The Old Batavia Complex, otherwise known as “Kota Tua”, the historical sector of the metropolitan capital city Jakarta, will come alive with festivities during the Old Batavia Cultural Festival scheduled to take place on the weekend of 8th to 9th November 2014.
Presented by the Office of Tourism and Culture of Jakarta, the festival will feature a wide array offolk entertainment and traditional art performances. Steeped in the atmosphere of Bygone Days of Jakarta which perfectly matches the setting of the Old Batavia Complex, the event will be centered at the Fatahilah Square in the plaza of the Fatahilah Museum.
Uniquely, the festival will not only be highlighted by cultural attractions from the Betawi ethnic group of Jakarta but also by several Chinese Peranakan cultural art performances. Among the main features presented are the martial art of Pencak Silat, Betawi’s traditional music ensemble ofGambang Kromong, the comical folk drama of Lenong, and many attractive traditional dances. Representing the Chinese culture will be the martial art of Wushu, and the Barongsai Lion Dance.
The special highlight of the festival will be the colossal play centering on the story of Imam Syafei, or more commonly known here as Bang Pi’i. Bang Pi’i was a street thug of the Pasar Senenmarket who managed to rise in prominence and even became Minister for Security during the administration of Indonesia’s first President, Soekarno.
According to Wawan Hermawan, Section Head for Exhibitions and Performances of the Office of Tourism and Culture, the festival will showcase the diverse cultures, heritage and ethnicities that have converged to become an inseparable part of life of the capital city of Jakarta. Wawan further added that the event is intended to preserve the traditional cultures of Jakarta with focus on the Old Batavia complex as a precious heritage site.
Scheduled to be officially opened by Acting Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, – more popularly called Ahok, the Old Batavia Cultural Festival will be held from 15.00 to 21.00 West Indonesia Time on Saturday, 8th November, and from 06.00 to 15.00 West Indonesia Time on Sunday, 9th November 2014.