The indigenous people of Dayak reside in one of the most biodiversity-rich islands in Indonesia called Borneo (or Kalimantan in Indonesian). There are a variety of different Dayak subethnic groups, each with its own distinct rituals and languages. One of the island’s largest provinces, Central Kalimantan—with its capital Palangkaraya—is famously known as the Dayak Province, where the majority of the people speak Dayak Ngaju.
Every year, thousands of Dayaks across all ages, from forests and inland villages, participated and represented their districts and hometowns in a festival called IsenMulang. IsenMulang Festival is a unique annual event that has been celebrated for the past eight years in May. Held in Palangkaraya, the festival showcases the Dayak culture of Central Kalimantan through a series of performances and competitions in music, dancing, sports, and traditional games. The term “IsenMulang” (isen = abstinence, mulang = surrender) means “never give up and strive to achieve.” The festival fosters the spirit of Dayak citizens: to unite, build together, tolerate, and respect indigenous culture. Every year, the festival brought together people—the locals, national and international visitors, and became a highlight attraction in the tourism sector.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unfortunate that the IsenMulang 2020 Festival has to be canceled.
The pandemic has not only negatively impacted human health but also the social and economic lives of communities all over the world. In Central Kalimantan, communities of local artists and the tourism services (local guides, cooks, boat drivers) have lost their primary sources of income due to the closing of national parks, as well as provincial and international borders. The measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in the collapse of the tourism industry.
During the #stayathome order, different communities in Palangkaraya decided to relive the fire of IsenMulang—to never give up and strive—by creating a new fundraising initiative to help those in need within the community. With the spirit of unity and hope, local artists, dancers, and tourist guides have come together and decided to collaborate to hold the Mini Dayak Festival of Central Kalimantan 2020—a virtual experience comprising local music, dance and storytelling performances, starting from June 13th until July 12th, 2020. These performances would be available for everyone to enjoy for free on the Youtube and Facebook page of Borneo Central Guide. An episode of compiled performances would be aired and available to watch during the weekend.
We invite you to help reduce the burden of our beloved Palangkaraya community through voluntary donations. The funds raised through the festival will be utilized as below:
- 50% of the funds will be distributed to the forty local artists participating in the event;
- 50% will be used to provide the necessary food supplies (sembako) for 100 people in 14 communities.
Help us relive the spirit of IsenMulang!
Please join us to help the community that we love. Please help spread the words and share the festival with your loved ones, relatives, and friends. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #minidayakfest2020 and #dayaknevergiveup. Enjoy your virtual Dayak festival experience!
- Anne Driscoll
- Antonia Belt
- Antonia Belt
- Joan & Bill
Fundraising team: Central Borneo Guide (5)
Raised $130 from 4 donations
Raised $195 from 5 donations