Traditional Indonesian songkok, or fez. (Antara Photo/Ekho Ardiyanto)

Road Racing in Sarung and Songkok


OCTOBER 01, 2017

Jakarta. Cyclists in the 2017 International Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen, or ITdBI, on Friday (29/09) wore sarung and songkok, the traditional wraparound skirt and cap usually worn by Muslim men, before starting off the last stage of the competition.

Local cyclists and international cyclists from 29 countries took part in the Tour de Banyuwangi.

Banyuwangi District Head Azwar Anas said wearing the traditional costume was intended to introduce local pesantren (Islamic boarding school) traditions in Banyuwangi.

"We want to introduce a unique form of Islamic education in Indonesia, which has a long history of fostering peace. We assigned local youths to accompany the overseas teams and explain to them about pesantren and its role in Indonesian society," Azwar said in a statement on Sunday.

The tour's final stage had kicked off from a pesantren called Darussalam in Banyuwangi, which is located in a religiously diverse area where many Hindus also live.

"There has never been any religious conflict here. People respect and help each other irrespective of their faiths," the district head said.

The Tour de Banyuwangi covered a total of 533 kilometers from Sept. 27, and passed through several tourist destinations in Banyuwangi, including Watudodol Beach, Bangsring Beach and Mount Ijen.