An Instagram influencer from Russia who posted a nude photo of herself in front of a sacred tree has been deported from Bali, the Independent reported. Notably, the 40-year-old woman, identified as Luiza Kosykh irked Balinese communities after she uploaded photos on her Instagram account. The pictures showed her posing nude next to the Kayu Putih (weeping paperbark) sacred tree at Bali’s Tabanan temple.
Notably, mountains, trees and other natural features are considered holy in Balinese Hindu culture, as they are thought to be the homes of the gods.
An entrepreneur Ni Luh Djelantik posted the photos on Instagram and criticised the tourist in a strongly-worded caption. ”To all foreigner(s) who disrespect our land, Bali is our home, not yours! Do you think you’ll look cool taking naked pictures (s) on our holy trees? Go back to your country if you can’t respect our tradition and culture,” she wrote.
However, the woman claimed that the nude photograph was taken a few years ago and that she did not know the tree was considered sacred.
Nevertheless, Mrs Kosykh was arrested by Indonesian authorities on April 12. 3 days later, she left Bali’s Denpasar on a late Sunday flight to Moscow, Bali legal and human rights agency official I Nengah Sukadana told AFP.
The Russian woman, who claims to be a property investor, entered Bali in January using a temporary-stay visa which would have been valid until December of next year.
”Not all tourists know what’s allowed and what’s not allowed in Bali. So we urge locals to pay close attention to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” local legal and human rights agency official Anggiat Napitupulu told a press conference on Sunday.
With this, she has become the second woman to pose naked with the same 700-year-old sacred tree in less than a year. Last year, another Russian yoga influencer named Alina Fazleeva, posed naked on the tree, angering local Hindus. The incident made international headlines and following public backlash, Ms Fazleeva deleted the images and posted an apology video.
She was deported from the island along with her husband and was banned from re-entering Bali for at least six months. Before their deportation, the couple also had to participate in a cleansing ceremony at the sacred area in accordance with local belief.