Fri, 18 Aug 2000

Kotagede festival opens

YOGYAKARTA: A two-week festival featuring traditional arts, performances and cuisine began on Thursday in Kotagede, about five kilometers southeast of Yogyakarta.

"We plan to hold Festival Kotagede every August," said the chairman of the festival's organizing committee, M. Natsier.

The event ends on Sept. 2.

According to Natsier, one reason people in Kotagede are participating in the festival is to change the image of the town as merely a town of silversmiths. The organizers are all Kotagede residents.

"In fact, we have more than just silver. We are rich in various kinds of traditional and cultural inheritance. And not all of them are well exposed," said Natsier, adding that the town has great tourism potential.

Several plays and traditional folk performances will be staged during the festival. They include the Egrang (stilts) race, Bathok (coconut shell) race, palm tree climbing and arm wrestling.

The folk performances include Jathilan, traditional music keroncong, traditional drama ketoprak, traditional song mocopatan and shadow puppet shows.

"Hopefully, this festival will be more than just fun. Kotagede people wish to get something good for the city," Natsier said. (swa)