Internet services in Bali, Indonesia, will be switched off for 24 hours on Saturday to mark Nyepi, an annual “sacred day of reflection,” according to the Guardian.
“Nyepi, or New Year according to the ancient Balinese calendar, is a sacred day of reflection on the Hindu-majority island. Even the international airport shuts down,” reported the Guardian on Thursday. “This year authorities have called on telecommunications companies to unplug – a request Bali says firms have promised to honour.”
It will be the first year where internet services will be largely unavailable, however “wifi connection will still be available at hotels and for strategic services such as security, aviation, hospitals and disaster agencies,” and it is still being debated as to whether private internet access in homes should be switched off.
“It was agreed that internet on mobile phones will be cut. All operators have agreed,” declared the Bali communications ministry’s Nyoman Sujaya, while Balinese governor Made Pastika joked, “If the internet is disconnected, people will not die… I will turn off my gadgets during Nyepi.”
Gusti Ngurah Sudiana praised the decision, expressing, “Many Hindu people are addicted to gadgets… I hope during Nyepi they can be introspective.”
“Non-Hindus, including the tourists who flock to the tropical paradise, are asked to stay in their homes or hotels,” explained AFP. “Cars and motorcycles are not allowed on the road except in the case of an emergency, while lights inside homes and street lights are switched off.”