On Saturday 15th June, thousands of performers hit the streets of Denpasar in Bali showcasing the richness of their culture, and marking the beginning of the 41st Bali Arts Festival.

The performers were dressed in traditional clothing, representing their regencies and designated signature history. In total, there were eight regencies and one city (Denpasar as the capital) parading that day.

Wearing brown Balinese attire and an udeng (headband), President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo officially launched the parade by striking a traditional wooden kulkul bell in front of the Bajrasandhi monument, thus honouring the struggles of the Balinese people throughout history. “Today I open and launch the parade of the 41st Bali Arts Festival. Matur suksma (thank you),” Jokowi said in a very short remark. 

Photo via @jokowi

 

Alongside the Balinese performers, the parade was also enlivened by art troupes from other parts of the archipelago and from abroad, such as Papua, Sumenep in East Java, and China, making the feast an even more colourful one, and a reminder of how rich in diversity Indonesia is.

First held in 1979, the Bali Arts Festival provides space and funding to promote local culture. It has become Indonesia’s longest-running art festival (scheduled to run from June 15 to July 13) featuring a wealth of Balinese art and culture. Tens of thousands of Balinese artists will take part in the festival. The Werdhi Budaya Art Center, a spacious cultural compound in Denpasar, will host the month-long event. 

Bali Governor I Wayan Koster emphasized the festival’s role in preserving the island’s culture. “The Bali Arts Festival is an important tool to preserve and develop the unique and rich Balinese culture, an astounding legacy of our ancestors,” Koster said. 

Photo by Zul Trio

Venue: Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre
Address: Jl. Nusa Indah No.1, Panjer, Denpasar
Phone: +62 361 222 387

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