Rina P Soemarno, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Bangladesh, addressing the press conference -Photo : Monitor
Dhaka : Indonesian cities Jakarta, Palembang are all geared up for the 18th edition of the Asian Games 2018 to be held from August 18 to September 2. Indonesia is hosting this mega sports event for the second time after 1962, during President Soekarno's regime.
At a press briefing on July 22, Rina P Soemarno, Ambassador of Republic of Indonesia to Bangladesh briefed the media at its embassy in Dhaka. Also present were Murni Nyaristi, Third Secretary and Fajar Primanada, Third Secretary of Indonesia Embassy.
Popularly known as the Asiad, Asian Games is a multi-sport fiesta that is organised every four years among the Asian countries. The first edition of the Asiad was held in New Delhi, India in 1951 and since then this event has attained a prominent place in the world sports map.
This edition of the Asian Games is believed to be one of the biggest so far with inclusion of 40 sports, 67 disciplines and 463 events. The most important ones are football, boxing, swimming, badminton, basketball and so on.
It is expected 45 countries in Asia will participate in the gala sports event. Nearly 15,000 athletes and officials, 15,000 volunteers and 5,000 media persons will be at the event.
The Asian Games has always been deemed as an event beyond sports. This gala is often viewed as a tool of integration and brotherhood among the athletes and the nations.
A torch relay is in progress from July 15 to August 18 which will cover 10,000 kilometres and pass 14 cities in Indonesia.
The logo for the 18th Asian Games is a colourful circle taken from the shape of the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, and named the Energy of Asia, depicting the strengthening spirit of the Games, participated by multicultural nations shining for all the world to see.
The 18th Asian Games also introduces three mascots namely Bhin Bhin, Atung and Kaka. The mascots represent three aspects of these competitive games, being: Strategy, Speed and Strength. Each mascot wears special attire inspired by the traditional textiles from Papua, Jakarta and Palem-bang. Bhin Bhin comes in the image of the Cendra-wasih or Bird of Paradise (mainly found in Papua), Atung is a Bawean Deer, symbol of speed, and Kaka is a Rhino representing strength.
Tourist attractions, events galore
As all of Asia and the world watch these sport's event, Indonesian tourism will be given a golden ticket at centre stage since tourism is definitely an important element in welcoming the many athletes and spectators, to introduce Indonesia's fantastic natural beauty and exciting experiences to enjoy.
Palembang, is one of the top five tourist destination in South Sumatera. Others are Lahat, Pagar Alam, Banyuasin and South Ogan Komering Ulu.
From green natural tapestry to amazing waterfalls, from rural villages to vibrant city life with its vivid culture and delectable cuisines all these will be presented to round up your unforgettable journey. There are also festivals to enjoy while visiting this wonderful region, such as the Coffee festival and Srivijaya festival.