Palembang in 2011 is not Jakarta in 1997, but both cities now share the same place in Southeast Asian sporting history as co-hosts of the region’s biennial festival of sport. All was grand, glam and spectacular.
After months of anxious preparation marred by corruption and faulty coordination, the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games officially opened on Friday evening with flair, flash and artistic glitter laden with culturally rich ceremonial performances.
The organizers allocated Rp 150 billion (US$16.8 million) to launch the Games in a three-hour show involving more than 3,000 dancers and pop singers Agnes Monica from Indonesia, K.C. Concepcion from the Philippines and Jaclyn Victor from Malaysia, who jointly sang the Games’ theme song, “Together We’ll Shine”, at Sriwijaya Stadium.
The celebration was dampened by rainfall during the ceremony.