A young German tourist could potentially face imprisonment after she disrupted a sacred Balinese dance performance at a temple in Ubud by stripping naked and storming the stage.
The incident, involving 28-year-old Darja Tuschinski, was captured in a now-viral video that shows her calmly approaching the stage while the dancers remained composed and professional.
In the footage, filmed earlier this week, the backpacker is seen ascending the temple stairs and attempting to open a door, while a local man tries to stop her. Despite his efforts, she manages to barge through the door and proceeds to descend and kneel in front of the stage, appearing to engage in prayer.
Bali Police spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto stated to Coconuts Bali, a local media outlet, that “the female foreigner went naked on the stage of Saraswati Ubud Temple owned by Tjokorda Ngurah Suyadnya AKA Cok Wah.”
The incident sparked a backlash online, with locals expressing their disapproval. One person questioned why immediate action wasn’t taken to provide the woman with clothing and ensure her safety, particularly since a Balinese dance performance was underway. Another expressed sadness at witnessing such behavior, while a third pointed out the clash between the woman’s actions and the traditional spiritual and cultural values of Bali.
According to the authorities, the incident occurred on Monday around 8 pm. Prior to barging into the dance show and removing her clothes, the woman had engaged in an argument with a staff member at the temple’s ticket booth. Temple staff intervened, pulling Tuschinski off the stage and handing her over to the Ubud police.
Watch Watch Naked Foreigner Viral on the Balinese Dance Stage
It was reported that Tuschinski had a habit of walking around naked at Ubud Bungalow, where she was staying. Local council chief Wayan Widana informed Radar Bali, another local media outlet, that Tuschinski had a history of mental health issues and had been taken to the Bangli Mental Institution.
Indonesian officials have been increasingly vocal about their frustration with disruptive tourists. Travelers, particularly Australians, have been warned to familiarize themselves with local laws and customs to avoid hefty fines or deportation.
Ravindra Singh Shekhawat, the general manager for Bali operations at Melbourne-based tour company Intrepid Travel, shared his observations, noting that although only a small percentage of tourists behave poorly, there has been a recent increase in such incidents. He mentioned instances of tourists arguing with local police over not wearing helmets or violating traffic laws. In response to unruly behavior, the police have stepped up routine checks, including driver’s license and DUI checks.
The Indonesian government is considering implementing a “tourist tax” of up to $150 to discourage misconduct and prevent Bali from being seen solely as a budget-friendly destination. Bali Tourism Board chairman Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana stated that the tax would contribute to improving the quality of tourists and prevent the influx of problematic visitors associated with cheaper destinations.