Monday, July 4, 2022

Bali to deport man for dancing naked at sacred mountain

Jeffrey Craigen claims he did not know the mountain was a holy site.

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A Canadian actor and self-proclaimed wellness guru is facing deportation from Indonesia’s Bali island after a video of him dancing naked at a sacred mountain went viral.

Jeffrey Craigen posted a video of himself doing the Haka – a ceremonial dance in New Zealand’s Maori culture – while nude on top of Mount Batur, a volcano considered holy by many Balinese.

He was detained and questioned on Monday following a deluge of complaints from social media users accusing him of disrespecting Balinese religious values.

Craigen is currently awaiting deportation – but authorities say airlines are reluctant to help because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Airlines have not agreed (to transport him),” the head of Denpasar immigration office Tedy Riyandi told AFP Tuesday.

He will be put on a blacklist preventing him from entering Bali for the foreseeable future, officials said.

Craigen has been in Indonesia since late 2019 as a tourist and to study alternative treatments for osteoporosis, the head of Bali’s immigration office Jamaruli Manihuruk said.

He has claimed he did not know the mountain was a holy site.

“To all foreigners who visit Bali, please act accordingly by respecting our law and Balinese cultural values,” Manihuruk said.

Bali is no stranger to badly behaved tourists. Last year almost 200 people were deported from the island, some of them for violating Covid-19 protocols.

In 2019, a Czech couple were widely condemned after a video showed the woman laughing at a Balinese temple while her partner splashed her backside with holy water.

They were required to take part in a purification ritual led by a Hindu priest.

Tourism in Bali had been crippled by the pandemic over the last two years.

But it has begun to bounce back after the island scrapped quarantines for vaccinated tourists and reintroduced visas on arrival for nationals of several dozen countries.

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