Published on March 20, 2008
Introduced by Balinese activists last December during the United Nations conference on climate change, World Silent Day, March 21, is based on the Balinese Hindu philosophy of Nyepi, which means "silent".
On Nyepi Day, which marks the Balinese New Year, Balinese stay home and refrain from all activities, including cooking, going out, working and entertainment. The Bali Community for Climate Change (BCCC) adapted the idea and established World Silent Day, aimed at calling for global contribution to greenhouse-gas reduction by stopping all activities and energy consumption.
"To us in Bali, silence means refraining from doing anything and giving the Earth a holiday from the onslaught of human activities," said Hira Jhamtani of the BCCC.
She called on the world to join the first step of the campaign by refraining from using electronics for four hours tomorrow. She said more aggressive activities would be introduced next year.
Hira said the BCCC estimated that through the century-old tradition of observing Nyepi Day, Bali could reduce about 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse-gas emissions each year.
"The concept of Bali's World Silent Day sounds very good to me. It's not just a once-a-year activity, but about the philosophy of living. The closer we stay to nature, the less we harm the world. It would be great if we can weave that philosophy into our daily life, not only on that one day," said Greenpeace climate-change campaigner Tara Baukhamsri.