Lake Sentani Festival 2016

13 Jun 2016

Showcasing the vibrant cultures from various ethnic groups that surround the enchanting Lake Sentani, in the Jayapura Regency, Papua Province, the exciting Lake Sentani Festival will take place from 19th to 23rd June 2016. The event will be centered at the special Tourist area of Khalkhote in East Sentani. Marking its 9th edition this year, the festival carries the theme “Unity in Diversity to Achieve Glory" which reflects the spirit of unity and harmony shared by the diverse clans around the lake

As in previous years, the event will be highlighted with a range of  fascinating cultural attractions of the different tribes living around Lake Sentani which will be presented both on land and on the lake. The festival will also introduce regional songs, handicrafts, culinary contests and bazaars, as well as hair braiding as features of local culture. The festival will also offer some of the best products of the region including cocoa,  coffee, dragon fruit, Batik Papua textiles, tree bark crafts, and a whole lot more.  

Among some of the most anticipated highlights of the festival are the Isilo, a traditional colossal dance on boats that involves hundreds of performers, the war dance, and also the massive cultural parade. The war dance and parade have always been an essential and sacred part of the festival. This year, there will also be the installment of the Ondoafi, or the leader of the tribe’s customs and tradition.

Lake Sentani is one of the largest lakes on the island of Papua,  - Indonesia’s most easterly province - located near the provincial capital city, Jayapura, on the north eastern coast of the Indonesian side of New Guinea. On the lake are houses on stilts equipped with nets to haul in the daily fish catch. There are more than 33 species of fish found in Lake Sentani with half of these endemic.  Tourists to Sentani enjoy swimming in the lake, chat with the friendly locals, watch the process of making sago, try the local delicacies or taste the matoa fruit that is found in abundance sold along the roads or in the local market.

To reach Lake Sentani, take a flight from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Makassar or any large city in Indonesia to the city of Jayapura. From the city take a small bus west to Lake Sentani which is reached in about half an hour.  

The Sentani Lake Festival is one of three impressive Festivals on Papua besides the Baliem Valley Festival (held in August), and the Asmat Festival (held in October), that together offer the best and most comprehensive presentations of this huge and beguiling island of Papua.

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