Bali will be turning off all mobile internet connections during the upcoming Nyepi celebrations. The unusual arrangement comes after religious and civil leaders made a request to the government in early March; the second time that they have attempted to implement the 24-hour shut down.
Nyepi, or Day of Silence, is a Hindu new year celebrated on the island of Bali. 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. Some even go as far as not talking or eating for the day.
The hope is that taking away mobile internet will allow Balinese Hindus to drag themselves away from gadgets and take time for self reflection.
That in mind, it is only mobile internet that will be halted for the day. Other internet access will function as normal; meaning that people will still be able to get online through WiFi connections across the island.
Bali’s airport is also being shut down for the celebration, and will stop functioning for 24 hours from 0600 on Saturday. All in observance of the ‘no travel’ rule that is being observed.
The Balinese government has also announced that this arrangement will be the norm from now on; with all future Nyepi celebrations seeing mobile internet and airports being closed.