The Australian government has warned its citizens who wish to travel to Bali during the Hindu Nyepi New Year on 16 March to respect local laws and regulations.
Thursday, 21 January 2010 | 14:49 WIB
KOMPAS.com - Australians traveling to Bali in March have been warned to respect strict laws surrounding the local new year. Custom requires that all people in Bali observe a day of silence from 6am on Tuesday, March 16 until 6am Wednesday, March 17 - the Balinese New Year.
Authorities require that all people in Bali stay indoors, make no noise and switch off all lights for the duration of this period. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs says tourists must remain in their hotels during this 24-hour period and seek the advice of hotel management regarding movement around the hotel grounds.
Balinese across the island strictly observe this tradition and people leaving their homes or hotels between between these times risk being forcibly returned to their homes or hotels by Balinese traditional village level security personnel.
DFAT says this is an important cultural event for the people of Bali and Australians are urged to be sensitive and strictly observe local custom to avoid giving offense. The Australian Consulate-General in Bali will be closed on Tuesday, March 16 and reopen at 8am on Wednesday, March 17, 2010
DFAT's general travel advice for Indonesia remains unchanged and includes a warning of the possibility of terror attacks. Three Australians were among the nine people killed in the suicide bombings at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta last July.
I hope that all foreigners, not just Australians, who are traveling to Bali and other regions in Indonesia would always respect local laws, regulations, religious rituals and customary traditions. That way their stay here would be safe and joyful.