Official in Bali's eastern regency of Klungkung have opted to play it safe and cancel traditional ogoh-ogoh celebrations on the eve of Nyepi, March 30, 2014.
As reported on balidiscovery.com Politics – A Topic Best Avoided,
Election officials in Bali have expressed concerns that the traditional ogoh-ogoh displays of Papier-mâché floats carried aloft on the shoulders of young men to mark the transition to the Hindu New Year on March 30, 2014, might ferment political unrest and insurrection just before the legislative elections scheduled 10 days later on April 9, 2014.
Tahun Isaka 1936 that dawns on March 31, 2014, will be welcomed this year in the eastern Balinese regency of Klungkung without the preliminary celebrations of ogoh-ogoh parades.
I Ketut Rupia Arsana, speaking on bahalf of Klungkung's traditional villages (Desa Pakraman) in the NusaBali, said, "It's been agreed, there will be no ogoh-ogoh competition."
Arsana explained that the decision to cancel ogoho-ogoh festivities this year was a decision agreed with culture and tourism agencies (Disbudpar) of the government.
If any ogoh-ogoh activities do take place this year in Klungkung they will be no competition between villages with parades strictly confined to the village in which the ogoh-ogoh is made. And then, any ogoh-ogoh made for local entertainment must be free of all political attributes - including party symbols and the likeness of political candidates or political figures.
Local officials are calling on religious leaders, traditional community representatives and politicians to avoid mixing politics and religion during the celebrations leading up to the official day of silence - Nyepi on March 31, 2014.
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