The cluster of Nusa Penida Islands as the territory of Global Coral Triangle has become the new prime tourism potential. Even, it is predicted as ‘the last paradise of Bali.’ Apart from the culture and natural beauty, its unique spiritual in combination with local culinary tradition also gives a distinctive characteristic. Marine treasures owned by the island are even increasing the long list of the exotica conjuring up travelers to come and enjoy the charms presented.
It was said by the Regent of Klungkung, Nyoman Suwirta, while giving a speech at the opening of the Nusa Penida Festival (NPF), Sunday (Jun 8). It was the first event held for 4 days (Jun 8-11) centered at Batununggul Square and became a cornerstone to explore and promote the existing tourism. It was aimed to make Nusa Penida a special tourist destination and special event by featuring all the potentials so that Nusa Penida posing the golden egg of Bali with alluring tourism potential would become ‘the Rise of the New Paradise.’ The festival was also arranged in conjunction with the establishment of Nusa Penida as a Marine Protected Area (KKP) by the Ministry of Fishery and Maritime Affairs.
In this festival, the focus was on at least four main pillars used in organizing the festival, such as touring, sailing boat, culinary activity and culture. It was graced by various competitions, such as the cultural parade presenting 16 villages, traditional regatta, photography, culinary competition, fashion show and customary attires for foreign travelers. In addition, the committee also held an exhibition to give space to promote the potential of each area, seminar and environmental camp, touring and mangrove planting as well as reforestation.
Implementation of the festival was expected to make Nusa Penida one of the special tourism and special event destinations, evoke the sense of belonging to Nusa Penida, promote tourism potential, introduce classical sacred arts and attract investors to invest which in turn would increase the regionally generated revenue (PAD) through tourist visit to Nusa Penida that indirectly provided a livelihood, especially to the people of Nusa Penida.
The first day of the festival was filled with a variety of events, from the morning touring program with 300 visitors invited to visit Tanglad village and Crystal Bay Beach in cooperation with the ASITA Bali and travel agencies. A number of visitors admitted to be tempted by the natural charms owned by Nusa Penida. Gusti Kompiang Aya, the Research and Development Division of the Indonesian Tourist Guide Association (HPI) of Bali Chapter, participating in the touring got impressed with the charms of Nusa Penida.
Before the opening ceremony, the committee held a culinary competition by involving representatives from 16 villages in Nusa Penida, where each village was required to present a typical menu of Nusa Penida. Various unique menus made of local land and marine products were presented such as yam rice, seaweed pudding, corn muffins and seaweed cake. Even, there was an exclusive menu namely the bird nest porridge served by the representative of Sekartaji village.
Various traditional games having come into extinction were showed on the carnival as a self-reflection. A long line of graceful women carrying flower arrangement on the head or gebogan also gave the uniqueness of local tradition. Similarly, the composition of traditional music graced the event with the appearance of baleganjur mebarung, angklung, cungklik and semar pegulingan gamelan music. The more unique local arts could be seen in the attractions like the classical dance of Baris Jangkang, Gambuh, Gandrung Bungan Urip, Sanghyang Gerodog, Arja Kunik and Nusa Penida Fragmentary show. Meanwhile, the presentations with interesting and magical impression were the Baris Jongkrang and Sanghyang Gerodog.
Baris Jangkang Dance had sacred values and magical element that symbolized the ancient troops. Movement of the dance was adopted from the military choreography in combination with artistic value. Storyline of the Baris Jangkang told about a crow stealing eggs or flies cleaning their face.
Meanwhile, the Sanghyang Gerodog used traditional medium in the form of boat equipped with wooden wheels which would then be driven accompanied with sanghyang chants. The term grodog was onomatopoeia generated by wooden wheels driven in contact with the ground and the venue of the procession. The dance was functioned to expel evil spirits performed every year in the second month of Balinese calendar (July-August) in Lembongan. This sacred dance is written in the chronicle of Nusa Prahu Renggan.
“Implementation of this NPF is expected not to stop here, but there is a continuation or a positive impact that will be enjoyed by the people of Nusa Penida. Hopefully, this can become an annual event,” hoped Wayan Sujana, the Head of Klungkung Culture and Tourism Agency. (BTN/014)