Update to last week’s holy Day of Nyepi (did anyone go surfing)?

Wednesday last week was the Balinese holy day of Nyepi, wherein everyone stays indoors and does nothing that is not slothful (well for expats), such as listening to that strange remarkable sound that is the silence of motorbikes and traffic, filled with birdsong. Either more birds sing on Nyepi than on any other day of the year or else you’re just getting a chance to hear them.

Your blog correspondent heard rumors that at Keramas, some surfers paddle out on Nyepi to enjoy the empty lineup. I must admit I was only partially skeptical. If you live in this country long enough, you learn that “all things an be arranged.” But the Balinese have become quite zealous in enforcing the laws (if not exactly the spirit) of Nyepi, in part as a way of saying loud and clear “Hey, this island is still ours.”

So early morning on Nyepi day, I logged onto the Keramas wave cam operated by Bali Belly. The web camera is a rotating one, that swings from a view down the coast back up to the main peak. When I logged on, the camera was aimed down the beach. I waited for it to swing to the peak, but it didn’t. You couldn’t tell if surfers were out in the water. I thought, aha, maybe it is true that there is surfing and somebody figured they’d better not broadcast this to the world (a single video grab of surfers out in the water on Nyepi and posted on social media would have gotten wide and agitated attention here in Bali.)

But if somebody was going to the trouble to aim the camera elsewhere, why not just take it out of service for the day?

I went off to listen to the un-sound of no scooters and to the birds and returned an hour later to the webcam view. Lo and behold, it had rotated to the main peak and this was the view:

keramas nyepi

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6 Responses to Update to last week’s holy Day of Nyepi (did anyone go surfing)?

  1. robert says:

    My family and I have always enjoyed and appreciated Nyepi, one day out of 365 that Bali get’s to shut down & relax. I’ve always noticed how the birds seem to come out in greater numbers and how they seem to know that this is their special day. The peace & quiet is something infinitely special, there to be enjoyed & respected by all.

    Why the need for many to have to ‘ get out ‘ for one day is beyond me but each to his own.

    The day following Nyepi I was disappointed to hear that an old friend of mine, let’s call him
    ‘ The Worlds SECOND Oldest Grommet ‘ A long time Bali expat, felt the need to go to Balian with his crew and go surfing. While I respect & admire my friends passion and commitment to surfing
    [ especially at his age ] I don’t respect anyone disregarding the Balinese way of life, their religion & beliefs.

    Surely surfing ‘ only ‘ 364 days per year is enough ?

    To the vast majority of Surfers who did abide by the rules, may Huey bless you ..


  2. Doddsy says:

    Wow no one out hahaha. Maybe they were all surfed out by then? Or everyone did the right thing. …. (What Robert Said! )

    • It was possible a few guys had a pre-dawn to dawn session. In our neighborhood, rules are a bit lax until about 7 am, people still out on the lanes doing last minute stuff (although all the warungs are shut)

  3. Chance em says:

    Did you happen to see the video from nyepi day at Keramas. The buoy in the take off zone looks a lot like a bobbing head in the line up!

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