Residents of a village in Bali are planning to conduct a purification ceremony to cleanse their Hindu temple after catching an Estonian couple engaged in a sex act inside, a village official has said. “We are still looking for an auspicious day to hold the cleansing ceremony,” said Wayan Candra, head of customs and tradition at Saraseda village, located in the Tampaksiring subdistrict of Gianyar.
On Wednesday, a local youth leader who was inspecting the newly renovated parts of the village temple stumbled on the couple, Urmas Silman, 43, and Katrin Silman, 32, who were having sex after bathing in the temple’s sacred water fountain. Angry villagers took the couple to the local police station, but after questioning they were later released. The couple apologized and said that they were unaware that it was forbidden to have sex within the temple compound.
“We didn’t detain the two and we’ve made them understand that what they did was wrong,” a police spokesman said. “As for any punishment that they should receive, we are leaving that in the hands of the local village custodians.” In a meeting between the tourists and village elders, also attended by the district chief, Anak Agung Gde Bharata, it was agreed that the two would pay a fine of Rp 20 million ($2,060), to go toward the cost of the purification ceremony.
Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, the chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said the incident highlighted the need for a campaign educating tourists on the proper conduct when inside temple compounds. “The prohibition on engaging in sex inside temples should be specifically added to existing notice boards. Hopefully there will be no more incidents like this in the future,” Ardana said.