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#BaliSafe Cultural Festival 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018, the Balinese community in the Netherlands and other European countries celebrated the #BaliSafe Cultural Festival 2018 - while also marking the Nyepi (Day of Silence) and Saraswati (Day of Knowledge) which were celebrated the day before. The activity begins with a ceremonial communal prayer, and Dharma Wacana sermon by Wayan Sulestra who conveyed the meaning of Nyepi as self-restraint through the implementation of Chatur Brata.

Located in the Hall of the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague, more than 250 people attended the festivity with a variety of Balinese art performances. The Dutch community who were attending the event enjoyed various traditional dances such as Pendet dance, Panyembrahma, Baris dance, Panji Semirang, Truna Jaya, Sekar Jagad, Meli Sambuk di Dawan, Legong Keraton, and Joged Bumbung. The Indonesian Ambassador in The Hague, H.E I.G.A. Wesaka Puja also performed the Sidakarya Mask dance and Topeng Tua Mask dance. The dances were also accompanied by the vibrant gamelan play. Various gamelan communities contributed to the Festival such as Seka Gong Semara Cita Den Haag, Seka Gong Leiden, Seka Gong Saling Asah Belgium, and Seka Gong Swara Shanti Amstelveen. #BaliSafe Cultural Festival 2018 was supported by around 50 gamelan players, and several dancers from dance studios in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Germany.

#BaliSafe Cultural Festival 2018 aims to refresh the memory of the community in the Netherlands, and Europe in general, to reflect the charm and beauty of the island of Bali, and also to inform that the situation of Mount Agung is safe for visit. In his speech, the Indonesian Ambassador in The Hague conveyed the uniqueness of the harmonization of the Balinese gamelan game – which is hoped to be always present in Bali. At least, around 102,235 tourists from the Netherlands visited Bali in 2017 (Data from the Provincial Tourism Office of Bali). It is expected in 2018, Bali can be one of the main tourist destinations of the Netherlands. Organizing #BaliSafe Cultural Festival 2018 is a promotional strategy in Europe as well as to raise awareness about Balinese culture. 

Den Haag, 18 March 2018


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