The Jakarta Post
A parade showcasing arts and culture brightened up the street in front of Bajrasandhi monument in Denpasar on Saturday afternoon, marking the opening of the one month-long Bali Arts Festival.
Around 3,000 artists from across the island performed, showcasing traditional arts and culture from eight regencies and one city in Bali.
In addition to the Balinese artists, the cultural parade saw art performances from Japan and Guangxi province in China. Representatives from Papua, East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara also took part in the event.
The parade was officially opened by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
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Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the festival was held annually to show the country's appreciation toward Balinese artists. "I hope that the presence of the President and First Lady can provide moral support for all Balinese, especially artists and cultural experts, so they can keep creating to develop the culture," Pastika said.
The Bali Arts Festival was first held in 1979, when then-Bali governor Ida Bagus Mantra decided that the government should provide the space and funding to promote local culture in order to nurture an aesthetic community.
The heart of the festival is the Bali Arts Center in Denpasar, where traditional Balinese arts performances will be held every day until July 21.
Besides art performances, the event also features art and handicraft exhibitions, competitions, seminars and culinary events where people can enjoy authentic Balinese cuisine. (kes)