Balinese people stand together during the Melasti ceremony at Kuta beach on the island of Bali on March 18, 2015. Melasti is a purification festival which is held several days before "Nyepi", a day of silence, when Hindus on the island of Bali are not allowed to work, travel or take part in any indulgence. The Indonesian holiday island of Bali shuts down for the day of silence to mark the Hindu new year. (AFP Photo/Sonny Tumbelaka)

Jokowi Jets to Yogya to Reflect on Meaning of Life


MARCH 20, 2015

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo and the first lady, Iriana Widodo, departed to Yogyakarta this morning wearing Balinese attire to participate at in the Tawur Kesanga ritual in the yard of Prambanan Temple to mark Nyepi, or the Day of Silence.

Nyepi is a Hindu holiday to mark the New Year in which adherents to the faith forgo day-to-day activities for 24 hours, starting from sunrise, in favor of quiet reflection.

“Nyepi is to contemplate the essential meaning of life in the world,” Jokowi said at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport before departing for Yogyakarta.

On arrival at 9 a.m. the president and his entourage were welcomed by the king of Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengkubowono X, and his wife, Kanjeng Ratu Hemas.

The president was keen to point to the observation of the minority Hindu holiday as instructive of Indonesia's strength as a pluralistic society.