Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Palembang city government, South Sumatra, has revived the traditional bidar boat race on the Musi River, which had been suspended for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The traditional bidar boat race is an annual event that is held every August to celebrate Independence Day, Head of the Palembang Tourism Office Sulaiman Amin informed in Palembang on Friday.

Due to the pandemic, the Palembang city administration was forced to redirect the budget for the event to the health sector to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, thereby delaying the tradition for two years, he said.

"Alhamdulilah (Thank God), with the support of the South Sumatra Governor and related regional-owned enterprises (BUMDs)/state-owned enterprises (BUMNs/SOEs), the bidar boat race can be reactivated," he remarked.

This year, he revealed, the bidar boat race will be held on the weekend on August 20 and 21.

The Palembang City Tourism Office reported that there are at least nine teams, or around 198 participants, who will participate in the race.

According to Amin, the participants will row their biduk, a boat measuring about 29 meters in length, from 35 Ilir Port (Musi VI) to Kuto Besak Fortress (BKB), a distance of 3–4 kilometers.

The main purpose of the bidar boat race is to preserve the traditions of the Palembang people, as bidar boats have been a part of their culture since the era of the Sriwijaya Kingdom, he said.

An ornamental boat parade contest will also be held as part of the competition, with a total of 36 participating boats, and the parade will follow the same route as the bidar boat race, he added.

“Also, musical entertainment that presents well-known artists from the capital, such as Irma Darmawangsa and Glow Rossa. The event will be opened by the Mayor of Palembang, Harnojoyo, and (South Sumatra) Governor Herman Deru on Saturday,” Amin said.

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Translator: M Elko, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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