Sintuvu, which means collaboration and togetherness, is the concept behind upcoming festivals in four regions in Central Sulawesi. The four festivals are collectively known as the Gaung Sintuvu Festivals. These will be held in Palu City, Sigi Regency, Poso Regency, and Parigi Mouting Regency from August to October 2018.
One of the Sintuvu Festivals is the Vula Dongga Festival, which will be held in Parigi Moutong Regency in 10–14 August. Vula Dongga is a tradition to celebrate full moon in several native villages in Parigi Moutong. Vula Dongga, in the native Kaili language, means “full moon”.
Central Sulawesi folk tradition considers the full moon as a moment of togetherness for everyone. During full moon, the elders perform rituals such as hair cutting, beating drums, exorcising, et cetera. The youngsters use the occasion to socialize during music performances such as karambangan and the dero dance, as well as notarangati (cooking on the street). Children celebrate Vula Dongga by playing and enjoying the moonlight. These show the importance of the moon and sun in Central Sulawesi folk cosmology.
The Vula Dongga Festival was first held in 2004. This year, the Central Sulawesi Provincial Government chose Parigi Moutong Regency as the host for a festival of arts from all regencies and cities in the province. The opening act would be a cultural parade, Pontanu mass dance, and a performance by Spain’s Vinculos Orchestra. For three days, various folk arts and rituals will be performed during the festival. Up to 21 art communities from 13 regencies in Central Sulawesi would participate in the festival. The Vula Dongga Festival would also include children’s games such as Tilako, Tako Dende, Nojapi-japi, Mohanta, Nogasi, and others.
Delegates from each regency would also visit schools to perform their art, as well as holding workshops to evaluate their performance and collaborate.
The Vula Dongga Festival includes an exhibition of historical and prehistorical artefacts, as well as hosting a cultural dialogue in the molinsonan traditional meeting. Molinsonan is a forum where government officials and elders gather to discuss issues in each region.
This cultural forum is a manifestation of the sintuvu spirit in Vula Dongga Festival, and a key event in the development and nurtuting of tradition in Parigi Moutong. This is in line with the mandate of UU no.5/2017 on Cultural Advancement. The cultural discussion and forum can be a place to review issues and find solutions to develop culture in Parigi Moutong, in order to live up to its motto “Songulara Mombagu”, “uniting hearts in development”, which includes cultural development.