Jakarta. Hundreds of artists worked together to turn elements of local culture into modern art pieces for a street fashion parade as part of the Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival on Saturday, Nov. 11.
"What makes this festival different is that it was all managed by locals. All the musicians, dancers and festival staff are from Banyuwangi. We are very proud of this event," Banyuwangi District Head Azwar Anas said in a speech.
The street parade was attended by Coordinating Human Development and Cultural Affairs Minister Puan Maharani and Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.
Azwar thanked the Tourism Ministry for continuing to support festivals in Banyuwangi.
The BEC festival is only one of 72 festivals held in Banyuwangi throughout the year.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Banyuwangi has more events in its agenda than any other district in the country, which means it has done very well to preserve local culture and traditions.
"What Banyuwangi has done is a great example of 'cultural affirmation.' And it has definitely brought more visitors to the district. The Sunrise of Java [Banyuwangi] is well on its way to become a leading tourist destination," Puan said.
Since its first iteration in 2011, BEC, unlike other festivals of similar ilk, has always showcased local talents.
This year, BEC brings out 160 local designers to create outlandish costumes with the theme "Majestic Ijen," inspired by the beauty of the district's famous Mount Ijen.
The costumes are dominated by the color blue to illustrate the blue fire seen in the volcano's sulphur mines.
One of these local talents, who got their first break making outfits for BEC, is Annisa Feby Chaurina. She is now an accomplished ethnic costume designer who has won many national and international awards.
One of Feby's creations, Barong Sunar Udara, a lion-themed traditional costume, won the Best National Costume award at the Miss Supermodel International 2016 event in New Delhi, India.