Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, opened the 31st annual Bali Arts Festival on Saturday evening, June 13th 2009, by sounding “kulkul”, Balinese traditional way to call people for gathering, which then immediately followed by performance of colossal dance-drama titled “Bima Swarga”.
Like Bali Arts Festival (PKB) of previous years, the event was started by a parade involving all participants including delegates from every regencies and cities of Bali as well as those from other Indonesian provinces and other countries.
In his speech President Yudhoyono said that art and culture are part of nation's identity, and PKB which has been held for the 31st time expressed Balinese will to sustain it and therefore deserved appreciation. “Honelstly, from one year to another, we have been witnessing various attraction here which have always impressed me. I am impressed by the magnitude of Balinese cultural arts including continuously improved creativity. Every year I saw different scene, different creativity, and different moral and spiritual messages. It is absolutely impressive and well worth to be proud of”, he said.
President Yudhoyono further expected PKB to play its role to strengthen Bali's position as a center of tourism, center of culture, center of creativity, and bridge among different community across the globe. He underlined the fact that Bali was not only the pride of Balinese alone but also Indonesian. Bali was also adored by the whole world. Being the center of tourism activity attracting interest from the whole world, President Yudhoyono admitted that he had a significant hope on Bali to continue serving the leader and the center of tourism and creative economy, including the economy of Indonesian cultural products.
President Yudhoyono expressed is enthusiasim with the title of PKB this year “mulat sarire” which lierally meant return to identity for the glory of the nation and country. He believed that the theme held strong relevancy down to the root whilst expressed wide perspective related to values, cultural heritages, and nation's humanity.? Through the theme he expected to bring up views from two different perspective related to Indonesian national identity.
The first perspective related to official vision towards national identity. Indonesia had an identity as a nation with four basic consensuses to be fully implemented in daily life namely national ideology, constitution, natonal unity, and the concept of unity in diversity. Second perspective was history leading the nation into the way it appeared at the present time including heritages, ways of life, religions, culture, and a lot more, reflecting vast diversity requiring thorough understanding and acceptance.