Jakarta. International Wayang Day was celebrated in Yogyakarta on Tuesday (07/11) with a mass performance by child puppeteers.
The event was scheduled to coincide with this year's Jogja International Heritage Festival, which is taking place in the city between Nov. 5 and 11.
"The event will promote wayang as one of the world's cultural heritages, and a product of tradition, contemporary and popular. It is also an implementation of the [United Nations] Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage," Umar Priyono, head of the Yogyakarta Cultural Service, said on Sunday (05/11).
A thousand child puppeteers from primary and middle schools in Yogyakarta participated in the event, which took place in Jalan Margautama. The event also featured workshops that introduced students to the values of wayang and taught them how to make wayang sodo, or stick puppets.
The festival further includes an international seminar with the theme "Supporting Wayang in the 21st Century," and an exhibition highlighting the diversity of wayang, from classical to contemporary.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said the mass performance can be connected to both the creative and tourism industries, because wayang has become widely known worldwide. Events such as these can also inspire artists, while supporting the creative economy, as many people seek to acquire puppets for their personal collections.
"I believe many tourists will flock to this year's Jogja International Heritage Festival and that it will have a positive impact, as many visitors will remember Yogyakarta because of the wayang and decide to return," the minister said.