Indonesia’s vast natural beauty and immense cultural heritage lures countless travellers to the islands that make up this archipelago nation. In addition to this, Indonesia also holds a number of festivals and events that celebrate its traditions, as well as the culture of its neighbouring countries. Discover the ten best cultural and artistic events occurring in the latter half of 2013 throughout Indonesia.
Film | Anime Festival Asia Indonesia 2013
Jakarta: 6 – 8 September 2013
With its first festival in 2012 attracting over 40,000 visitors, Anime Festival is returning to Indonesia as the country’s largest anime and Japanese popular culture event. Creating an environment ‘akin to being in Japan’s famous Akihabara district’, the festival will include an exciting line-up of anime songs sung by Japanese stars, opportunities to meet the creative and voice talents behind the shows, costume competitions, anime screenings and more.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Music | Simfoni untuk Bangsa (Symphony for Nations) 2013
Jakarta: 14 September
An annual event that presents epic and inspiration orchestral arrangements, Simfoni untuk Bangsa’s aim is to explore the notions of national pride through music. Presented by the Jakarta Concert Orchestra, 2013’s event will feature acclaimed musicians such as Farman Purnama, Christine Tambunan, Edith Widayani and the Batavia Madrigal Singers, while the compositions performed will include works by Beethoven and the celebrated Indonesia composer Mochtar Embut. A fusion of classical song, national songs and folk songs, Simfoni untuk Bangsa offers a beautiful insight into the musical influence of Indonesia.
Performance | Solo International Performing Arts (SIPA)
Solo: 20 – 22 September 2013
With the theme of ‘Legend’ being explored at this year’s festival, the Solo International Performing Arts (SIPA) will present art performances from Indonesia and around the world. Displaying a vast spectrum of mediums including dance, theatre, music, theatre and other forms of performance art, the Solo International Performing Arts is set to be a captivating and inspiring event that unites culture and performance.
Culture | Sanur Village Festival
Sanur: 24 – 28 September 2013
Founded in 2005, this year’s Sanur Village Festival has the title theme of ‘The New Spirit of Heritage’. Exploring the soul of Balinese art and culture, the festival is multi-faceted in its programme and includes a food festival, both traditionally or modern stage performances, water sports, cooking demonstrations and exhibitions, as well as environmental activities such as a turtle release and coral reefs conservation.
Music | Java Soul Nation Festival
Jakarta: 4 – 6 October 2013
Dedicated to the music genres of soul, hip hop, R&B and rap, the international Java Soulnation Festival is a popular event that presents some of the most exciting acts from Indonesia and abroad. With an aim of boosting Indonesia’s music and tourism industries while also fostering cross-cultural cooperation, the festival’s reputation has been continually growing, and in 2012 it won the JJK Awards for Best Music Festival. 2013’s line-up includes Macy Gray, Far East Movement and Karmin.
Film | Balinale Film Festival
Kuta: 4-10 October 2013
Established in 2007 as a non-profit and non-government charity organisation, Balinale Film Festival is an internationally acclaimed event that provides a platform for Indonesian filmmakers to reach global audiences, while also developing relationships between practitioners, organisations and audiences. Not only screening Indonesian and International films, the festival also facilitates free workshops and seminars, and has had Oscar, Emmy, BAFTA and Cannes award winning filmmakers involved in these programmes.
Writing | Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Ubud: 11-15 October 2013
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival collects the best Indonesian, South East Asian and international voices for a programme of talks, book launches, film screenings, workshops and other cultural activities. In commemoration of its origins, the festival will return to the theme of its inauguration year, ‘Through Darkness to Light/ Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang’, which honours RA Kartini, one of the pioneers of women’s rights in Indonesia. Exploring all genres from travel and poetry to comedy and graphic novels, this festival is a must for all literature enthusiasts.
Culture | Asmat Cultural Festival 2013
Asmat District: 15 – 19 October 2013
Looking to the cultural heritage of Papua’s Asmat tribe, the Asmat Cultural Festival is an inspiring event that takes place on Indonesia’s most eastern island. Renowned for their woodcarving art, this festival offers enlightening insights into this spiritual art form, as well as other aspects of the history and traditions of the Asmat people. Set in a UNESCO world heritage site, activities such as weaving, boating, dances and traditional musical performances will be showcased, and at the end of the festival some of the art and woodcarvings will be auctioned.
Culture | World Culture in Development Forum 2013 in Bali
Nusa Dua: 24 – 29 November 2013
The first of a planned series of annual international meetings in Bali, The World Culture in Development Forum (WCF) is a forum that will discuss Indonesia’s culture and development. While the conference will bring together politicians and stakeholders, a captivating programme of events will be offered to visitors. These include the Festival of Cultural Films, which will showcase national and international films with a focus on cultural awareness; the Art Olympiad, which will feature a number of exhibitions and talks; and the People’s Carnival, which will present performances and activities from cultures around the world, such as Aborigine Festivals from Australia and Neputa Matsuri Festival of Hirosaki from Japan.
Jewellery | Exquisite Indonesian Jewellery Exhibition 2013 by Mutumanikam Nusantara
Jakarta: 27 November – 1 December 2013
Located within the ‘Ring of Fire’, Indonesia is home to an array of precious and beautiful materials that have been made into jewellery. From South Sea pearls, gold, silver, and natural stones and gems, this exhibition will display some of the finest jewellery works to be found in Indonesia, and aims to boost the country’s reputation in the international scene. The event will feature exhibitions of crafted works, talk from professionals and jewellery design competitions.
By Andrew Kingsford-Smith
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