Bengok craft along with cultural carnival participants who wore traditional costume from Kesongo Village
Credit: personal Bengok Craft

Preserving culture needs to be done as an effort to maintain local wisdom in the current era of disruption. The era of disruption is an era where there are many changes. Disruption is seen as an era where everyone is competing to create innovation. Who does not dare to innovate and keep up with the times, will be left behind. However, unfortunately the era of disruption that brought this progress did not always have a positive impact. In fact, local culture which is part of local wisdom is increasingly being marginalized, many young people are no longer interested in culture and instead prefer to use technology such as gadgets.

In this case, of course, several parties have made efforts to preserve culture, such as the Semarang district government and Kesongo village in organizing Merti Desa Kesongo 2022. Merti Kesongo 2022 or called Kesongo Culture Fest is a cultural festival that shows cultural performances such as performances of Reog, Keroncong, Campur Sari, Tambourine, traditional dance, and grabbing Tumpeng.

In addition, the event, which was held for 4 days from 27 October – 30 October 2022, also presented varied events such as Kesongo Bersholawat, band performances, guest star performances, Gymnastics, and Fun Bikes. Not only that, Merti Kesongo also presented attractive door prizes. This event mostly starts from the morning until the evening, so that the visitors who came to participate were very varied, ranging from local residents of Kesongo Village to those from outside the city.

Founder and Co-founder of Bengok Craft, Firman Setyaji and Astaria participated in Merti Kesongo 2022. Together with his son, Satata participated in the cultural parade by wearing clothes and equipment from Bengok Craft. Bengok Craft is one of the local businesses from Kesongo Village which has been worldwide. The products produced are various kinds of handicrafts from water hyacinth. Water hyacinth is a swamp plant that grows massively above the water. Firman and Astaria use the plants that become weeds into useful goods. Therefore, water hyacinth craft is one of the potentials of local wisdom in Kesongo Village.

This festival is not only held with the aim of preserving local culture, it is also held because the pandemic cases have started to decline so that crowd activities are held again. This festival was held for the first time after being hampered by the COVID-19 outbreak.

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