President Jokowi Joins Wonderful Lake Toba Independence Carnival
The series of carnival and feast titled Wonderful Lake Toba Independence Carnival (KKPDT) that took place for two days, 20-21 August, held in Balige, Toba Samosir, North Sumatera, ended on Sunday (21/8) afternoon.
The first day of the carnival was enlivened by a Floating Stage that presented a number of arts performance, for example musical show by famous musicians such as Slank, Edo Kondologit, Dewa Budjana, Tohpati, Oppie Andaresta, Jflow, and Sammy Simorangkir. The stage was located at Pantai Bebas, Toba Parapat, Simalungun Regency.
The Floating Stage also presented a Batak opera performance and 4 etnis dance. The first day of the carnival was also enlivened by a parade of ships that were decorated with colorful lamps that became the background of the Floating Stage.
President Joko Widodo, who was conducting a working visit to Lake Toba region, also watched the performances. After leading a Limited Meeting and a meeting with people from Lake Toba area, on Saturday (20/8) night, the President directly headed to the Floating Stage.
On that occasion, before the President, Slank and Oppie Andaresta sang three songs. The President also witnessed a symbolic handover of a song for a new tourist destination, from the Head of Creative Economy Agency Triawan Munaf to the Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya.
We got a task from the Ministry of Tourism to write songs for 10 new tourist destinations. One of the song is about Lake Toba and has already finished. The title is Satu Tempat Terindah di Dunia (The Most Beautiful Place in the World), Triawan Munaf said while mentioning the song was written by Yovie Widianto and sung by Marcel Siahaan.
Besides Floating Stage, there was also a culinary festival at the first day of the carnival. Chef Bara Pattirajawane had a cooking demo of local specialty foods, such as seafood arsik (a stewed fish dish that is spiced up with torch ginger) and quesadilla with fajitas andaliman powder (mexican bread filled with roast beef seasoned by andaliman powder).
Independence Carnival and Peoples Stage
The second day of the carnival or the peak of the feast was marked by a carnival spanning for 3.5 kilometers from Soposurung to Simoang Sibulele. The President and the First Lady Ibu Iriana Joko Widodo also participated in that carnival.
The President wore ulos Ragidup Sirara (traditional cloth from North Sumatra with a special motive), while Ibu Iriana wore ulos with tum-tuman motive. They arrived at the location in Soposurung, at around 3 p.m. Western Indonesia Time. The presence of the President and the First Lady was warmly welcomed by thousands of people of Lake Toba who packed the route of the carnival since afternoon. They wore traditional costume, ulos, and sortali (traditional headband) to tone up the atmosphere of the carnival.
(I) come to see the carnival and to see the President because it is the first time for the President joining the carnival. It is also the first carnival held in Toba Samosir, Maris Manurung said (21/8), who came from Porsea to watch the carnival.
Maris said that the people of Lake Toba as well as the students are happy and satisfied. Hopefully Pak Jokowi sees the condition of Toba Samosir so that this area, that needs more attention, can develop, he said.
Arriving at the location of the opening ceremony, the President and First Lady Ibu Iriana walked through Soposurung Brigde to the stage where monsak and tor-tor somba (traditional dance from North Sumatera) accompanied by gondang orchestra welcomed him and his entourage.
Horas..horas..horas.. shouted seven princesses of the lake and seven ulubalang welcoming the arrival of the President.
Accross the bridge, the President was welcomed by Governor of North Sumatera Tengku Erry Nuradi and Regent of Toba Samosir and Traditional Leaders by sowing Si Pir Ni Tondi rice. After the President sat down, there was 5 serangkai dance that showed five toba tribes and 9 cawan dance. The purpose of this procession was to set away the danger from the President and his entourage.
After that, there was a parade of women from 7 regencies who wore traditional clothing while holding tandok (head baskets) filled with rice symbolizing the culture of Batak people participation.
Before starting the carnival, the President told the people, local figures, and regional government to continue this kind of event.
In this event, we can see the diversity of our culture. There are Batak Mandailing, Karo, Toba, Simalungun, and Pakpak. Its the diversity that unite us, the President said.
If this cultural diversity is maintained, the President said, all of us can see the character of the nation, character of each region, identity of each tribe, as well as identity of each region. They will always unite our country, the President said.
After delivering his messages, the President open the carnical by hitting Gondang Tolu seven times. The President and the First Lady as well as a number of ministers also joined the carnival by travelling on a decorated cars that took the form of a rare medicine powder container, to the main stage in Simpang Sibulele, Balige City, which located 3.5 kilometers from the starting point.
Besides decorated cars, other participants of the carnival were marching band, flutte players, traditional fighters, sigale-gale (a wooden puppet used in a funeral dance performance of Batak people of Samosir Island), gundala-gundala (traditional attraction from Karo Regency in which the players wear wooden mask), trumpet players, paskibra (flag-hoisting team), melayu musicians, and little polices.
There were also contingents from various provinces in Indonesia, such as West Papua, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Maluku, South Sumatera, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, West Sumatera, Gorontalo, Jambi, Bangka Belitung, Aceh, Banten, DKI Jakarta, Central Java, East Java, and East Nusa Tenggara.
The carnival was also attended by Coordinating Minister for Martime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, and Head of Creative Economy Agency Triawan Munaf. There were about 2,194 participants joining this carnival. (UN/GUN/DAN/DEN/ES)(MMB/YM/Naster)