The enchanting diversity of ethnicities and unique cultures in Central Kalimantan Province are annually showcased in the Isen Mulang Culture Festival.
This year, the event will again take place on 18th to 24th May 2015 at Palangkaraya, its capital city, in conjunction with the celebration of the city’s anniversary.
As always, the main highlight of the festival will be the carnival featuring thousands of participants from 14 towns and regencies in the Central Kalimantan Province, as well as fascinating attractions of traditional sport competitions that include the flaming soccer ball game, the “jukung–” traditional boat race , melamang, besei kambe, karungut, manyipet, menetek kayu, and more.
In the local language, “Isen Mulang” is simply translated as “Never Retreat”, which is the motto of Palangkaraya City and a statement that illustrates the courage of its people. The festival itself is held annually to further promote the unique diverse cultures of the province and to inspire the youth and local artists to preserve and develop the arts for further generations.
The carnival will take place on the main streets around the city, when the streets of Palangkaraya will be filled with colorful traditional dances of the Dayak ethnic group wearing their fascinating traditional costumes and accessories.
Central Kalimantan which is dominated by the indigenous Dayak tribes, is known as the lung of the world for its vast and fertile tropical jungles and rainforests. The northern mountain chain, the Schwaner Range, is home to some of the most pristine forests in Kalimantan. Its capital, Palangkaraya is the natural starting point to explore the region, having numerous daily flights to and from Java, then travel further inland into the interior. It is also the centre of a web of public road transport to all parts of the province and on to South Kalimantan.
About 700km southwest of Palangkaraya lies the town of Pangkalan Bun which is the entry point to the Tanjung Puting National Park. The Tanjung Puting National Park has long been a centre for orangutan research and rehabilitation, returning orangutans back into the wild. Founded by Birute Galdikas,noted orangutan expert and former student of renowned Richard Leakey, here, arrangements for cruising canals in the Park, and disembarking to walk through forests to orangutan feeding stations are beautifully established and maintained.