Indonesia’s authorities have deported a Russian woman who posed for photos in front of a sacred tree in Bali.Luiza Kosykh, a 40-year-old tourist, uploaded photos on her Instagram of her posing next to the Kayu Putih (weeping paperbark) sacred tree at Bali’s Tabanan temple.
The Hindus and the Buddhists in Bali, Indonesia consider the 700-year-old tree sacred.
Ni Luh Djelantik, an entrepreneur, criticised the tourist on social media and reported her to the Balinese authorities. This is the second time in nearly a year that a tourist has been accused of disrespecting the sacred tree.
Indonesian authorities arrested a Russian citizen named Ms Kosykh on April 12 for allegedly taking nude photos at a sacred tree in Bali. However, on Monday, a Bali legal and human rights official named Nengah Sukadana stated that Ms Kosykh had left Denpasar, Bali, and boarded a flight to Moscow a day earlier.
According to some local news reports, Ms Kosykh claimed that the photoshoot had taken place a few years ago, and she was unaware that the tree was considered sacred. Meanwhile, an official from Bali’s legal and human rights agency named Anggiat Napitupulu urged locals to pay close attention to prevent similar incidents from happening again, saying that not all tourists are aware of what is allowed and what is not allowed in Bali.
The incident sparked outrage among many Indonesians, who viewed it as a disrespectful act towards their culture and religion. Bali is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to numerous sacred sites that are revered by the Balinese people. As a result, the Indonesian government has been cracking down on behavior that is deemed disrespectful towards the island’s culture and traditions.
In May last year, Russian Instagram influencer Alina Fazleeva took photos beside the tree and was also reported to the authorities.