The Indonesian Archipelago forms an important part in the history of human civilization in Asia. A number of scientists even speculate that it is here where civilization of modern man began. Traces of these ancient human civilizations are embedded in the megalithic culture of Tana Toraja inSouth Sulawesi Province and will be unveiled to the world at the Toraja International Festival 2014, scheduled to take place from 11th to 13th August 2014, at the ancient villlage of Ke’te Kesu, Sanggalangi district, Tana Toraja Regency.
Carrying the theme “Reinventing the Sacred Highland”, the festival intends to re-discover the sacred beauty of the “Land of the Heavenly Kings” and celebrate the extraordinary megalithic culture of Tana Toraja.
The festival will commence with a colossal performance of Opera Toraja. The opera will involve musicians, dancers, acrobats, actors, and other artists from Indonesia and from abroad. The festival will continue with musical performances featuring Tana Toraja’s own musicians as well as national and international performers. The festival will be highlighted with an exhibition of Toraja’s variety of authentic hand-woven fabrics. There will also be a coffee corner where people can enjoy the world- renowned Toraja Coffee, and a seminar held on the role of youth in local culture and tourism development.
This year the festival has invited distinguished guests from England, the United States of America, Zimbabwe, and Korea.
“Discovered” and opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the last century, Toraja ethnic group today still adheres to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions, although many of her people are modernized or have embraced Christianity. Toraja is most well known for its elaborate funeral ceremonies that can take days and involve entire villages. These are not only moments for mourning but are moreover events to renew family ties and to ensure continued unity among villages and communities.
To reach Toraja you must first fly to Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi Province. There are multiple daily flights to Makassar from Jakarta, Bali and other parts of Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia also flies to Makassar from Singapore. Then you must drive by car or bus to Toraja, The journey takes over 8 hours. If you plan to attend this unique Festival it is best to book your hotel well in advance.
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