Soumya Prakash Pradhan

In India, many tourist places are known for their sacred significance. When people from other countries visit these places, they often participate in the local customs. However, recently, a video went viral in which some foreigners can be seen wearing bikinis and enjoying themselves in the Ganga river in Rishikesh.

This video was widely shared on social media platforms, sparking discussions about the impact of Western tourist culture on the spiritual atmosphere of Rishikesh.

The video showed foreigners wearing revealing attire and playing in the river.

While some people on social media criticised them for not respecting Indian culture, others pointed out that towards the end of the video, they were seen performing a ritual of offering water to the Sun God, showcasing their appreciation of Indian traditions.

Previously, the same user had shared a video of foreigners dancing provocatively to a song. This led to debates about whether Rishikesh is losing its religious and spiritual essence and becoming more like Goa, known for its party scene.

Some people even tagged the Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, expressing concerns about the promotion of rave parties and a ‘zombie culture’ in Rishikesh.

The viral video evoked mixed reactions on social media. Some comments criticised the foreigners for not adhering to Indian cultural norms, questioning their choice of attire and activities while others defended them arguing that they were simply enjoying life and practicing yoga in swimwear.

Comments ranged from expressions of concern about preserving Indian traditions to accusations of jealousy towards the foreigners' carefree lifestyle.