UNESCO joins the Week of Art and Culture of Indonesia Festival 2013 organized by Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga, 25-27 April 2013
A representative from UNESCO took part in the closing ceremony of the Week of Art and Culture of Indonesia Festival 2013 organized by Satya Wacana Christian University (SWCU) held on the 27th of April 2013. The festival brought together performers from 31 different ethnic groups from the University to showcase the diverse cultural traditions and performances of Indonesia and Timor-Leste whilst also aiming to increase tolerance and understanding through culture.
Satya Wacana Christian University (SWCU) is located in Salatiga, Central Java, and is known as ‘Mini Indonesia’ due its culturally diverse student population with over 31 different ethnic groups such as Batak, Javanese, Sundanese, Dayak, Timorese, Papuan, etc. represented. Every year the University holds the Week of Art and Culture of Festival to increase tolerance amongst students while also sharing the diverse cultural heritage of Indonesia.
The 2013 Festival had the theme of 'United in Diversity of Cultures, Passionate in Togetherness through Art and Sport’ and featured a number of activities and performances from traditional dances, music, bands, food and handicrafts from various cultures in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. A group of students from the University were also involved in the creation of a five meter long Wayang Gunungan, or shadow puppet, made from recycled bottles. The model was designed to spread the message of environmental sustainability and received an award from the Museum Record of Indonesia (MURI) during the Festival.
Mr. Andrew Henderson, Consultant for Culture at UNESCO Jakarta, delivered a speech during the closing ceremony of the Festival in which he thanked the University and students for their strong initiative in organizing the event and sharing its message of cultural diversity and tolerance. Mr. Henderson outlined that the vision of the Festival was in line with the ‘UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions’, which works towards ensuring that every nation, group and individual has the right to protect and promote their own culture, therefore creating a more peaceful and tolerant global society. Indonesia has shown its commitment to the protection and promotion of cultural diversity through its ratification of the Convention in 2012.
Mr. Henderson also outlined that Indonesia has been leading initiatives to recognise the power of culture for development and of recognizing cultural diversity. To this end the Indonesia government has been involved in developing the World Culture in Development Forum, an international initiative created under the patronage of UNESCO, which is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of culture as a means to achieve sustainable development, peace, and wellbeing. This Forum will be held in Bali in November 2013 and will have a significant impact on shaping the international framework of culture and development for the future.
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