July 6th, 2008
No later than he arrived in Padang, Bapak Waleed was welcomed home with open arms, and brought to participate in the opening ceremonies of ‘Pekan Budaya Sumatera Barat,’ a week of festivities in ‘Taman Budaya’ showcasing the diversity of cultures from throughout the region. The event took place along the waterfront in Padang, and was organized and hosted by Pak Muasri of Camar Putih, and James Hellyward of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in West Sumatra. Bapak Waleed spent time catching up with both Drs Muasri and Drs Hellyward in advance of the opening ceremonies. He shared with them some of the updates from the activities of ISFA in America, and at the same time was invited to do further programs in West Sumatra. A professor of one of the universities in the area invited Bapak Waleed, “a hero of the Minangkabau,” to lecture to his students and present a program for them in the coming week.
As the ceremonies were getting underway, Drs Hellyward and Drs Muasri led Bapak Waleed up to the stage to join the dignitaries and representatives already in attendance, with Bapak Waleed sitting center stage. Bapak Waleed exchanged warm greetings and thanks with the other ‘dengan hormat’ and dignitaries in attendance, both before and afterward. The ceremonies began with introductions and benedictions, and an opening act showcasing the music and dance of West Sumatra, with dances such as the ‘Tari Piring’ dance performed with an accompaniment of West Sumatran Gamelan.
The main event of Day One was “Pawai Budaya,” a cultural parade coming through the main performance area, with each group in turn presenting themselves to the mainstage and to the dignitaries and officials seated there. The parade featured the cultures of the major cities and regencies in West Sumatra, including from Kota Padang, Solok, Bukittinggi, and Payakumbuh, and Kabupaten Mantawai, Pasaman, Sijunjung, and Dharmas Raya. Each group presented their traditional dress, and in many cases also showcased the traditional dress and manners for a wedding. Many of the groups gave short performances of dances or narratives, accompanied by ‘talempong,’ drumming, and several also featured demonstrations of traditional Silat play between two pesilat. The group representing Kota Solok also included a skit of the raising and building of a Rumah Gadang, or ‘Big House’ traditional to the Minangkabau. Other groups portrayed traditional skits, including one with ‘monyet,’ monkeys, in the midst of a disagreement between husband and wife. The dances featured several with animal suits, one with a tiger ‘harimau,’ two with horses ‘kuda,’ and several with dragons, ‘singa manis,’ large and small, reminiscent of the cultures of Sunda in West Java and of Bali. During the parade, a presentation was also made of the youth, the ‘Uni’ and ‘Uda,’ or the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Miss,’ representing the cities in the region.
Among the cities and regencies represented:
The attendees were a mixture of the local community of Padang, from the surrounding cities and townships in West Sumatra, dignitaries and officials traveling from Jakarta, tourists from abroad, some of the major Indonesian press, and even a selection of the Indonesian Red Beret.
Both during and after the festivities, people enjoyed booths from local vendors, including several set-up with beautiful plants and flowers. Behind the main stage area there were additional exhibits, including a stage where Silat Randai is performed and practiced on a daily basis. Located very near the grounds of the festival on one side were the offices and campus of Taman Budaya, and on the other side the beach and open ocean.
Translate this Page