Observe silence to fight global warming...
The proposal harks back to a traditional Balinese festival when everything is switched off and shut down for 24 hours, to try to persuade demons that the island is uninhabited and thus without fresh souls for them to steal.world Updated: Dec 05, 2007 17:11 IST
Hindu priests on the island of Bali, where the world's nations are gathered to come up with an answer for global warming, think they have one solution -- a day of silence.
The proposal harks back to a traditional Balinese festival when everything is switched off and shut down for 24 hours, to try to persuade demons that the island is uninhabited and thus without fresh souls for them to steal.
"We learn from our ancestors to respect the wishes of nature," said Bhagawandwija, a 63-year-old priest who has been handing out leaflets outside the international climate change conference taking place here.
"Imagine if all the countries in the world observed one day of silence!"
Indonesia's Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said many locals on this resort island, which has long attracted visitors from around the globe, believe the world should copy the festival's silence.
"Many people in Bali propose that if possible the world has a silent day -- not working, all electricity off," he told reporters. "We save one day."
In the island's rich Hindu heritage, the Nyepi festival is the time when evil spirits return to Earth. To persuade them there are no souls left to haunt, Bali shuts down almost entirely.
All restaurants and discos close, to the great annoyance of tourists who do not realise they are being protected from malignant forces.
Airliners are grounded and the roads are deserted.