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Bali: a Canadian tourist deported for having danced naked on a sacred mountain

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A Canadian actor and wellness coach will be deported from Bali after posting a video that shows him dancing naked on a sacred mountain on the Indonesian island, local authorities have announced.

Jeffrey Craigen posted a video on Instagram where he is seen doing a haka, a Maori ritual dance from New Zealand, completely naked on Mount Batur, a volcano considered by many Balinese to be sacred.

The man was arrested and questioned on Monday after a wave of protests from Internet users who accused him of disrespecting Balinese beliefs.

Jeffrey Craigen is awaiting deportation but the authorities could not immediately put him on a flight because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

“The airlines did not agree to transport him” under these conditions, the immigration official of Denpasar, the Balinese capital, Tedy Riyandi, told AFP on Tuesday.

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The Canadian had been in Indonesia since 2019, first as a tourist and then to study alternative treatments for osteoporosis, Bali immigration officer Jamaruli Manihuruk said on Monday.

He claimed not to know that Mount Batur was a sacred site.

“To all foreigners visiting Bali, please behave in accordance with our Balinese cultural laws and values,” Jamaruli Manihuruk said.

Tourists disrespectful of Bali’s beliefs

Bali has had many incidents with tourists disrespectful of its laws and beliefs. Last year nearly 200 people were expelled from the island for violating health rules related to Covid-19.

In 2019, a Czech couple was bombarded with criticism for a video in which the man was seen sprinkling holy water on his girlfriend’s bottom at a Balinese temple.

Rawiri Waititi (right) compares the tie to 'a colonial noose'.

They then had to participate in a purification ritual led by a Hindu priest, the predominant religion on the island.

The tourism sector has suffered greatly in Bali during two years of the pandemic due to the closure of borders to foreign tourists.

But the sector has started to recover since authorities in March scrapped quarantine for vaccinated travelers and reinstated visas on arrival.

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