To further introduce the pure splendors of Papua and West Papua, and the islands at the east-end of Indonesia, two exceptional events are about to be held simultaneously in the month of October. The first is the Asmat Cultural Festival held from 20 to 25 October, at the Yos Sudarso Field, Asmat District in the province of Papua, and the second, the Raja Ampat Festival and Travel Mart held from 20 to 23 October 2011.at the Waisai Beach, Raja Ampat District, West Papua Province.
According to Fathul Bahri, Secretary of the Marketing Directorate General of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the ministry supports the staging of both events. Aside from attracting both domestic and international visitors, the event will also serve as media to preserve the authenticity of Papuan culture. “Both events are part of the program: Know your country, Love your country campaign – Kenali Negerimu Cintai Negerimu – that introduces the beauty of the provinces of Papua and West Papua under the uniting frame of Wonderful Indonesia,”stated Fathul during the Press Conference held in Jakarta on Monday, September 26th.
This year marks the 26th edition of the Asmat Cultural Festival since it was first held in 1981. The Asmat Cultural Festival will be filled with various exciting activities and exhibitions including Art and Cultural Performances, traditional dance competitions, wood carving competitions, weaving competitions, and wood sculptures and carving auctions.
The district of Asmat at the southern part of Papua has long been known for its excellent wood carving. Elisa Kambu, the district of Asmat government Secretary, stated that visitors will be presented with demonstrations of the amazing wood carving skills of the Asmat at the wood carving competition, and at the closing of the festival, their artwork will then be displayed for open auction. Elsa further added that one of the district governmental long-term goals is to build Asmat on the pillar of indigenous culture. In its previous edition, the Asmat Cultural Festival managed to attract international tourists from Australia, Germany, Japan, and Korea.
Both the district governments of Raja Ampat and Asmat have agreed to hold these events concurrently in years to come. Combined with the Baliem Valley Festival, the Asmat Cultural Festival, and the Raja Ampat Festival are certianly worth noting down in travelers annual agenda.
Read more: Indonesiatraveltime