Bali going quiet for 'Day of Silence'

Associated Press

Sometimes, you might turn off your home internet or cell network so you can disconnect and enjoy down time, but how often do you hear a country doing that for you?

Bali's airport is also being shut down for the celebration, and will stop functioning for 24 hours from 0600 on Saturday.

Nyoman Sujaya, the Bali office chief of Indonesia's communications ministry, announced the plan on Tuesday but said other internet access would operate as usual. "Many Hindu people are addicted to gadgets", Indonesian Hinduism Society head Gusti Ngurah Sudiana told the BBC.

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Indonesia has asked telecoms providers to shut down some mobile internet services in its holiday island of Bali on Saturday, to respect the predominantly Hindu island's New Year "day of silence".

Such spots including hospitals, banks, and certain public places will be running, said Merza Fachys, president director of Smartfren, another service provider.

Religious and civil leaders, in the police and the military, made the request to the Indonesian government earlier in March.

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Apparently, Indonesia is one of the world's most connection nations; their government even shuts down the global airport on the day of silence. Practitioners see it as a time for self reflection, with four restrictions being observed during this time - no fire, no travel, no activity and no entertainment.

Mobile internet providers have been asked to shut down service, except for essential public services.

Balinese men walk under flaming coconut leaves at Pundukdawa village during cleansing procession from evil spirit called "Mebubu" before Nyepi, the annual day of silence marking Balinese Hindu new year in Bali.

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