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Jakarta Post

Celebrating diversity through ‘Grebeg Sudiro’

Wed, February 14, 2018   /   08:30 am
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    Ready to rumble: A group of Liong dancers heads to the Tien Kok Sie Buddhist temple near Gede Market in Surakarta, Central Java, to celebrate Chinese New Year. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    National interest: The country’s national emblem, the Garuda Pancasila, carries the Sanskrit motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (Unity in Diversity). JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Taking aim: Dancers perform the traditional archery dance Semprang Jemparingan. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Going to town: A Liong dance group arrives at Gede Market in Surakarta, Central Java. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Home sweet home: Men carry a miniature Loji Gandrung decorated with kue keranjang (basket cake). JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Bring it on: A dance troupe walks past Chinese lanterns. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Wefie: Two Muslim girls take a picture of themselves against the backdrop of Chinese lanterns. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    No clash of culture: A father and child pose in front of Chinese and Javanese puppet characters. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

Maksum Nur Fauzan

The exquisite cultural event of Grebeg Sudiro captured widespread attention in Surakarta, Central Java, as hundreds of people swarmed to Gede Market on Sunday. They gathered en masse along with their burning enthusiasm to witness the fusion of Javanese and Chinese cultures to celebrate Chinese New Year. 
Grebeg Sudiro demonstrated that residents of different ethnic and religious backgrounds could happily mingle as they witnessed the kirab (parade) to honor the diversity in the city. 

Sixty-seven groups or roughly 1,500 participants from art and culture groups such as barongsai (lion dance), liong (dragon dance), reog (traditional masked dance) and wayang orang (human puppet) entertained spectators along the parade route.  

The joyous performances started off at the entrance gate of Gede Market to the forecourt of Surakarta City Hall, passed Vastenburg Fortress and then returned to Gede Market, where residents grabbed at 4,000 kue keranjang (cake baskets) in the shapes of Loji Gandrung (mayor’s official residence) and the 1945 Monument. 

This year, Grebeg Sudiro chose "Conserving Cultures of the Nation to Solidify Diversity" as the main theme for the annual event. Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo earnestly urged residents to maintain the harmony of the city. 

“Enhancing diversity is not an easy thing to execute, but it is not a difficult task either. What we need to improve is cooperation and solidarity to preserve Solo and Indonesia,” he said, referring to Surakarta by its popular name.