Dozens of Balinese artists staged a rally at the Denpasar Cultural Park on Saturday to protest the broadcast of Bali’s ancient pendet dance in Malaysia’s tourism advertisement.
The dance, performed by two women dressed in Balinese costumes, was broadcast many times as part of the Visit Malaysia Year promotion.
“We have found that the dancers are alumni of the ISI Denpasar. They were shot by Bali Record about two or three years ago,” rally coordinator Prof Wayan Dibia of Denpasar’s Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) was quoted by Antara news agency.
Other rally participants included Regional Representatives Council member representing Bali Ida Ayu Agung Mas and ISI scholars.
The protesters urged the government to protect and register local cultures to prevent other countries from claiming them.
“Pendet dance is our national cultural heritage which belongs to Hindu Bali tradition,” Dibia said.
Malaysia’s tourism promotion sparked an outrage in Indonesia last year for its broadcast of Maluku’s song Rasa Sayange.