President Opens Bali Arts Festival

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June 14, 2010 - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on Bali people and regional government to benefit from the annual Bali Arts Festival a forum to develop creativity and innovation.

Quoted by Antara at the opening of the 32nd Bali Cultural Festival in Denpasar on Saturday evening, The President urged people to make the festival not only a mere arts party but a forum for cultural dialogues that are enlightening and educative.

He said in its bid to maintain its cultural identity amid the globalized world, Indonesia negotiated with a problem of cultural intervention that sometimes contradicted local wisdom and caused identity crisis.

"Certainly we must not be carried away by global currents which often move without limits. We must continue to protect our national identity and cultures, Indonesian cultures that have own character and spirit," he said.

Yudhoyono also expected the festival to further promote tourism in Bali in particular and in the country in general.

"Let us present the products of our artists and cultural workers to attract tourists so that they could enjoy our various cultures and multi-cultural expressions," he said.

The month-long annual festival is also participated in by foreign arts troupes such as from Japan, the US, Canada, France and India.

First lady Ani Yudhoyono, Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika, tourism minister Jero Wacik and several cabinet ministers and some envoys, including US ambassador Cameron Hume, attended the opening with outdoor dining area.

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