Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Traditional Maluku dances to enliven Kuta carnival

Two traditional Maluku dances are to be performed by the Bali-Maluku Family Association (Ikemabal) to enliven the Kuta Carnival in Bali on September 26, 2009.

"The `lenso` and `gaba-gaba` dances are to be performed in the carnival, an annual parade of Indonesian arts and culture that usually draws many tourists," said Ikemabal chairman Samuel Uruilal here Sunday.

He said the event which will be held for the seventh time will be used by Maluku people staying in Bali to promote their exotic traditional arts and culture.

"Ikemabal has a moral responsibility to promote Maluku`s art and culture to be known worldwide and not to be claimed by other countries like the "Sayange" song recently," said Samuel.

The lenso dance in combination with the "sawat" dance is usually performed by Muslims in Maluku on religious holidays.

"We want to show a dance that reflects the communal harmony in our people`s life nurtured based on our cultural value of `Pela-Gandong` so it will not perish under the influence of globalisation," Samuel said.

Pela-Gandong is a traditional wisdom of the Maluku people underlining that all men are related to each other and therefore they should always live in peace. If a group of people is building a house of worship, people belonging to another group must help and support it.

He said that the world should know the Pela Gandong cultural value is still very much alive in Maluku and being practiced with greater fervour since the end of the communal conflict several years ago.

"The Kuta carnival is a strategic opportunity, because Bali is a world tourism center.
Showing Maluku culture at the event will help put Maluku on the world tourism map," he said.

The Ikemabal art team at the Kuta carnival was also ready to wear traditional clothes, "Cele" (for men) and "Kebaya" (for women).

"A number of Maluku `Jujuro` (men) and `Mungare` (women) in Bali have been recruited and trained to make the traditional clothing," he said.

Meanwhile, Maluku Tourism and Culture Office chief Florence Sahusilawane commended Ikemabal`s intention to help promote Maluku`s traditional arts and culture.

"Promoting Maluku`s art and culture is not only the government`s responsibility, Ikemabal`s breakthrough is positively appreciated as a form of moral responsibility to conserve the heritage," she said.

Florence added that Maluku is to come into the international spotlight in the coming years by at least three upcoming international events, namely a "World Peace Day" function in Ambon in November 2009, the `Sail Banda` event and the 2010 International Peace Olympiad.

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