• Safety First: Udeng over helmet is the latest trend sweeping Balinese social media

    The latest trend sweeping the island: udeng over helm. Left: Instagram/@nesakualit. Right: Facebook/Bobby Alcoholicrider

    Wearing the traditional Balinese Hindu udeng headband atop a motorcycle helmet is the latest thing on Bali social media.

    Teens to middle-aged dudes have been posting pictures of themselves sporting udeng over their helmets.

    Indonesian police have been known to give a free pass to motorcycle riders wearing religious or cultural garb like the hijab and the Javanese blangkon, along with the Balinese udeng—there’s even a governor’s decree in Bali that exempts men wearing udeng from getting into trouble with traffic police.

    But road safety has been a hot topic in Bali, now that the island’s traffic police unit has launched its annual two-week Operation Zebra from Nov. 1 to 14, a period where police crack down on road violations, including folks driving on motorbike sans helmet.

    The director of Bali Police’s traffic unit, Supt. AA Made Sudana has said men wearing udeng won’t get in trouble because of the governor decree exempting religious headwear, but on the municipal level, Gianyar Regency Police Supt. Djoni Widodo said he wouldn’t be as forgiving and those without helmets would get reprimanded, udeng or not.

    And so, a form of protest, the udeng-atop-helmet look was apparently born.

    While some people sporting the udeng over helmet look seem to be doing so in jest, one man whose video has gotten over 8,000 views on Facebook, as of Thursday evening, seems quite serious about the whole “safety first” issue, encouraging others to prioritize safety.

    Commenters on these udeng-helmet posts have been all over the place, from calling the look ‘stupid’ and ‘pointless’; why not just bring the udeng with you and put it on after you remove your helmet, wonder some. And is it disrespectful to go about like this, ponder others. But some are applauding the creativity of the trend and think it’s a great way to get past cops.

    Do we forecast this look overtaking Bali and enduring? Probably not past Operation Zebra, but maybe it’ll make a reappearance for next year’s traffic violations crackdown.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/safety-first-udeng-helmet-latest-trend-sweeping-balinese-social-media/
    Re-posted by Pande

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