Friday, January 22, 2010

Australian Travel Warning

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.

Stay Indoors, Respect Traditions in Bali
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.

16 comments:

Helen said...

This is very interesting! I didn't know of this. Great advice, thanks for posting

H. Nizam said...

Helen,

Since the terrorists bombings in Bali and in Jakarta that killed many Australians, the Australian govt. has continuously warned its citizens about traveling to Indonesia.
I hope that there would not be any terrorist brutality in the future.

colson said...

Sensible information. Travelling abroad we always should keep this saying in mind: "In Rome do as the Romans do".

Though the possibility of be confronted with force if one doesn't comply with local customs, seems to be a little bit over the top to me.

H. Nizam said...

Colson,

"In Rome do as the Romans do".
That's what I always have in mind when I traveled abroad.

Re: Australian govt.'s warning
After four terrorists attacks that killed many of its citizens in Bali & Jakarta, it is obvious that the Australian govt. would not want to take any chances with any kind of possibilities.

Rob Baiton said...

Harry...

Can one respect all those things you mention without having to participate in the custom or religious practice itself?

Can I respect Nyepi, for example, without having to stay in doors and pray / meditate or not use electricity or other power for a whole day? I would ask a similar question of Ramadan or Eid.

H. Nizam said...

Rob,

It depends on the person.

For you who have been living quite long in Indonesia, working in the legal field, married to Indonesian woman, you would not do things that might disturb people who are celebrating Nyepi or fasting during Ramadan.

But there are many others who have just visited Indonesia therefore might not be aware about all that. For example Hellen who first commented on this post, is an Australian living in the US, said that she didn't know about this matter.

Such specific restrictions are also applied for all Indonesians, thus not only for foreigners.
Therefore there's no discrination here.

umihoney said...

Respect by observing the 'curfew' and not using any light doesn't mean we are participating in the ritual.We are not asked to pray nor meditate like the locals..its merely that.giving respect by adhering to the custom..if it's a hardship then visit on another date.The info is useful coz not knowing will cause a problem.

H. Nizam said...

Umihoney,

You are very right my friend.
Your comment clearly clarified this matter.
Every country has its own specific customs/traditions.

iswady said...

kenapa mesti travel warning? Bali kan aman.

H. Nizam said...

Iswady,

Khusus pada hari Nyepi 16 Maret masyarakat Bali merayakannya dengan tidak melakukan kegiatan dan tidak menyalakan lampu.
Pemerintah Australia khawatir kalau ada warganya yang tidak tahu atau tidak peduli tentang hal ini sehingga dapat mengakibatkan hal2 yang tidak diinginkan.

Terima kasih atas komentarnya.

Tony said...

This poat is great and i don't know for this info "Australian Travel Warning". Great advice.

H. Nizam said...

Tony,

Thank you for the kind words, have a nice weekend.

watsonrodrig said...

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H. Nizam said...

Watsonrodrig,

Thank you for the information about Australia.

Australian Visa Service said...

I think that any international or local travel should have a good preparation for the journey and it includes a few research about the customs and culture of the country to be visited. We don't want to end up offending people or ending up jail cause we didn't know that there are certain rules and regulation.

H. Nizam said...

Australian Visa Service,
You are very right.
And one the reason I built this blog is to provide information to foreigners about my country.