Indonesia becomes guest of honor at Saudi Janadriyah cultural festival

Indonesia becomes guest of honor at Saudi Janadriyah cultural festival

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) and King Salman bin Abdulaziz (right). (the Saudi Government)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chose Indonesia as the guest of honor at the Janadriyah Festival, the largest cultural and heritage festival in the Middle East, Alwi Shihab stated.

The statement was made by Shihab, the special envoy of the President of the Republic of Indonesia for the Middle East and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, at a joint press conference with the Saudi Ministry of National Guard in Riyadh on Sunday (Dec 16).

According to a statement from the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh received by Antara here, Monday, the press conference was also attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Indonesia to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel.

Minister of National Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Khalid Bin Abdulaziz Bin Ayyaf Al Muqrin was also present.

"As the guest of honor, Indonesia will present the best at the Janadriyah Festival, which lasts for 21 days. Indonesia will feature various performances of traditional cultures and Indonesian films on the festival`s art stage. Visitors at the Pavilion Indonesia can experience Indonesian culture from different provinces and documentation of bilateral relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia," Shihab explained.

The Government of Saudi Arabia lauded the hard work of the Government of Indonesia, especially the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, and several related institutions in Indonesia that have been preparing the performances.

"I really praise the Government of Indonesia, as the guest of honor, which has been working so well to ensure the success of this event," Prince Khalid noted.

"The 33rd Cultural and Heritage Festival" is an annual national festival held in Janadriyah Village in Riyadh.

Janadriyah Festival brings together the wealth and cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the past, as well as the current achievements and progress.

The festival features cultural pavilions from all provinces in Saudi Arabia as well as the achievements of several governmental institutions.

Saudi Arabia invites fellow countries to participate in exhibitions, especially nations viewed as having a rich culture.

"Indonesia`s participation as the guest of honor is a matter of pride, considering this is an precious opportunity that many countries have been waiting for. This shows that the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are in the golden age. With the spirit of `Saunesia,` Indonesia will showcase the best," Ambassador Abegebriel noted.

Saunesia is a new term to refer to bilateral relations between the two countries, comprising the words: Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

"This is not easy, as we had to face many obstacles in preparation. However, with determination and hard work, all preparations could be completed on time," the ambassador affirmed.

At the press conference, the ambassador read out a poem that he had specifically composed on the Janadriyah Festival.

He called the poem "hiwar bainal hadharat," or "dialogue between civilizations," reflecting the main essence behind the festival.

Indonesia`s participation in the festival raises the theme "Unity in Diversity for Strengthening Moderation and Global Peace."

Diversity has been incorporated in the theme of the festival, considering that Indonesia is a diverse nation of 16 thousand islands and has become a home of more than 260 million people, with more than 300 different ethnic and cultural groups, which speak in hundreds of traditional languages.

Indonesians also has followers of different religions but remain united and live in peace by adopting the values of tolerance and harmony.