Good day from Bali!
Today, Hindu Balinese celebrates one of the most important day in the Balinese traditional calendar; Galungan, a day to celebrate the victory of good over evil which also marks the beginning of the most important recurring religious ceremonies, including Kuningan, 10 days after. Some schools get week long holidays while government offices and private offices get Galungan day off. Expect less traffic congestions on the main roads, yet big religious ceremonies and parades. After Galungan day, tourist destinations will be packed as Balinese families will conduct what’s called Umanis Galungan, a tradition of visiting relatives and family recreation after prayers.
In just one week, Zika cases in Singapore have gone from zero to 258, raising concerns about a potential rapid surge in cases across Asia. It’s not yet clear why Zika has spread so suddenly in Singapore. Many of the cases are thought to be locally-transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Philippines confirmed on Monday its first case of the Zika virus this year and said it was “highly likely” it had been locally transmitted, and it expected more cases after stepping up surveillance while for Indonesia, a health official in Indonesia said that they cannot afford to thoroughly check for a possible Zika outbreak.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists Indonesia among Asian countries with possible endemic transmission of, or evidence of, local Zika infections, but authorities in the sprawling country of 250 million people have yet to report any recent infections.
For all of our Balinese friends, we’d like to wish you a blessed Galungan day!