Jakarta. To commemorate the 348th anniversary of Padang, West Sumatra, the city held the Telong-Telong festival, which featured a parade of torches and giant puppets, on Padang Beach on Sunday (06/08).
"This is a meaningful event for Padang. Culture and art have been mixed together to benefit the tourism sector. The people will be prosperous if we pay attention to our tourism industry," said Betti Shadiq Pasadigoe, a member of the House of Representatives.
"Telong-Telong has become part of Padang’s tourism sector. We have to maintain all cultural and tourism elements in West Sumatra," she added.
Betti, a native of the region, thanked the West Sumatra government and the Ministry of Tourism for holding the annual Telong-Telong festival, which attracts scores of local and foreign tourists each year.
"Through partnerships between the ministry and all parties, we can quickly awaken the local economy through tourism," Betti said.
Padang Mayor Mahyeldi Ansharullah said the city is an historical site due to its role in the war of independence against the Dutch occupiers earlier in the 20th century.
"These Telong fesitvals are not only meant for parade or tourism, but also part of the Padangnese people’s struggle to maintain the unity and dignity of Indonesia during the occupation. This event is meaningful. Enjoy the shows," he said in his speech.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya also praised the event and urged the people of Padang to continue revolutionizing its local tourism sector.
"Extraordinary results can be achieved with extraordinary measures. We will not win the competition by just doing business-as-usual," Arief said. "We have to create something different in strengthening Indonesia’s tourism sector."