Meja Panjang Party in Merasa Village, Berau District
It is acceptable to think that Derawan Archipelago represents Berau’s tourism industry, but it is not always like that. The reason is Berau District has more tourist spots, which are worth a visit. In fact, each of its villages owns some recommended vacation destination for everyone. Here is an example. Merasa Village offers a unique local festival or party called Meja Panjang. Not only it is attended by the locals, but the party also attracts visitors from different regions. Some people even say it has obtained foreigners’ attention. So, what is it about?
Being a signature event of Merasa Village, Meja Panjang Party has become more popular over time. It is done to strengthen the relationship between the natives, which means the party can unite different tribes that live in Berau. In fact, there have been many ethnic groups living there, especially Dayak. The nuance is quite festive because lots of people attend it, including tourists. The fact is the event has been a culture and it was done by their ancestors back then. Most of the time, the locals may involve numerous types of local dishes in the party.
Enjoying Meja Panjang Party
For tourists, it is better to find out the schedule of the event prior to visiting Merasa Village. The reason is the party is not conducted whenever. Usually, the locals conduct it once a year after having a small meeting with the leaders of the village. Sometimes, important people from the local government also attend it as an important guest. Even though it is a local party, tourists are allowed to join and enjoy the festivity. Once again, they must have done a small research regarding its schedule first. Otherwise, they may miss the chance to join it.
Meja Panjang Party is done by people of Merasa Village. All neighborhoods present their dishes to the guests and tourists. They also wear their traditional dress during the party. There is a problem, though. The village doesn’t have enough coverage of electricity. They can only use it from 6 pm to 12 am. Not to mention people in Merasa aren’t likely into technology. No wonder, it is rare to notice locals taking pictures using a smartphone during the party. Only tourists or the guests do it.
Here is another fact regarding the party. The locals work hard to run such 5-days festival. Despite the tiredness, the organizer and participants work diligently to present a friendly and fun party to everyone. They also consider the event as a form of gratitude, especially to greet the New Year. What about the foods and drinks? The most common ones are pure honey, fresh fruits, and traditional dishes of Dayak Tribe.
- Bawan Batu Waterfall
- Merapuan Suspension Bridge
- Batu Lungun
- Batu Anjing
How to Get There
To begin with, travelers should head to Tanjung Redeb (Kalimarau Airport). From there, they need to take any local transportation service to Kelay Sub-district. For the last trip, their destination is Merasa Village. From Tanjung Redeb, it takes about 5 hours and the distance is 203 km. As for the best route, tourists can choose Ahmad Yani Street.
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