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Denpasar, Bali

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Give the Earth a Rest!

Community Activists Propose that 'Nyepi' Ė Bali's Official Day of Silence' be Adopted as a Day of Rest for Mother Earth.

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Numerous political activists with varying political agendas are expected to try to make Bali their stage for protests and street theatre during The U.N. Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December 3-14, 2007. Included among those wishing their voice to be heard will be a "people's power" group of local residents and Balinese planning a cultural parade to coincide with the conference.

Dubbing themselves the "Bali Civil Society Coalition," a spokesman told Tempo Interaktif that numerous environment and community-action non-governmental organizations have joined forces to ensure the voice of the Balinese people is not lost amidst the din of the important international conference.

A day-long demonstration centered at Denpasar's Lapangan Field is scheduled for the group including the reading of a "Declaration from the People of Bali" calling for the Balinese day of absolute silence Nyepi to be declared an "international moment" to provide the earth a day of much-needed rest from the relentless assault of mankind.

Nyepi - a Balinese word for silence, is the name given to the first day of Balinese lunar calendar when it is the religious obligation of every Balinese Hindu to dedicate an entire day to quiet introspection and spiritual cleansing. During this day, the entire island of Bali comes to a complete standstill; the airport closes, streets resemble ghost towns and visitors are confined to their hotels for a 24 hour period.

Nyepi will take place on March 7, 2008.

The "demonstration" at Bali's largest city park will adopt a celebratory atmosphere with traditional music and dance together with a day-long concert of rock, pop, jazz and reggae music. Dances will also be presented by a special troupe from the Indian Cultural Center in Bali.

The cultural parade, concert and people's bazaar is intended to provide an outlet for the Balinese people who wish to have a voice and be heard during the important climate change conference.

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