Friendship between Bali, chiefly Denpasar, with Fukuoka, Japan increasingly tightened. As evidence, some of activities in a various sectors such as education, culture and labor have been done intensely. It has been undertaken by involving non-profit organization and government agencies for many times.
The most recent program was sending one unit of barong ket to Japan to be included in the parade of Hakata Dontaku Festival, in Fukuoka, Japan, beginning this May. Chairman of the Denpasar-Fukuoka Brotherhood, AA Gde Widiada, accompanied by the senior figure of the brotherhood, I Gusti Kompyang Pujawan, suggested that this effort was a continuation of the serious effort and hard work of the brotherhood for increasing the cooperation between the two nations.
“Incidentally, there is a festival so that we include the Balinese barong in the event,” he said. According to Kompyang Pujawan, the participation at this time was the umpteenth time. In the festival held last year, his party had included the rangda, punta and kartala mask in the parade. “Even, we became the highlight as the Indonesian participant at that time,” recalled Pujawan.
In the participation this year, the brotherhood entrusted the barong effigy made by Ketut Karang from Kapal, Mengwi, and would be paraded by the students of Raj Yamuna. At the handover ceremony of the barong not long ago, both Widiada and Pujawan entrusted that the Raj Yamuna institution would be capable of taking the trust and became the best performer in the festival.
The barong was received by principal of the Raj Yamuna Junior High School I Made Jasa and Principal of the Raj Yamuna Elementary School Made Suarni. Both principals said the group consisting of 14 people would depart to participate in the festival. In details, they consisted of two elementary school students and five junior high school students, while the remaining participants were teachers and parents.
Hakata Dontaku Festival is one of the prestigious cultural events held by the Sakura Country. Estimated, the festival has been commenced around 1179 years ago organized in relation to the celebration of New Year where it is now known as Matsubayahi. The word ‘Dontaku’ itself is predicted to originate from the Dutch language Zondag meaning Sunday or holidays. This festival is usually organized in late April to early May. (BTN/055)