The Jakarta Post
Hundreds of people in traditional attire from ethnic groups nationwide made for a vibrant opening ceremony at the fifth congress of the Indigenous People’s Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) in Tanjung Gusta, Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra, on Friday.
The customary groups from across the archipelago marched around 4 kilometers from Customs House to Jl. Klambir V before returning to the location where the opening ceremony of the congress took place.
AMAN Congress organizing committee head Arifin Monang Saleh said Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Presidential Office chief of staff Teten Masduki, National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) commissioner Sandra Moniaga and North Sumatra Governor T. Erry Nuradi attended the event.
National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) and other Indonesian civil society groups were also present, he added.
Arifin said a carnival of local cultures was chosen as the theme for the opening of the congress to showcase Indonesia’s diversity. “Through this carnival, we hope the diversity in Indonesia can be acted on wisely to maintain unity in the country,” Arifin told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the ceremony.
He said the AMAN Congress began two days earlier, presenting various discussions. The results of the discussions will be formulated by all congress participants, before they reach decisions on particular matters.
“Many issues related to the sustainability of the lives of indigenous people in this country will be discussed at the congress,” said Arifin, adding that the event would end on Sunday. (ebf)