Balinese authorities are banning western holiday-makers using sacred religious temples as aesthetic backgrounds for saucy social media snaps.
The move follows a steady increase in tourists visiting the island, known for being a cheap and paradise-like holiday destination.
Disrespectful behavior from the growing number of foreign tourists visiting sacred places of worship have sparked anger among the masses, PerthNow reported.
A bikini-clad woman performed the downward dog yoga position in front of a Balinese temple
Balinese authorities look set to ban western holiday-makers using sacred religious temples as aesthetic backgrounds for social media snaps
Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, chairman of the Bali-based Indonesia Hindu Society said: ‘We’ve seen cases of tourists playing the guitar, stealing artefacts and even engaging in immoral conduct at temples.’
‘Such insolent behaviour is an insult to Hindus and must not happen again.’
He claims western tourists have been seen sitting on holy shrines, with a Danish tourist drawing outrage earlier this month for sharing a photo of himself sitting on the Linggih Padmasana shrine.
Authorities in Bali are planning on stopping tourists from posing in bikinis in front of sacred temples – after criticising the ‘quality of tourists’ visiting the Indonesian island (pictured tourist posing in front of erupting volcano)
The proposed crackdown follows a move by Cambodian authorities in 2016 to stop tourists from wearing skimpy clothing
The shrine is reserved for Balinese Hinduism’s most important deity, and it is considered offensive for tourists to sit on it.
Mr Sudiana said a group of government representatives and Hindu religious leaders had been established to draft new rules relating to the operation of Hindu temples.
‘Temples that are primarily used for worship will always be locked (when there are no prayer sessions), and those wishing to enter to pray will have to ask the guardian,’ he said.
In 2016, a picture of a bikini-clad woman performing the downward dog yoga position in front of another Balinese temple provoked criticism on social media.
Disrespectful behavior from the growing number of foreign tourists visiting sacred places of worship have sparked anger among the masses
And in 2017, pictures flooded social media of tourists posing in front of Bali’s Mount Agung volcano as it spewed black ash and threatened to erupt.
The island has become one of south-east Asia’s most popular tourist destinations for westerners in recent years, and attracted more than five million visitors in 2017 alone.
And while the surge in popularity is great for the nation’s economy, the lack of awareness and understanding of the masses religion and spirituality is detrimentally impacting the way people practice their faith in areas inundated with tourists.
It comes only days after Balinese authorities proposed implementing a law similar to that of Cambodia, where people are banned from wearing offensive or skimpy clothing in the midst of sacred temples.
The proposed crackdown would see bikinis banned near temples, whereas Cambodia’s 2016 law included a ban on clothing which exposed knees and shoulders.
The island has become one of south-east Asia’s most popular tourist destinations for westerners in recent years, and attracted more than five million visitors last year