The Jakarta Post
The sound of traditional music fills the air to accompany the thousands of participants wearing traditional costumes representing 90 different cities of the Indonesian archipelago.
The participants walked down Jl. Semeru in Malang, East Java, in the 12thCultural Parade on July 19, organized by the National Association of Municipal Administrations (APEKSI).
The parade was part of APEKSI’s national conference, which was held from July 18 to 20, and featured around 3,600 participants who displayed the cultural diversity of the association’s member cities.
The 3-kilometer parade began at 2 p.m. from Jl. Semeru, traversing Ijen Boulevard and ending at Gajayana Stadium.
A group of participants representing Tegal led the parade alongside those from Probolinggo, Jambi, Palangkaraya, Pekalongan and Depok, with different groups showcasing a variety of traditional art forms.
For example, the group from Mataram, the capital city of West Nusa Tenggara, presented their peresean warrior dance and the cendang beleq drumming technique prior to the parade, and the contingent from Serang, Banten province, showed off their debus martial arts skills, in which they demonstrated that their bodies were impenetrable to sharp weapons.
Among the paraders was a team from West Java’s capital of Bandung, which showed that diversity was universal: Their segment featured iconic superheroes and action figures such as Marvel’s Iron Man and the Transformers’ Bumblebee, drawing the attention of spectators and participants alike.
“Our group has 50 traditional dancers and musicians, some wearing Iron Man and Bumblebee costumes for dancing,” said Ahwan of the Bandung troupe.
The different regional teams were also seen taking selfies with each other to record the memorable moment. Amir from Makassar, South Sulawesi, was one of those taking the opportunity presented by the parade of diversity.
“I feel fortunate to be here, so I can watch the various art and cultural profiles of other areas in a single event and share the pictures with my Makassar friends,” he said.
The parade also served as a platform for artistic and cultural exchange between the municipal administrations for developing the tourism potential in their respective regions.
“This parade shows that the distinctive regional traditions and ethnic communities are an asset to unify the nation within the framework of ‘Unity in Diversity’,” said Malang Mayor Mochamad Anton, citing the national slogan.
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