Buddha bar forced to close in Jakarta

buddha-bar-restaurantBuddhist college students have forced the newly established “Buddha Bar” to close, demanding the bar change its name. The Jakarta Post reports:

“We’ve sealed the Buddha-Bar and it will remain closed until the matter is resolved. The management team has also agreed not to open the bar,” Indonesian Buddhist Students Association (AMB) representative Widodo said, as quoted by kompas.com.

“The bar itself is also filled with Buddhist symbols and artifacts. Its presence is offensive to the Buddhist community in Indonesia.”

The bar is part of a chain of restaurants with businesses in “London, New York, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Kiev, Cairo and Beirut.”

I can understand the problem the students might have with the bar, but the question is, why is it only in Indonesia that the bar has caused controversy.

“Buddha Bar” is also the name of a music CD compilation and there is a Buddha bar also in Australia that is not part of the aforementioned chain.

I really wonder if it would raise an eyebrow if they opened a branch in Thailand which is 94.7 per cent Buddhist.

1 Comment »

  1. About Indonesia » Blog Archive » Buddha bar changes its name Said,

    April 22, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

    [...] continued protests the Buddha Bar in Jakarta is changing its name to Bataviasche Kunstkring after the Dutch-era building that houses [...]

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