Jakarta. The newly inaugurated Mandalika Special Economic Zone, or SEZ, in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, is holding the traditional duel Peresean Festival 2017 from Thursday (23/11) until Saturday.
"The festival is an event to promote the Mandalika SEZ," Lalu Putria, head of the Central Lombok Tourism Agency, said in a statement on Friday.
The festival is one of the main cultural attractions in Central Lombok, in which each team will perform a ritual pre-match by forming a prayer circle while one member holds a stick and blows a spell.
Then the fighters will get down in the arena, armed with a rattan stick and a wood shield. Each match consists of three rounds, which lasts for a minute.
The matches are accompanied by the sound of traditional musical instrument gamelan from a performing group and applause as well as cries of enthusiasm from the audience.
Esthy Reko Astuti, tourism development deputy at the Ministry of Tourism, hoped the event will be regularly held to attract more tourists to the region as culture has become "the backbone of the tourism business in Indonesia."