KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Indonesia should capitalise on its unique cultural diversity to attract more Malaysians to visit the country, said Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer – Malaysia, Country Manager Muhammad Shafie Obet.
He felt that there was a need for Indonesia to further explore the cultural diversity of this vibrant country to achieve the desired result, thus boosting the country’s booming tourism industry.
“In fact, there are 13,000 islands in Indonesia with a total population of 250 million people. There is so much for us to show and I believe there are still a lot of things that we are not aware of,” he told Bernama when met at the second Indonesia Street Bukit Bintang Fiesta held at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The event themed, ‘Explore Exotic Indonesia’, held from May 18 to 21, will showcase Indonesian cultural performances such as dance, music, carnival show, deejay, batik and weaving workshop, fashion show from renowned Indonesian designers and other interactive programmes such as henna, face painting as well as quizzes.
Shafie said Malaysia and Indonesia shared many cultural similarities yet there were still much more that could be explored.
“For example, we have Dayaks in Indonesia and they live nearby the borders of Sarawak and Indonesia. Like the ones in Sarawak, the Dayaks in Indonesia celebrate Pesta Gawai and live in long houses.
“There are also some similarities in terms of food, for instance, ‘Rendang’. I believe the Malays in Malaysia have ‘Rendang’ too but the taste might not be the same with Indonesian ‘Rendang’,” he explained.
Earlier, Shafie said the event, which is a collaboration between the Indonesia Tourism Ministry and the Embassy of Indonesia aimed to promote Indonesia as a tourist destination among Malaysians.
“A total of 16 booths are opened throughout the event, showcasing Indonesian culture, destinations and products,” he said, adding that Indonesian artist Chakra Khan is also expected to attend the event tomorrow.