The local community on Bintan island as well as hundreds of ASEAN tourists from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand could be found flocking on Penyengat Island, one of Tanjung Pinang’s tourist destinations, on Saturday 22 July 2017.They all came together to celebrate Penyengat Island Festival 2017 that was opened by the city of Tanjung Pinang Mayor Lis Darmansyah (Mr.).

This is the second time the Ministry of Pariwata supports the implementation of the Penyengat Festival. Lis Darmansyah said Penyengat Island has an important meaning for the people of Tanjung Pinang. Not only as one of the best tourist destinations of Tanjung Pinang City but as a base of the power of local communities in maintaining customs. Especially the Malay youth.

Penyengat Island is one of the cultural attractions in the Riau Islands with various historical Malay heritages which include the Sultan Riau Mosque made of egg white, the tombs of the kings, the tomb of the national hero and the great Malay poets, Raja Ali Haji, the Palace Palace complex and the fortress on the Hill of Kursi. Since October 19, 1995, Pulau Penyengat and the palace complex on Penyengat Island have been nominated to UNESCO to become one of the World Heritage Sites.

Humble signage welcome visitor to the historical island. The island is 2,000 meters long and 850 meters wide, approximately 35 km from Batam Island. This island can be reached from Tanjungpinang by motorized wooden boat or locally known as pompong or pancung boat which takes travel time approximately 15 minutes.

According to the story, the tiny island in the mouth of the Riau River, Bintan Island has long been known by sailors since centuries ago because it became a stopover place to take fresh water that is quite widely available on the island. There is no written record of the origin of the island’s name. However, from local folklore, this name is derived from the name of the animal that has a stinging insect. According to the story, there are sailors who violate abstinence when they take water, so they are attacked by hundreds of venomous insects. This animal is then called Penyengat and the island is called by Penyengat Island. While the Dutch people called the island by the name of Mars Island.

The celebrations on Malay culture did not stop on all the  muslim fashion show, traditional dancing, and food culture, but also on traditional games. The Gasing or flying top is one of the most anticipated competitions that is now commenced on the festival. The local called it “Lomba Pangkak Gasing”

The name of the island turned into Penyerat Island Inderasakti when it was decided to become the center of the capital of Riau-Lingga kingdom. In 1803, Penyengat Island had been built from a central defense center to the country and then domiciled by Yang Terertuan Muda Royal Riau-Lingga while the Sultan resided officially in Daik-Lingga. In 1900, Sultan Riau-Lingga moved to Penyengat Island. Since then complete the role of Penyengat Island as the center of government, customs, Islam and Malay culture. Lis said the island was strongly related to the Malay culture as it was used as the central government of Riau monarchy in the year 1900. “This festival is a reflection on the glorious days of the past monarchy that always needs to be remembered and implemented,” Lis added..

The grand mosque of Sultan Riau on Penyengat Island is right on the opposite of Tanjung Pinang city of Southwestern tip of Bintan island. The grand mosque can be easily reached by walking

Deputy Assistant of Personal Market Segment Development of the Ministry of Tourism, Raseno Arya in his statement said, the existing cultural strength makes Penyengat Island has great potential in attracting tourists. Not only domestic tourists, but also foreign tourists because of its location close to neighboring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.

Especially Malay cultural root is also widespread to Thailand. “The foreign tourists themselves for Riau Islands (Riau Islands) is targeted at 2.2 million foreign tourists this year,” said Raseno Arya.

Held until Monday, the event features three main events, namely Malay Fashion Carnival, Melayu Parade, and Muslim and Melayu Fashion Bazaar. In addition to traditional competitions, the festival will also host supporting events like Fashion Malay Penyengat Syawal Serantau, photography competition and short film competition.



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