Bali Officials Search for Tourist Filmed Meditating Nude at Temple


Key Takeaways

  • A foreign tourist has come under fire for meditating naked at a Hindu temple in Bali, igniting public outrage.
  • Officials meticulously search for the individual as the clip circulates on social media.
  • Bali has been grappling with the repercussions of tourism and foreign expatriates, which sometimes clash with local culture and economic equity.

A naked foreign tourist meditating at a Hindu temple in Bali has sparked a search by local officials.

According to a New York Post report, the indecent act was filmed and shared online, gaining widespread attention, particularly after being shared by community group “canggu_bali” and reported by influencer and Balinese shoe designer Ni Luh Djelantik.

The man, adorned only with a necklace, was filmed in a meditative pose before a shrine.

Despite the video’s wide circulation, the name and nationality of the individual and the exact location of the clip remain undisclosed as authorities continue their search.

The act was fiercely criticized by Djelantik, who labeled it “disrespectful” and called upon authorities for immediate action.

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She shared several posts concerning the incident, one of which contextualized the incident from the perspective of the foreign individual claiming ownership over the land following a defaulted loan agreement with a local farmer.

Bali has previously issued a list of dos and don’ts for tourists to maintain the “quality and dignity” of Bali’s tourism sector.

The guidelines include 20 rules with severe consequences for non-compliance, including penalties and legal proceedings under Indonesian law.

The report noted that Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster has warned tourists against misconduct, including trespassing on sacred places and taking indecent or nude photos.

The incident highlights Bali’s ongoing crackdown on misbehaving tourists, with over 200 people deported from Bali within the first eight months of the year.

Broader Context of Tourism in Bali

The incident is set against rising concerns around “travel colonialism” in Bali, where the dreamy narrative sold to tourists often contrasts with the reality locals face.

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According to a ModernDiplomacy report, the affordability of Bali, due to the weaker Indonesian rupiah compared to foreign currencies, has been a lure for many foreigners, bringing economic benefits and problems like gentrification.

A surge in foreign digital nomads, drawn by the low-cost living, has further exacerbated income disparities and led to issues like rising real estate prices, pushing locals to the suburbs.

The commercialization and capitalization of Balinese culture for tourist consumption also emerged as concerns, with traditional dances being altered to cater to tourist preferences, often at the expense of their sacred essence and the economic well-being of local performers.

What Do We Think

This incident highlights the delicate balance Bali strives to maintain as a global tourist hotspot while preserving its rich cultural heritage and ensuring economic equity for its residents.

It calls for a renewed emphasis on responsible tourism, respect for local customs and laws, and a fair economic structure that benefits the local community and visitors.

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