Fri, 14 Jan 2000

Tugu community holds ritual

JAKARTA (JP): Residents of the historic Tugu area of North Jakarta will hold a traditional ritual purification ceremony on Sunday.

Longtime resident Samuel Quiko said on Thursday the mandi- mandi festival should have been held a week after New Year's but was postponed because of the Idul Fitri holiday.

He said the ritual, in which revelers smear powder on each other's faces, would be held in the front yard of SMU 52 senior high school. It will be preceded by a religious ceremony in the Tugu Church, which is believed to have been built by Portuguese settlers several hundred years ago.

"Although we will begin the festival with a Christian ritual, the celebration is open to all people of Tugu," Samuel said.

A traditional band will entertain the revelers with the famous Keroncong Tugu music.

The city administration has designated Tugu a protected area within a radius of 11.3 hectares due to its Portuguese heritage.(ind)