Friday, August 12, 2011

Yogyakarta celebrates 255th anniversary in Javanese style

Excitementwas palpable across downtown Yogyakarta on Friday as people from all differentwalks of life took to the streets to celebrate the city's 255th anniversary.

Revelers ranged from city administration officials, teachers and students tocart drivers and parking attendants, all dressed in Javanese attire of batikcloth and kebaya blouses for women and of batik and surjan shirts for men.

"Happy anniversary," a teacher at a private junior high schoolgreeted a colleague while preparing to join a school ceremony to commemoratethe anniversary on Friday.

The date of the anniversary, publicly marked for the first time in 2004, wasdecided upon when the first ruler of Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, movedfrom Ambarketawang Palace to Yogyakarta Palace.

While municipal administration officials marked the anniversary at City Hall,teachers and students attended ceremonies in their respective schools. All wereheld in Javanese style and language.

"It's really fun to have the ceremony in Javanese. Even the state ideologyPancasila was read out in Javanese," said Salsabila, a seventh grader atSMPN 8 state junior high school after attending a ceremony at the school.

Friday's City Hall ceremony was also attended by 22 participants of the KonradAdenauer Stiftung's school for young politicians in Asia.

They came from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, thePhilippines, Singapore and Thailand.

They were visiting the city to learn more about the successes of the Yogyakartamunicipal administration, especially in development planning.

"Yogyakarta is considered the right place to learn more about localdevelopment planning. It has set a good example on that," a participant ofthe school, Megha Sarmah from Singapore, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Also held were a subdistrict festival involving all 45 subdistricts in themunicipality, panjat pinang (tree climbing contest) and a mosaic parade held inthe afternoon from Alun-Alun Utara Square to City Hall.

The peak of the celebration will be on the night of Oct. 22, with the JogjaJava Carnival, which will present street performances on mobile stagesinvolving all elements of communities and international participants.

Koreato host Korea-Indonesia cultural week in Jakarta

Relationsbetween two of Asia’s most dynamic countries – Indonesia and South Korea – havebeen growing at a rapid speed in recent years. But there is a new dimensionthat is making relations much stronger and long-lasting, says Korean Ambassadorto Indonesia Kim Young-sun.

What could be that particular dimension?
“Bali is a very popular holiday destination for young Korean couples. It’s aparadise for our honeymooners. As a result, thousands of Koreans are being madein Indonesia. This is making our relationship with Indonesia not only specialbut also long-lasting,” said Ambassador Kim jokingly.

Last year, 300,000 Koreans visited Indonesia, with more than 50 percent of themvisiting the Island of the Gods. With more than 50,000 Koreans in the country,it is the biggest expat community in Indonesia.

Kim wants to link the people of both countries not just economically andpolitically but also culturally.The Korean Embassy in Jakarta is organizing various events under the platformof “Korea-Indonesia Week” at Gandaria City mall in Jakarta from Sept. 28 toOct. 3, 2011. 
“The main purpose of this Korean cultural week is to introduce our culture toIndonesians. There is a growing interest among Indonesians to know more aboutKorea, its products, culture, especially the popular K-Pop,” Korean CulturalCenter’s director Kim Hyun-ki told The Jakarta Post.

The main highlights of the week, Kim Hyun-ki said, will be a concert of Hallyu(Korean Wave) singers, featuring heartthrobs like Lee Sun-ho (Shinhwa Group),Lee Jun-ki. Lee Dong-Geon, Choi Jin, Park Hyo-shin, Yu Seung Chan, CheongJae-il and others.Korean Wave’s energetic female percussion group Drum Cat will mesmerize fansfrom Jakarta with their energy, talent and beauty. For Indonesians, there willbe a K-Pop contest, with the winner being sent to Seoul to participate in theglobal contest.Besides music, Kim Hyun-ki said, there will be also a Korean food festival, taekwon do competition, painting exhibition, film festival and much more. Morethan 100 artistes from Korea will take part in the event.

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