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The future of traditional arts can be guaranteed through continuous promotion. In this era of information saturation and ubiquitous technology use, an arts and culture week (“Pekan Seni Budaya”) can be a great opportunity to introduce cultural diversity to the younger generation and preserve our cultural heritage.

With this premise, Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) held Culture Week (PSB) 2019 in Pangkalan Kerinci, Pelalawan from October 20 to 26, 2019. The event carried the theme of “Maintaining Harmony in Riau Complex with Performing Arts and Culture”.

During the event, hundreds of residents enthusiastically donned traditional costumes from the various regions in Indonesia to join in a cultural procession.

Various traditional dances from the different regions were also performed at the opening of PSB 2019, and the communities showcased their arts and culture throughout the week – which included traditional houses, musical instrument decorations and traditional dishes – driving home the message that any cultural differences can be bridged.

Edy Natar Nasution, Riau Deputy Governor, said that PSB 2019 highlighted Indonesia’s diversity.

“The cultural arts of our different regions are truly fascinating as they put us all under their spell,” he remarked.

Edy added the residents of RAPP’s Riau Complex have demonstrated wisdom when it comes to dealing with differences, through having a high level of tolerance towards others while maintaining the spirit of religious and nationalistic spirit.

People of different ethnicities, faiths and cultural backgrounds are able to co-exist in harmony because they realise they can be united in line with Indonesia’s national vision of ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' (Unity in Diversity), he said.

Meanwhile, Mhd Ali Shabri, RAPP Director, similarly said that PSB was a manifestation of Pancasila (the Indonesian state philosophy) which aims to unite Indonesia’s diverse tribes, ethnicities, religions and regions.

"The PSB activities were organized in line with the principles that the company upholds, which is what is good for the community, country, climate and customers will be good for the company," he said.

Currently, there are 11 communities residing in Riau Complex: PERMASA (Persatuan Masyarakat Aceh/Acehnese Residents Community), Himpunan Keluarga Muslim Asal Tapanuli (Tapanuli Muslim Community, HIKMAT), Ikatan Keluarga Batak Toba (Batak Toba Residents Community, IKABA), Margasilima, Ikatan Melayu Riau (Riau Melayu Residents Community, IKMR), Ikatan Minang Riau Kompleks (Minang Residents Community, Riau Complex, IKM-RK), Ikatan Keluarga Nias (Nias Residents Community, IKN), Ikatan Keluarga Asal Sumatera Selatan (South Sumatra Residents Community, IKAS), Pandan Wangi (Pandan Wangi Residents Community/West Java), Paguyuban Tunggal Warga (Residents Association, PUNGGAWA), and Ikatan Keluarga Tiong Hoa (Chinese Residents Community, IKT).

RAPP has held PSB annually since 2004.

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