Jakarta to host world’s
first royal festival

Jakarta will host an international royal festival in December, claimed to be the first of its kind.

Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the city administration and the National Royal Communication Forum had invited royal members from across the globe to attend the festival, slated for Dec. 5-8.

“We want to hold a carnival and display royal artifacts, royal attire and traditional food from across the globe. The event will also feature performances,” Jokowi told reporters after a meeting with forum members on Tuesday.

“We want to explore our cultural potential and introduce our traditions and culture to the whole world,” he said, adding that the event would also promote Jakarta as a meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions
(MICE) city.

According to the Forum, 138 representatives of royal families and ethnic groups from across the country would participate in the event.

“The festival will be open to the public,” Jokowi said without elaborating further.

According to forum secretary-general Nanik Widayati, this would be the first festival of its kind.

“There is a royal festival in Europe, designed for European royals. This event will be the first international royal festival in the world,” she said.

“We hope Jakarta will establish its image as a cultural city equal to Athens [Greece] or Kyoto [Japan],” Nanik added.

Nanik said the forum was coordinating with the Foreign Ministry to invite royal members from foreign countries.

Jakarta is currently improving cultural tourism sites, including the oldest part of the city Kota Tua (Old Town) in West Jakarta.

Jokowi has suggested a scheme whereby the central government hand over the buildings owned by state-owned companies to the city administration for maintenance.

The administration is mulling the allocation of Rp 1.5 trillion (US$154 million) from its budget to manage Kota Tua, up from the current Rp 30 billion.

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