Illustration of Tourism Minister Arief Yahya. (Tourism Ministry Photo)

Boat Parade Celebrates Pancasila Day in Ende, Soekarno's Exile Home

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

JUNE 02, 2017

Jakarta. The Tourism Ministry organized a boat parade to celebrate Pancasila Day on Thursday (01/06) in Ende, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara and where Indonesia's first president and one of the creators of Indonesia's official ideology Pancasila, Soekarno, was once sent into exile by the Dutch.

"Pancasila is one of the reasons we're now one of the 22 countries on the global stage that provide world-class tourism since 2016. We should celebrate it," Arief said on Thursday.

Arief attended the same boat parade in 2015, but this time was represented by the ministry’s deputy for marketing development, Esthy Reko Astuti, and its head of cultural tourism Wawan Gunawan.

The Villages, Disadvantages Regions and Transmigration Minister Eko Putro Sandjojo officially opened the Pancasila Day ceremony.

"Bung Karno's ultimate dream for Indonesia, manifested in the Pancasila, was a celebration of our diversity as a nation. That's what we celebrate here today," Eko said when he delivered a speech from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

Thousands had come to see the Pancasila Day celebration, including East Nusa Tenggara Governor Frans Lebu Raya and Ende District Head Marsel Petu.

Art and cultural performances were shown on a stage after the Pancasila Day ceremony, performed by local Ende communities.

The show then moved to Inspiration Park, located right next to the Pancasila Field — where local lore has it Soekarno used to meditate and came up with the idea for the Pancasila during his exile in 1934-1938.

The Pancasila Day ceremony and the "Jayalah Pancasila" (Long Live Pancasila) boat parade is part of the annual Parade Pesona Kebangsaan (Charms of the Nation Parade) which kicked off on National Awakening Day on May 20 and ended on Pancasila Day on June 1.

The annual parade is now one of the main tourist attractions in East Nusa Tenggara.

"'Parade Pesona Kebangsaan' has become an icon for the city and people of Ende, as Tourism Minister Arief Yahya had designated," Esthy said.

The ministry has also set Labuan Bajo, also in East Nusa Tenggara, as one of its ten priority tourist destinations, officially dubbed the "Ten New Balis."

The boat parade then began with an Indonesian Navy warship docking at the Ende Port filled with officers shouting "Long live Pancasila!"

Dozens of ships carrying the Indonesian flags and the country's official tourism slogan "Wonderful Indonesia" then started off from the dock to join the colorful parade.

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