Monday, March 22, 2004

Locked up 5 Years for Locking Lips?!?!?!?! What is this world coming to?

Balinese Lock Lips in Kissing Festival

BALI, Indonesia (AP) - Dozens of Balinese singles locked lips in a steamy kissing festival Monday that ended with village priests dumping buckets of water over the couples to douse their passions.

Locals believe the festival, held yearly in a small village on the Indonesian tourist island, ensures the good health of those taking part and prevents bad luck hitting the village.

The ceremony, which dates back to the late 19th-century, took place even as some Islamic lawmakers in Indonesia moved to ban public kissing and punish it with five-year prison terms.

But in the village of Sesetan on Monday, the only debate was on how long participants should kiss for - not whether they were breaching morals on the island, which is a Hindu enclave in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Around 70 young men and women dressed in traditional sarongs prayed in the local temple before parading in lines through the street and choosing a partner.

As a gamelan orchestra chimed in the background and with hundreds of cheering locals and foreign visitors looking on, they kissed for around 15 seconds before priests stepped in, soaking them with buckets of water.

``I am kind of uncomfortable what with all these people watching but I came along with my friends,'' said one female participant, Kadek Ari.

Members of Indonesia's parliament committee on pornography introduced a bill earlier this month that would ban kissing on the lips and making love in public places, a reflection of the growing influence of religion in Indonesia.

03/22/04 18:07

© Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

If things were like this here, I'd be serving a life sentence.



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