The 2020 Mini Dayak Festival is presenting a series of virtual experiences showcasing Dayak music, dance and storytelling on YouTube and Facebook until July 12. 

The event was born of a collaboration between local artists and tourism organizations, including the Indonesian Tour Guide Association (HPI) of Central Kalimantan, and is supported by the Palangkaraya Education and Tourism Agency.

Every year in May, Palangkaraya holds the Isen Mulang festival, where thousands of Dayaks of all ages represent their districts in performances and music competitions. 

However, both tourism organizations and artists have found their income strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was one of the reasons why the Isen Mulang festival was reshaped into the virtual Mini Dayak Festival this year.

Read also: 34th Dayak Festival officiated in West Kalimantan

As the name suggests, the festival is now being held in more compact proportions. A new episode is curated and launched every week during a five-week period, each with different themes and performances.

The first episode of the festival revolved around the theme of Barendeng, which translates to “consideration of others”. 

“The event is held to spread awareness of Dayak culture and raise funds to help communities of local artists and the tourism services in Central Kalimantan that have lost their primary sources of income because of the closure of national parks and provincial and national borders. The funds raised will be allocated evenly, half to the performers or participants and half to the tourism service providers in the form of sembako (staple food packages),” said Angela Mayrina of the Mini Dayak Festival’s fundraising team.

Those who wish to contribute to the event can do so through its GoFundMe page. (wng) 

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The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.

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