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Thousands Of People Throng BMW Festival Arena


Biak, Papua, – Thousands of people on Numfor Island in east Indonesia’s Papua Province on Friday thronged the arena of the Biak Munara Wampasi (BMW) Cultural Festival, with fishing the traditional way at sea being the main activity.
Tourism minister’s staff for multicultural affairs Hadi Utomo Drajat expressed hope that the BMW Festival, enlivened with different typical cultural attractions from Biak, can make Numfor Island one of the tourist destinations in Papua.
Drajat stated that the BMW Festival has been able to maintain the cultural authenticity of Papua’s identity and help to attract tourists to attend the annual activities organized by the local government.
“I hope a variety of cultural attractions and entertainment activities to enliven the BMW Festival will be able to draw local and foreign tourists to visit the islands of Biak and Numfor,” Drajat remarked.
The Tourism Ministry strongly supports every cultural festival, which is held in any district and city, as a means to preserve and conserve the authenticity of the original culture of Indonesia, Drajat pointed out.
The four-day festival organized on July 1-4, 2016, is enlivened by activities, such as a traditional fishing contest at Numfor Island, Padaido Island tour, an exhibition of cultural relics of World War II, Mansusui and Wairon customary traditional boat race, and the cultural attraction of walking on hot stones, also known as “apen byaren.”
The BMW Cultural Festival, which showcases Japanese traditional “katana” samurai swords from World War II, also aims to attract foreign tourists to visit the island of Padaido in Biak Numfor District.
Drajat expressed hope that the festival will help to boost tourism on Padaido Island and the local economy and will especially benefit traders and small and micro businesses.
The local authorities continue to develop marine tourism in the islands of Padaido and Aimando by improving various supporting facilities and infrastructure, such as homestays, roads, seaport, and streetlights.(anjas)