A Russian yogi influencer and her husband will be deported from Bali and cop a six-month ban from Indonesia after she was caught posing naked on a sacred tree.
In a now deleted post, Alina Fazleeva posed naked on a centuries-old tree located behind Babakan Temple in Bali’s Tabanan district.
The tree, which is known as Kayu Putih, is believed to be 700 years old.
Fazleeva’s post went viral after it was shared by prominent Balinese fashion designer and politician Niluh Djelantik, who encouraged her followers to report Fazleeva to immigration authorities and police.
Djelantik also posted a series of screenshots of a conversation with the Russian influencer, after Fazleeva sent her a message in Indonesian apologising for her post.
“Sorry and I really didn’t know this place was holy. I love Bali very much and that is the first time this has happened to me. I’m very sorry!” Fazleeva said in one of the messages.
Djelantik responded saying she found it “very ignorant” of Fazleeva to use Bali to promote her activities.
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Djelantik later posted calling for Fazleeva to pay the cost of the cleaning ceremony that would need to be carried out by locals.
She also referred to Fazleeva as a “trashy tourist” and told her to “go home”.
Fazleeva, who has 28.5 thousand followers on Instagram, has since made her account private, but ABC News reported she posted another image of herself offering prayers at the base of the tree while fully clothed.
“I apologise to all the people of Bali and Indonesia. I regret what I have done,” she said in a post written in Indonesian.
“I am so ashamed, I did not mean to offend you in any way, I had no knowledge of this place.
“I just prayed under the tree and went straight to the police station to explain this and apologise.”
Bali’s Governor, Wayan Koster, personally ordered her deportation and said it was far more important to “preserve the culture and respect the dignity of Bali” than tolerate behaviour like this for tourist dollars.
Researcher of indigenous religion at the State Hindu University of Denpasar in Bali, Ravinjay Kuckreja, told ABC News that for Balinese Hindus “sources of water like springs, statues, trees and volcanoes are amongst the many everyday objects that are sanctified and regarded as sacred”.
Kuckreja said having one’s naked body against a holy tree was considered sacrilege.
“The tree is completely sacred … it is considered a manifestation of God,” he said.
Featured image: Instagram/@niluhdjelantik