Gianyar – The conduct of foreign nationals (WNAs) in Bali has once again come under scrutiny. This time, two male tourists engaged in a heated dispute and nearly came to blows while participating in a purifying ritual at the Tirta Empul Temple in Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali. The altercation between the two foreign tourists was captured on camera and has since gone viral on social media.
The video of the altercation at Tirta Empul Temple was first uploaded by the TikTok account @ugcbyvyvy on Tuesday afternoon (16/1/2024). The account owner expressed regret that the conflict occurred in such a sacred place.
“BRINGING AWARENESS: Please, if you enter Pura Tirta Empul, respect the rules of the place and their religion. This is a sacred place, and if you cannot simply respect the people, please do not attend this place. He was very aggressive,” wrote the TikTok account owner.
Based on the circulated video, two men clad in blue fabric were seen arguing while participating in the purifying ritual at the bathing pool of Tirta Empul Temple. Melukat is a cleansing ceremony according to the traditions of Balinese Hinduism, involving washing oneself in the consecrated spring water.
It appeared that the WNA with short hair was pushing and shoving the bald-headed tourist. The altercation likely arose because one of them objected when they tried to take turns in the ritual. Fortunately, another tourist intervened, preventing the situation from escalating. However, the bald tourist continued to utter words of disagreement.
According to detikBali, which confirmed the incident with the owner of the TikTok account @ugcbyvyvy who uploaded the event at Tirta Empul Temple, many Hindu devotees were waiting for their turn to participate in the purifying ritual at the sacred pool.
“Yesterday’s incident, at that time, many people were performing rituals, both local Balinese and suddenly they started fighting, hitting each other,” said the account owner on Wednesday (18/1/2024).
“It was an unseemly act in the sacred area,” added the tourist who claimed to be staying in the Ubud area.
Kapolsek Tampaksiring, AKP I Putu Agus Ady Wijaya, confirmed the altercation between foreign tourists at Tirta Empul Temple. However, the case was not pursued as both parties had reconciled. “The incident happened yesterday. It has been handed over to the temple management, and they have settled it,” said Agus.
Agus mentioned that he had communicated with the local traditional village authorities regarding the incident. According to him, the situation at the location has returned to normal, and the activities of both residents and tourists participating in the purification ritual have resumed.
It is worth noting that Tirta Empul is one of the popular melukat locations in Bali. Many foreign tourists, celebrities, artists, and social media influencers visit the place to experience the melukat procession.