A Czech couple have been forced to apologise after they were accused of dishonouring a holy temple in Bali.
A video showing the couple washing the woman’s crotch area with holy water from a Hindu temple went viral over the weekend.
It sparked outrage among Indonesians and reignited the debate on tourism in Bali.
The video, which was first uploaded as a story to the Instagram account of the woman, Sabina Dolezalova, has since been captured and shared widely by others.
The video also shows her boyfriend, Zdenek Slouka, splashing water from a pelinggih (shrine) on Dolezalova’s butt.
Balinese designer Niluh Djelantik reacted furiously to the video.
She said in an Instagram post: “Bali will drown if we can’t protect ourselves and be selective with the types of tourists that visit the island.”
The couple uploaded an apology video not long after receiving a torrent of abuse online.
Slouka said: “We are so sorry about the video from yesterday, we dishonored the holy temple and holy water in Ubud, and we didn’t know it.
According to a statement issued by the Gianyar Police, Slouka and Dolezalova held a meeting with officials from Padangtegal village (where the temple is located) on Sunday and the matter has been considered ‘taken care of’.
They messaged Niluh (which the designer shared on her account), and the couple again apologized and claimed it was hard for them to recognize which places are holy because they are atheists.
However, the apology was seen as inadequate by many Indonesians.
“Atheist does not mean you can disrespect others’ beliefs. And Bali is known as Pulau Dewata [Island of the Gods], so Bali is holy.
“Not knowing” is not a valid excuse to disrespect a religion. This is frustrating,” Instagram user @_cunique commented.