Jakarta. East Kotawaringin in Central Kalimantan will hold "Isen Mulang" — literally, "never step back" — a cultural festival to preserve and promote local Dayak culture, on May 19-22.
The four-day event will feature stage performances and contests for both locals and visitors.
"We're expecting up to 10,000 local tourists and at least 500 foreign visitors at Isen Mulang. The festival is fully supported by the Tourism Ministry," the ministry's deputy for development, Esthy Reko Astuti, said in a statement on Wednesday (17/05).
The festival will run side-by-side with the Central Kalimantan Festival Expo, which will showcase products made by local small businesses (UMKM), co-operatives and craftsmen.
East Kotawaringin Tourism and Culture Head Timur Fajrurrahman said the expo will be hosted at four different locations — Sampit City Park, Mentaya River Park, Borneo Citymall and 29 Nopember Stadium in Sampit City.
"The expo will feature a cultural carnival, the Putra Putri Pariwisata beauty pageant, traditional dance performances and traditional ceremonies Karungut, Mamasak, Mangaruhi and Balogo."
Visitors will also have a chance to take part in traditional contests like the Mangenta and Malamang, as well as a cooking contest and the Pesisir dance contest.
The Putera Puteri Pariwisata — literally, Mr. and Miss Tourism — beauty pageant will be the highlight of the event. Esthy said the pageant will involve contestants from thirteen districts and one city in Central Kalimantan.
"The winners will be sent to the national Putera Puteri Pariwisata competition," Timur said.
"We definitely saw more tourists coming to Central Kalimantan since the festival began [in 2007]. More than 20,000 tourists had come here since the first festival," Esthy said.
Central Kalimantan Cultural and Education Office Head Guntur Talajan said a lot of the visitors to the province come to experience the local culture and also for a spot of ecotourism.
"Many visitors come here to see the orangutan. There is a national park in Tanjung Punting [where orangutans can be found]."