TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Former Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, was asked by the Regent of Central Aceh Regency, Shabela Abubakar, to convey his message to the central government asking Gajah Putih University in Takengon to be made a public university.
The request was made by Shabela in celebration of the 443th birthday of Takengon City, on which occasion Shabela had invited Susi. "Insha-Allah (by God's Willing), later when I go to Jakarta, your message will be conveyed. Although I am not in the government, hopefully with the access I have, I can continue to propose the wishes of the people of Central Aceh to make the Gajah Putih University into a public university," Susi said in Central Aceh Regency, on Tuesday, 18 February 2020.
Susi was invited to attend the celebrations. Susi's presence among thousands of cultural carnival participants made the event even more lively.
Susi took part in the celebration by being dressed with traditional Gayo cloth, upuh ulen-ulen, and danced with the carnival participants while performing the traditional Gayo dance, the guel dance.
"It is an extraordinary honor to see firsthand the culture in the region of Central Aceh Regency. I say thank you to Mr. Regent, for giving me the opportunity to attend," he said.
Susi was also given the opportunity to kickstart the cultural carnival. She stated that she was proud and happy to see firsthand the beauty of Gayo culture in the lively cultural carnival.
"Indonesia is indeed truly rich in colors and cultures. Surely I, as a child of the nation, am happy to see Indonesia's respectable cultures, continue to be maintained," she said.
According to her, organizing an annual cultural carnival in order to enliven the anniversary of Takengon City can be made more interesting if it had a tour package as Susi Pudjiastuti pointed out that foreign tourists are very interested in cultural performances like this.
"This could actually be an extraordinary tourist attraction to develop, because there are not many countries that have the diversity, beauty, and various cultures like Indonesia does," she said.
ANTARA | DIO SUHENDA (INTERN TRANSLATOR)