Balinese Authorities are Dressing up as Folklore Characters to Educate Tourists Who Aren’t Wearing Masks

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There seems to be no shortage of gimmicks when it comes to urging people to wear face masks nowadays. From dressing up as pontianak, pocong and jailing offenders in haunted houses, authorities and citizens are doing the most when it comes to curbing the coronavirus.

In Bali, the situation is no different. Tourists are still refusing to wear face masks despite the upsurge of Covid-19 cases, so authorities had to get creative with their methods.

As you can see from this viral clip, a Mat Salleh tourist and his companion are riding idly on their bike without a face mask on, heading to the Yeh Gangga Beach in Tabanan. They’re then stopped by Balinese authorities wearing traditional costumes who then urge the tourists to wash their hands and put on masks.

The costumes seen in the video are popular within Balinese folklore and their names are Ravana (demon king), Hanuman (divine monkey) and Sangut (known in shadow puppeteering or Wayang Kulit).


According to the video, there is currently no physical border for the beach and authorities are choosing to barricade it themselves, as they can educate tourists and locals about the virus at the same time. It also doesn’t hurt that tourists are being exposed to Balinese culture and learning to appreciate its importance to the people.

source: Straits Times

This method of performance art as education regarding the virus was not an isolated incident. In Bandung, several police officers are dressing-up as the terrifying Leyak (pronounced ‘Le-ak’), which is known as being an evil, cannibalistic entity that feeds off human organs (especially those belonging to pregnant women).

The Leak is feared amongst Balinese for being that scary monster you see at night, so when police officers began wearing the Leak masks, many locals and tourists were understandably scared straight. To hammer it in, the officers carried around megaphones to spread their message and alert everyone about the dangers of coronavirus and how to prevent themselves from catching it.


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The Indonesians sure know how to effectively and grandiosely deliver a message because their methods have been going viral every time. Not only are they educating us on the virus, but they’re also portraying their deep appreciation for their culture, thus showing us, the onlookers, its beauty as well.

With that, stay safe and stay at home or else the Leak will eat your kidneys!

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