ would have not implemented the same rules, i.e. no sound, activities, lights etc, but only required the population of Bali to stay at home and off the streets.
It was mentioned in early discussion that the motivation of the plan was to curb the spread of Covid-19 through forced social distancing.
However, after a discussion between the two organisations, the 3-Day Nyepi will not be going forward.
This is because they believe the communities in Bali have adequately followed the rules of the Government appeals, asking people to stay home, close businesses and avoid group gatherings (social distancing).
The announcement continued with a reminder and further appeal for the communities in Bali to continue following the regulations set out by the Balinese Government and Police, by not travelling or carrying out activities that are deemed ‘unnecessary’, to wear masks wherever and whenever possible when in public, to continue to remain home and socially distance and of course to protect their own health and well-being.
For religious ceremonies, the organisations have urged people to do these in the safety of their own home, at their compound shrines.
For those reading, the above guidelines and appeal by the Bali Government should be followed – this is not just an appeal for the local Balinese but all who are currently on the island.
This is good news for the island’s informal sector, where many locals who depend on a daily cash income – from Warung owners to GOJEK drivers – would have struggled financially in the event of a 3-Day Nyepi.
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