Wednesday, 28 October 2020 | 03:57 WIB

Attracting European Tourists through Europalia Festival that Starts in Belgium

Komodo dragon (tourorganizers)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Hundreds of ancient and high-value artifacts and cultural performances of Indonesia will be displayed for 104 days in a number of European countries.

In a cooperation between the Belgian Government and the Government of Indonesia, the potential of national art and culture was inaugurated and started in Brusels, Belgium, at the 104-day Festival of European Europalia Indonesia, beginning October 10, 2017-21 January 2018.

Indonesia in the largest prestigious multidisciplinary arts and culture event held every two years involving more than 486 Indonesian artists and culturalists in 226 programs in several cities in Belgium as well as six other European countries namely England, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France and Poland.

For Indonesia to be appointed as Guest of Honor to perform in Europalia is not without cause and reason, so Indonesia should be proud because Indonesia is the first country in Southeast Asia (ASEAN) which appear at prestigious festival in Belgium.

Meanwhile, in Asia, Indonesia is the fourth country to be a Guest of Honor to perform at the festival, after China, India and Japan.

Europalia views Indonesia as a multi-ethnic country with its cultural diversity and it is time to get the attention of a more diverse society of Europe.

In addition to being a vast archipelagic country with over 13,000 islands spanning more than 5,000 kilometers from east to west, with around 255 million inhabitants, 300 ethnic groups and more than 700 languages, making the organizers worthy of Indonesia to perform in Europalia.

Europalia Indonesia wants to give a new look at Indonesian culture and art and shows that not only one but many Indonesians, whose culture is very diverse and rich.

The richness of geographical, economic and social differences makes Indonesia a vibrant and diverse culture in which visual, architecture, design, literature, music, theater, dance and film arts together.

Europalia Arts Festival Indonesia will raise three major themes, "Ancestors and Rituals, Biodiversity and Exchange". All three are featured through five performing arts, literature, exhibition, music and film programs.

In Europalia Arts Festival Indonesia will be presented various activities such as exhibitions, music, performing arts, literature, to movies.

The event will involve as many as 486 art workers in the implementation of 226 works and programs of activities, 69 dance and theater performances, 71 music, 36 literature, 38 films and 14 exhibitions.

From some poetry and prose literature artists departing for Brussels, the names of writers who participated in enlivening the arts festival include Margareta Asmatan, lksaka Banu, Norman Erikson Pasaribu, Ben Sahib, Zubaidah Djohar, Godi Sawarna, Tan Lioe Ie, Intan Paramadhita, and Ayu Utami.

As for the themes of films that will be displayed in the event Europalia 2017 in Belgium is social, urban children, residential art, religion, women, food, politics, and art of cinema.

Belgian King Philippe Leopold Louis Marie and Queen Mathilde at the opening of the festival on Tuesday (10/10) are keen to listen and see hundreds of ancient artifacts from different parts of Indonesia displayed at Europalia Arts Festival Indonesia.

The King and Queen, who are accompanied by Vice President of Indonesia and Mrs. Mufidah Jusuf Kalla, looked very serious attention and listening from a historian of each artifact shown.

In fact, the King and Queen of Belgium several times examined several artifacts to see in detail the written inscription on the lower left side of each artifact.

Some of the ancient artifacts featured, among others, are made of wood, bronze, gold, silver, and stone, such as from North Sumateta, South Sulawesi, Java, NTT, NTB, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and Papua.

Not only to see a hundred artifacts, the Vice President also invited the King and Queen of Belgium and the entourage witnessed a number of traditional Indonesian dance. Dance, motion, and singing performances are Nani Topeng Losari, Voice of Papua, and Saman Gayo Lues.

Rampai Indonesia is a proclaimed headline attached to well-prepared offerings and through the hard work of actors and creators of art and culture born of young talents, both through traditions and art schools spread throughout Indonesia.

From the multidisciplinary art and culture event is expected to occur interaction between actors, lovers, lovers, and the initiator of arts and cultural arena of the world public.

Promotion of tourism The other side that can be utilized from the implementation of Europalia for Indonesia in addition to exhibiting cultural wealth, is a tourism promotion event for the citizens of Europe.

The Ministry of Tourism sets the Europalia Arts Festival Indonesia 2017 in Belgium as an arena to promote the attractions of Indonesia, considering the tourists from Europe for this very potential.

The Ministry  views that although Europalia show more culture, the activities are not separated from tourism products.

Valued event promotion is important because tourists from Europe has been noted as the second largest number of travelers after China who came to Indonesia.

European tourists who come to Indonesia reach 2-2.2 million people every year, the largest of England, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Russia.

The benefits of Europalia are promoted as a tourist promotion event because 60-65 percent of foreign tourists who come to Indonesia are interested in nature and culture, while the rest for sporting purposes. So the festival is indeed appropriate to promote the arts and culture of Indonesia.

Europalia is actually not a promotional event for tourism for Indonesia because the biggest tourist exhibition event is actually ITB Berlin in Germany every March and WTM in the UK every November.

In terms of tourism, culture is one of the potential and strength of Indonesia as a tourist destination, especially tourists from Europe so that this activity should be communicated more widely to the source country of foreign tourists market, especially Europe.

The Ministry of Tourism certainly hopes by promoting this activity, ultimately enhancing the image of Indonesia's richness and cultural diversity that ultimately increases the number of foreign tourists visiting, especially from Europe.