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01
April

Ngarot tradition is a traditional ceremony at Lelea village, Lelea district, West Java. It has a meaning being ‘grateful’ on planting season. The ceremony is usually held on Wednesday, the third week in November or December. It is conducted because Wednesday is considered holy and good day to plant rice. Ngarot comes from Sundanese language meaning drinking. While, in Sanskrit “Ngaruat” means free from the God’s curse or sin. The first Ngarot culture was conducted by Ki Buyut Kapol, a figure who was loyal and influential in Lelea village. He was willing to give his rice field as wide as 26,100 square-meters as realization of Ngarot event and welcomed by Lelea villagers. The ceremony is usually conducted by youths of the Lelea village. Ngarot ceremony consists of three parts, namely parade, giving and performance party. The participants, who take part in Ngarot, must wear typical clothes. The girls wear Kebaya with shawls and accessories such as necklace, bracelet, ring, bros, gold safety pin, and hair ornament. While, the young men wear Komboran clothes and Gombrang pants or loose pants and head-bands. The ceremony begins at 08.30 A.M. and all the participants of Ngarot gather at house of village’s head to be made over. Thus, the youths parade to go around the village. Afterwards, the participants enter village’s hall and they are welcomed by regional dances. Then, they start performing the main event by first opening, reading Ngarot history, welcoming speech of Village’s head and handing over process to the youths.

25
March

Watotena beach is located at the Southeast of Adonara Island, precisely in Nelerereng village, Ileboleng district, East Adonara, East Flores. The beach is still visited by few tourists so that the beach is appropriate to enjoy relaxation and beautiful scenery. Besides white sand and blue sea, the interesting beach has black stones or magma stones with various kinds of shapes and formations which decorate the seashore that add the beauty of Watotena beach and this beach is quite different from other beaches in Flores land. The name of Watotena means boat from stone, or stone which has shape boat. It can be seen from magma stone which has shape like boat. There are a lot of magma stones which appear on white sand surface. The exotics of the beach is more beautiful with Mt. Ile Boleng scenery behind it. You can do many activities over there, beginning from going down the beach, playing sand or water and looking for interesting spots to take picture. To play at the sea water, you should be careful because sometimes its wave is quite big. To get access to Watotena beach, you can use motor boat from Larantuka and anchor at Terong or Waiwerang port on Adonara Island. The beach has a distance around 6 kilometers from Waiwerang port and takes around 30 minutes from Waiwerang and entirely takes around 3 hours from Larantuka port. The most important point is that the tourists should pay attention to the cleanliness. They are prohibited to throw away garbage carelessly. Smoking is forbidden and no littering on the beach. This is certainly aimed at making the beach very clean without pollution.

18
March

East Nusa Tenggara -NTT has not only amazing natural tourism object, but also cultural tourism object, such as Mbaru Embo Traditional House which is located at Mok hamlet, Mbengan village, Komba district, East Manggarai regency, Flores, East Nusa Tenggara province. The Traditional House is unique because it is never occupied by human beings. Mok hamlet is a place where Mbaru Embo Traditional House is old hamlet which is occupied by Nanga tribe. The villagers believe that Mbaru Embo is a house for the ancestors. Couples of Embo Lenang and Embo Teje were believed as the main elders of the ancestors of the traditional house’s occupants. In accordance with traditional demands, Mbaru Embo stands on hill, part of hamlet’s upstream. Its building has hollow, circle shape with one point which is peak of its roof. The situation of the ancestors’ house is always silent because it is unoccupied and its location is a little bit separated around 50 - 200 meters from residential area. The location of Mok hamlet has a distance 30 kilometers in the North of  Borong, the capital city of East Manggarai regency. Visiting the hamlet is not difficult because its road has been paved. If you visit Mbaru Embo Traditional House, there are 5 rules which must be obeyed. Firstly, the visitors must be at the outside of the house. Secondly, they are allowed to smoke. Thirdly, they do not wear red clothes. Fourthly, the visitors are allowed to take picture of traditional house. And the last rule is that the visitors are allowed to  carry out lighting tools.

13
March

Sontiri hill is a regency which consists of 29 districts and it some beautiful natural sceneries. Not many people know that the heaven of the world is hidden in this regency. Sontiri hill is one of tourism destinations which should be visited.The best time to visit Sontiri hill is in the morning and evening. You can see the beauty of the nature. Green grass is always decorated with spider’s net every day, so that there is beautiful white color on it. Sontri hill is also known as Teletubies hill, kids’ figures on television.The hills stretches like a green carpet,  moreover when glow of light illuminates the hill, it will add to the beauty of the scenery. Interestingly, Sontiri hill will be more beautiful in the morning or evening. Sontiri hill is usually visited by a lot of local people to spend their time to enjoy sunset.Sontiri or teletubies hill is located not far from Sentani city. It has a distance around 15 kms and takes around 20 – 30 minutes through Jalan Kemiri. If you are on the hill, you will see amazing scenery of Sentani lake. Besides, you can also see Sentani original houses at the shore of the lake, precisely under the hill.

04
March

Masjid Agung Batam or also called Batam Great Mosque is located in  Batam Center that is the downtown of the government of Batam. The dome of the mosque has a unique shape, like pyramid. Because of the uniqueness and the beauty of its building, the mosque becomes not only worship place, but also tourism attraction in Batam. The location of the Masjid Agung Batam is easy to visit. From Hang Nadim airport, you can directly take taxi. But, if you want to go by public transportation, you can get on Damri bus to Batu Aji or Jodoh and get off at Kepri Mall. From Kepri Mall bus shelter, take Trans Batam bus to Batam Center, then get off at the mosque shelter. From the shelter, you only need to walk a few steps to Masjid Agung Batam. Masjid Agung Batam or Batam Great Mosque was initially built in 1999 and finished in 2001. The building is  Malayan motif, and architecture of the mosque is categorized unique because the mosque does not have pillar so that its room looks spacious. The mosque is equipped with high tower around 66 meters. Its dome has a shape pyramid and divided into 3 parts. It has vertical perspective towards one point above as a relation symbol between human beings and the God.

01
March

Gantar dance

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Published in Indonesian Wonder

Danish Travel Show-Ferie for Alle, the most visited tourism exhibition in Scandinavian region was held on February 22nd  to 23rd  in Herning City, Denmark.   Indonesian Embassy in Copenhagen takes part in the exhibition annually to promote Indonesia in Scandinavia region, especially Denmark. In the exhibition, the Indonesian booth promoted alternative tourism destinations besides Bali. The promotion wass managed into natural and cultural tourism packages. Visitors who came were also served with Indonesian food, such as Uduk rice, meat stews, chicken curry, dumplings, taro chips and green bean porridge. A number of dances, such as Selayang Pandang, Merak, Jaipong, Mask Bapang Malang, Ngapotek, Lancang Kuning, Gantar and Enggang were also performed for the visitors. From a number of traditional dances performed at the Danish Travel Show-Ferie for Alle, we  introduce one of them,  Gantar dance. Gantar dance is a social dance of young people from  Benuaq Dayak tribe and Tanjung Dayak in East Kalimantan. In  the Gantar dance, the dancers use a stick and short bamboo. This dance illustrates the expression of  joy of the dancers and also  hospitality of the Dayak people in welcoming guests. This dance is also meant to welcome guests or tourists who attend the traditional East Kalimantan event. In the show, Gantar dance is usually performed by female dancers. The dancers are dressed in traditional attire of the Dayak tribe. Besides, they also wear various accessories, such as bracelets and headbands necklaces. In the performance, Gantar dance is also accompanied with traditional Dayak ethnic music. Gantar dance is divided into three types, namely Gantar Rayatn, Gantar Busai and Gantar Senak and Kusak. Gantar Rayatn dance only uses one tool, namely a long stick which  is decorated with a skull wrapped with cloth. In the dance, the people dance, sing and wave hands in accordance with  the rhythm. The Gantar Busai dance uses only a piece of bamboo. When dancing, the dancers wave gracefully and play bamboo based on the rhythm.The bamboo used is given 12 bracelets to make it sound when moved. The last is Gantar Senak and Kusak. Senak in this dance is a stick held with left hand. While Kusak is a bamboo that is held with right hand.The bamboo used in this type is filled with seeds so that the sound produces loud sound. In the Gantar dance, the dancers play a long stick and stomps and follow the sound of the bamboo by swinging it.

20
February

The beauty of Indonesian nature becomes benchmark for domestic and foreign tourists to explore it.  Indonesia has a lot of small islands that are unknown by tourists. One of them is Bungin Island in Sumbawa regency. The island is located at 70 kilometers to the West of Sumbawa Besar district. Bungin island can be accessed by speedboat. Village of Bungin Island is mentioned as the most populous in the world. This small island is occupied by Bajo tribe that comes from South Sulawesi. There is almost no empty land of the island. Every year, the island continues to get wider because there is reclamation to accommodate the newly married family. Averagely, there are 100 new houses every year on this island. The island which has 8.5 hectares wide is occupied by around 3,400 people. Most of the Bungin people are descent of Bajo tribe, South Sulawesi. They are well-known as sea nomads and skillful divers. Since baby, Bungin children have been introduced to maritime through Toyah ceremony. In Toyah ritual, a baby is seated on 7 women’s thigh alternately by swinging. The swing is alluded as sea to be faced by the child when he/she grows up and becomes a sailor. The origin of Bajo tribe to occupy the island is when the first settlement was pioneered by Palema Mayu, a son of six children of King Selayar at the19th century. According to folk story, Palema Mayo came to Sumbawa before Mt. Tambora erupted in 1812. At that time, Bungin island which has white sand was still empty and only overgrown by mangroves. Although the island is relatively small, there are 2 piers at the West and South of the island. Alas- Bungin as crossover is quite crowded. 8 Jonson boats cross Bungin-Alas since morning until night. Because of its uniqueness, Bungin Island becomes one of tourism objects of Sumbawa regency.

18
February

Teluk Cendrawasih National Park is located in Teluk Wondama regency, West Papua. To get access to the park, you can use airplane to Biak and the trip is continued by plane to Manokwari, and then, you use a long boat to one of islands, including in national park area, namely Rumberpon island. It takes around five and half hours. Rumberpon island is the location of animal observation, especially bird and breeding of deer. From the island, you can do marine activities, such as diving or snorkeling to enjoy under-sea beauty surrounding the island. Besides Rumberpon island, you can also visit other islands which include in Teluk Cendrawasih national park area, such as Nuswori, Roon, and Yoop. These islands present beautiful diving spots. In addition, there is also Mioswaar island that presents hot spring which can relieve your fatigue during going around the park. Teluk Cendrawasih National Park becomes a home for more than 500 species of coral reefs, 950 species of fish and some population of fauna, such as whale shark, mermaid, Napoleon wrasse, turtle and some other sharks. Because there are a lot of species which live in the bay, World Wild Foundation of Indonesia uses Gurano Bintang ship to educate local people who depend on daily life from the sea around this beach. The local people are educated how to maintain the coral reefs and address the contaminated water that becomes habitat of hundreds of species of fish in the waters of the park.

13
February

Banyuwangi is one of regions in Indonesia which has a lot of tourism destinations. Sunset can bea choice if you are relaxing at the beach. It is not a must but Wedi Ireng beach has white and black sand. At the beach, you can also swim, snorkeling, and take a picture or just take a sit to enjoy sunrise or sunset.Wedi Ireng beach is located at Pancer hamlet, Sumberagung village, Pesanggaran, Banyuwangi. The beach is about 65 KMs to the South of Banyuwangi city. After 3-4 hours travel from Banyuwangi city, you will arrive at mustika beach. Thus, you continue your trip by walking through the hill for 20 minutes to reach Wedi Ireng beach. If you do not want to pass challenging route to get to the location, you can use sea line which is certainly easier and faster. You can go to Pancer hamlet, and rent fisherman’s boat. You only need to pay Rp 40,000 to go and return and around Rp 25,000 for one trip. By using sea line, it takes only 30 minutes. The location Wedi Ireng beach is quite remote, even access to go to this tourism object is quite challenging. But, enchanment of the beach will not make you regret to fight to the place. The beauty of the beach is like other beaches, even the beach has long beach line. Its clear blue sea water combining with white and black sand is as if neatly arrange as special design of Wedi Ireng beach. In addition, coarse layers of stone and brown sand and also white sand become the characteristic of this beach. The name of the beach is taken from Javanese language. Wedi means sand and Ireng means black, although all of its sand is not black. So, set your time to take holiday at Wedi Ireng beach in Banyuwangi, East Java province.

11
February

Indonesia is rich of various kinds of cultures. The diversity is formed by a number of tribes that live in Indonesian territory and spread out on various islands. Every tribe has customs, language, arts, regional songs, traditional house, including traditional clothes. Generally, every regional cloth is completed with traditional weapon, such as Golok from Jakarta, Kujang from West Java, Piso Surit from North Sumatra, and Rencong from Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, and many others. West Sulawesi province has various tribes, such as Mandar, Pattae, Pannei, and Pattinjo. Mandar tribe has traditional weapon, called ‘Jambia’. In the past, farmers used the weapon for hunting or killing forest animals which destroyed their plants. The weapon was also used to protect them when wandering. Jambia is a traditional weapon like Badik. Its form is a little bit wide on the middle of blade and its tip is sharp. Jambia has two types, namely ‘Jambia Baine’ for women and ‘Jambia Muane’ for men. Comparing with Badik from South Sulawesi, the characteristic of Jambia can be seen from ‘Cipiq’. Cipiq is a sign on Jambia that is split in two ends. While ‘Bisaq’ is a sign of dividing the two halves or back of badik, and penetrates from top to bottom. In ancient belief, the two characteristics were considered good to be used for trade and farming because it was believed that it would bring a lot of fortune. Names of parts on Jambia are ‘Pulu’ or head of Jambia that functions as holder, ‘Oting’ is part of base that is planted into Pulu, Tondong, Seqde, and Uyung or tip of Jambia. While its Sarong or cover is called ‘Guma’.