More Nyepi Parades Banned

GIANYAR ~ During a forum attended by Gianyar Regency village heads, a decision was made to ban traditional Balinese New Year (Nyepi) parades, following a similar decision in Denpasar, an official said.

The forum was held in Samuantiga Temple, Bedulu, after last week’s announcement by Denpasar officials to ban the colorful and raucous processions held on the eve of Bali’s Day of Silence, which this year falls on March 26.

Gianyar representative A.A. Alit Asmara said the traditional parades of giant effigies of evil spirits (ogoh-ogoh) could spark problems between supporters of different political parties during the current political-campaign season, resulting in social unrest.

However, he said many children had already made their ogoh-ogoh, and would be disappointed by the ban, so smaller “children only” parades would be allowed.

Gianyar Police chief I Nyoman Astawa said he agreed with the ban, saying they had to think about the safety of the province and its residents, but were torn by the decision because ogoh-ogoh parades were a long-running tradition.

Astawa said officers would be monitoring the villages to prevent the construction of large ogoh-ogoh.

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One Response to “More Nyepi Parades Banned”

  1. maria ziegler Says:

    As a foreigner, although because of birth, closely “related”, I feel not really empowered to voice an opinion. I do not know whether Hindu Balinese will be very upset.
    I think , to allow children, to be able to make the effigies and parade them, an excellent idea.
    So an old custom, based in the Hindu religeon can still be expressed.
    This is very important,in times of great change.