Tuesday, March 13, 2018

a "day of silence" in Bali

Not least because they are the oldest kids on the religious block, I have to concede that I have a soft spot in my heart for the Hindus. Hindus have been around the block that other, less-adult religions continue to circle like dogs chasing their tails. Hindus are willing to laugh. They have a lot of bling, just like any other spiritual persuasion, so my skepticisms are not entirely laid to rest, but still, if the Hindus suggest, I am likely to listen, however briefly.

Now the largely-Hindu Bali has gotten the phone companies to agree to shut down media access to mark the "day of silence," a day on which the new year is recognized.
The head of the Bali office of Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications, Nyoman Sujaya, said Tuesday that all phone companies have agreed to shut down the mobile internet for 24 hours during “Nyepi,” a day marking New Year on the predominantly Hindu island.
That means smartphones won’t connect to the internet, shutting off access to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram and instant messaging apps.
“Let’s rest a day, free from the internet to feel the calm of the mind,” said Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, head of the Indonesian Hinduism Society. “Many Hindu people are addicted to gadgets,” he said. “I hope during Nyepi they can be introspective.”
There are some exceptions -- hospitals, cops, etc. -- but to declare a holiday from electronic addictions is ... well, it makes me feel some sort of cosmic relief. At least someone is trying to reconfigure restless and dissatisfied minds. It's just one day, so the penance is hardly unendurable: Shut up for a while.

I get a sense of the scritchy-scratchies when I think of an institutionalized, blanket ruling, but still the allure of just putting a cork in it for a while ... what a good idea. There may be blowback and stumbling and yes-but's ... and still I like it.

Shut up for a while.

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