TikTok Creators Have Been Banned From Sacred Sites In Nepal For Being ‘Nuisances’
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While they may have many adoring fans that blindly follow their every move everywhere in the world, social media creators have carved out a bad reputation for themselves in the South Asian country.
More and more officials have been hanging ‘No TikTok’ signs outside religious sites to ban influencers from using sacred locations as the backdrop for their videos.
Sanuraj Shakya, spokesperson for the Lumbini Development Trust, which manages the shrines in area, told Rest of World: “Making TikTok by playing loud music creates a nuisance for pilgrims from all over the world who come to the birthplace of Gautama Buddha.
“We have banned TikTok-making in and around the sacred garden, where the main temples are located.”
In March 2021, the management committee of Boudhanath, a Buddhist shrine in Kathmandu, installed CCTV footage to monitor those filming around the site.
The committee also employed many security guards to keep a watchful eye on TikTokkers.
Manisha Adhikary, a Kathmandu local who has amassed a significant following on TikTok, also told the outlet that creators shouldn’t go above and beyond to capture content.
She said: “As TikTok content creators, we need to understand that we don’t necessarily have to shoot our videos in famous religious places, if doing so is restricted.
"It’s creativity that matters, not the place where you shoot your videos.”
I mean, one time, I witnessed an influencer conducting a workout video on the Shrine of Remembrance steps, and that image is firmly burned into my retinas.
And the idea of filming at sacred sites seems to be becoming more of a trend.
Earlier this year, a Russian yoga influencer was deported after she posed nude under a sacred tree in Bali.
Instagram star Alina Fazleeva, known as Alina Yoga to her fans, posed under the 700-year-old weeping paperbark tree, known locally as kayu putih, which led authorities to intervene.
After the public backlash, Aline deleted the original pictures and issued an apology video.
She said: “I apologise to all Balinese and Indonesian people, I regret my actions."
The influencer continued: "I'm so embarrassed, I didn't mean to offend you in any way, absolutely no knowledge of this place.
"I just prayed under a tree and went straight to the police station to explain this incident and apologise.”
Maybe next time, you can release your chakras in the hotel lobby instead.