Monday, March 7, 2011

KUTA, Indonesia — The resort island of Bali fell quiet over the weekend as the authorities shut down its airport and seaports, and switched off all radio and television transmissions. Its streets, normally jammed with tourists, were deserted as security guards patrolled the island, ensuring that locals and foreigners alike stayed indoors, and even exhorting them to turn off their lights.

Kuta, a rowdy Bali beach resort, lost its usual din.
The authorities closed down Bali not to stamp down on political unrest, but to mark the annual Day of Silence, a Balinese Hindu holiday called Nyepi that ushers in the New Year. For a full 24 hours starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, Balinese Hindus were urged to remain silent and engage in introspection.

The New York Times

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