President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened the 34th Bali Arts Festival (PKB) in Bali on Sunday afternoon and evening, June 10, 2012.
Originally planned to be held on Monday, June 11, 2012, the opening was advanced by one day on in order to accommodate the overseas travel commitments of the Indonesian President.
The festivities commenced with a grand parade on Sunday afternoon, opened with the striking of a tradition wooden bell or okokan by the President at the Puputan Field in Renon, Denpasar. This marked the start of a parade past the presidential grandstand that featured thousands of artists from across Bali who danced and performed music and dance down the streets of Bali’s capital, many using motorized floats. Also joining the parade were artists from across the Indonesian archipelago and visiting foreign performers who will participate in the month long festival.
The streets surrounding the Puputan Field in Denpasar were crowded by Bali residents and visiting tourists watching the parade. Press reports tell how trees along the parade route were filled with young men attempting to obtain a good vantage point to view the passing parade, despite the best efforts of Presidential guards to prevent such activity.
On Sunday evening the President attended an opening performance at the Arts Center in downtown Denpasar that began at 8:30 pm. The President, wearing a green ikat shirt and a traditional Balinese udeng headdress, witnessed a colossal performance of “Oratorim Perusada Santha" performed by students from the Bali Arts Institute (ISI). The stage performance was inspired by a 14th century Majapahit era tale depicting how Hayam Wuruk first envisioned an archipelagic nation united under the motto “Unity in Diversity.”
"Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" or "Unity in Diversity" is now the national motto of the Republic of Indonesia.
[Schedule of the 2012 Bali Arts Festival]
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