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Buleleng: Of the People, For the People

Greater Community Focus Promised for Buleleng Festival in North Bali August 23-26, 2013

(7/14/2013) The government of Buleleng in North Bali is pledging to take a new, more populist approach to the organization of this year's celebration of Indonesian Independence Day.

As reported in Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post), the Regent of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradnyana, freely admitted that past celebration were both expensive and ineffective. Said Suradnyana: “The development exhibition cost the administration around Rp 1.6 billion [US$160,000] to hold, while the content of the exhibition was far from what people were expecting.”

Past events were used to present booths run by various government departments presenting data on development programs; information that the Regent admits is readily available on line from the regencies website.
The sum spent was used on constructing booths and creating lavish decorations that left local residents largely unenthusiastic and cold.

In order to hold a more popular event, a this year's Buleleng Festival will be held from August 23-26, 2013, and will be used to promote North Bali’s creativity. “The festival will involve young artists, businessmen, students and community members in a merry event,” explained the Regent.

The amount of money to be spent on this year's festival will be only Rp. 600 to Rp. 800 million (US$60,000 – US$80,000). Justifying the cut, 

Suradnyana said: “The budget will be half the previous one. We can allocate the remaining funds to improve people’s welfare, such as building health facilities and other village improvement programs.”

Meanwhile the head of the Buleleng Development and Planning Agency (Bappeda), Gede Suyasa, said that this year's festival be include 21 cultural and dance troupes. Participation by the government will be limited with the remaining booths operated by local businesses, the tourism office, forestry office, manpower and Transmigration office.

A colossal Teruna Jaya Dance involving more than 200 dancers will mark the opening of the festival on August 23rd in Buleleng.