JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Many activities, comprising traditional Chinese cultural performances, are held Sunday, Feb. 5, in various cities of Indonesia to mark the last day of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration: Cap Go Meh.
Chinese New Year is observed as a public holiday in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. Previously, the government declared Monday, Jan. 23 as a collective leave day in addition to the Chinese New Year festival on Sunday, Jan. 22.
Chief of Presidential Staff Office Moeldoko said during the Cap Go Meh Festival in Singkawang, West Kalimantan that the festival is considered one of the intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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"I am very intrigued by the symbols etched in Singkawang City," he said in his speech.
Also present during the event was State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir.
"State-Owned Enterprises Minister has a busy schedule. But because of his love for Singkawang, he [makes time to] attend this," Moeldoko told the people.
Moeldoko said that the status of UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage also serves as a commendation from the global community to Indonesia.
He recalled his time back when he was the military commander at Tanjungpura Regional Military Command in West Kalimantan, during which there was an argument revolving around a dragon statue in Singkawang.
At that time, he said that he would be the first one to protect the statue if anything bad happen to it.
He called on the public to collaborate to develop Singkawang city for the better in the future, including in the tourism sector.