The Papua Tourism Office was slated to hold the Lake Sentani Festival here on July 16-19 to support the annual Lembah Baliem Festival in Jayawijaya District in August, 2008.
“The Festival will be held as an effort to protect the culture of the Jayapura District, mainly in the Sentani Lake area,” Head of the Papua Tourism Office Elly Weror said on Saturday.
The two festivals were designed in such a way to ease tourists wishing to enjoy the fetivities, Weror said, adding that the festivals were also intended to prolong their stays in the province.
Previously, there were only three big cultural festivals, namely the cultural festival of Lembah Baliem, that of Asmat and that of Kamoro, he said.
He added the office was likewise trying to realize the Cendrawasih Bay Festival.
Besides holding the cultural events, he added, the province has been reorganizing the tourist sites in the area, including the Holtekam Beach located some 60 kms from Jayapura.
Among some of the most anticipated highlights of the festival are the Isilo, a traditional colossal dance on boats that involves hundreds of performers, the war dance, and also the massive cultural parade. The war dance and parade have always been an essential and sacred part of the festival. This year, there will also be the installment of the Ondoafi, or the leader of the tribe’s customs and tradition.
Lake Sentani is one of the largest lakes on the island of Papua, – Indonesia’s most easterly province – located near the provincial capital city, Jayapura, on the north eastern coast of the Indonesian side of New Guinea. On the lake are houses on stilts equipped with nets to haul in the daily fish catch. There are more than 33 species of fish found in Lake Sentani with half of these endemic. Tourists to Sentani enjoy swimming in the lake, chat with the friendly locals, watch the process of making sago, try the local delicacies or taste the matoa fruit that is found in abundance sold along the roads or in the local market.
Source : ANTARA