Ardian Fanani, Banyuwangi – The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) says that the reason it opposes the Gandrung Sewu Dance Festival in Banyuwangi, East Java, is because of the string of recent disasters that have hit Indonesia.
The FPI however, has not forbidden the festival from going ahead. “Our position is only one of giving advice. If indeed it is not heeded then it isn’t a problem. We won’t take any action to close down the (Gandrung Sewu) event”, FPI Banyuwangi regional leadership board chairperson [no name given] told Detik.com from his home on Thursday October 18.
He said that many natural disasters have occurred in Indonesia. This is because sin and wickedness are flourishing in Indonesia. This, he said, is a warning so that a natural disaster does not happen in Banyuwangi.
“Of late we have all been tested. There have been earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, volcanic mud, tsunamis, landslides, yes in essence this is advice. Banyuwangi is close the beach and was once hit by a tsunami. We only want to give advice, not close down the event. This is just a moral act”, he added.
He admitted that earthquakes and tsunamis are caused by tectonic plate pressure as explained by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). But what is most important however is that Indonesian society stop committing sins on the face of this earth.
“Allah brings these disasters from a position of love and affection so that we are not excessive. Because it has been proven that after a disaster Allah will surely lead the people in these regions to become better again”, he said in conclusion.
Earlier, the Banyuwangi branch of the FPI declared its opposition to the 2018 Gandrung Sewu Festival. The FPI issued a statement contained in Document Number 0003/SK/DPW-FPI Banyuwangi/II/1440 dated October 11, 2018.
Despite the FPI’s appeal, the Gandrung Sewu Festival will still be held at the Boom Banyuwangi Beach on Saturday October 20. This is the seventh time the event has been held and some 1,300 dancers will perform the Gandrung dance, a dance unique to Banyuwangi. (bdh/bdh)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Ini Alasan FPI Tolak Festival Gandrung Sewu.]