Authorities in Bali are looking for a tourist who posted several videos on social media showing him meditating naked in front of a Hindu shrine. The content was then redistributed by community group page canggu_bali and Balinese influencer and shoe designer Ni Luh Djelantik, who drew attention to the disrespectful practice and asked for the man to be deported.
We are fed up with the behaviour of trash tourists who insult our homeland.Ni Luh Djelantik, Balinese influencer and shoe designer
“So disrespectful. Meditating nak*d on our temple? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F*CKIN MIND? How could you do this, humiliating Balinese and their belief? Immigration Officer please get this person, we’ve had enough! This is a humiliation to us Balinese people”, Ni Luh Djelantik wrote in the caption.
The original video, now deleted, was posted on an account under the tag of @julianzietlow, which now only has 2 posts of the man left. Soon after the media started picking up on the story and the backlash began, the man posted an explanation on a now completely deleted account, @autistic_digital_nomad, which Ni Luh Djelantik reshared on her own profile through a resharing app, making it still available on her page.
“This video has gone viral. But sadly not in a positive way. Let me give you some context before you judge me”, the caption over the video reads. “I met this Balinese rice farmer who was struggling to maintain his personal finances. I wanted to help him so I offered a loan. We agreed that he would put up his land as collateral. After he defaulted payments, legally the land was mine. As a compassionate digital nomad and content creator I decided to be kind.”
“After taking his house, field, and temples I decided to let him and his family stay in the one-bedroom guesthouse while it was being renovated to be put on Airbnb. So when others say I am meditating naked at a holy site, I want to let you know that they are wrong. I am actually meditating naked on MY OWN GOD DAMN LAND. People are so quick to judge these days. It’s important to be compassionate”, the explanation continues.
Although the exact location of the incident has not yet been determined, according to the New York Post, authorities have identified the man, but not disclosed his name and nationality. “We are in coordination with the Directorate of Intel and Security of the Bali Regional Police”, said Tedy Riyandi, Denpasar Immigration head. “We are working hard to track down the whereabouts of the foreigner and determine the time and location of the incident”, he added.
Since the reopening after the pandemic, Bali has been faced with an increasing number of tourists misbehaving and has started to take several measures in an attempt to limit the incidents. In July 2023, the regional government announced that, from 2024, a $10 tourist tax will be implemented to try and limit bad behaviour.
A month prior, local authorities announced tourists would be banned from climbing certain mountains and from sacred locations after a series of incidents, including dude photos in sacred places, filming pornographic videos on high peaks considered to be deities, risky driving and degradation of protected natural areas.