BALI: Once again this year, the people of Bali celebrated the Hindu Day of Silence, Nyepi, in remarkable harmony. Muslims and other non-Hindus on the island showed respect for the Saka New Year observance. Nyepi has four solemn restrictions: no fire, no working, no traveling and no entertainment or pleasure for 24 hours. Some refrain from eating and talking as well. Special rituals are carried out the day before and the day after.
The Balinese are always respectful towards their Muslim neighbours, a Muslim leader on the predominantly Hindu island confirmed. About 12% of Bali’s 3.5m residents are Muslim, government data shows. “We will continue to consistently tolerate and work together to prevent any possible conflicts. We will keep a good relationship,” said Mulyono Setiawan, head of the Bali regional board of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation.
“We urged Muslims in Bali and elsewhere not to disturb the celebration of Nyepi. It is an important Hindu celebration,” Mulyono told Khabar Southeast Asia.
Read more: Communal Harmony