How Bali’s non-Hindus show religious tolerance and respect on Nyepi

Western tourists are not the only people in Bali expected to accommodate the Hindu holiday of Nyepi, which took place yesterday, marking the first day of the Balinese New Year with a full 24 hours of quiet self reflection aided by a general ban on work, lights and noise. Non-Hindu residents of the island not only accommodate the holiday’s strict bans but also contribute to their enforcement by local security, known as pecalang , who are the only souls allowed to be out and about on Nyepi in order to patrol neighborhoods in their traditional uniforms while on the look out for those violating the spirit of the day. It’s the one day of the year when the island’s streets and beaches are eerily empty and the air unpolluted by the usual hum of construction and motorbikes. Even the international airport shuts up shop for the day. Sanur beach […]

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