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Festival PARARA 2023: Celebrating Local Entrepreneurship and Indigenous Products


Visitors enjoy free coffees from local farmers. (SAMDHANA/Naely Himami)

From 11 to 15 October 2023, the PARARA consortium, which includes the Samdhana Institute, is hosting Festival PARARA 2023 in Jakarta. The event aims to showcase a range of curated entrepreneurial products, representing a diversity of communities and Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia. Each product is rooted in the wisdom and traditions of its makers, while also being emblematic of communities’ desire for harmony with nature. 

Inspired by the layout of an urban house, the products are displayed in a unique and eye-catching way in the House of PARARA. In the front area, there are woven display case that showcases cloth bags and clothing accessories created by a community of weavers in Kalimantan. In the middle of the house configuration is a kitchen selling delicious frozen food products from Bali, including a range of coffee bean products made by Gerai Nusantara (AMAN) and WALHI.

Another display case showcases a selection of dry foods from various regions, including a range of select products created by Samdhana partners. Some of our product highlights include Sekar Langit Organic Tea from Central Java, Cibarani Palm Sugar from West Java, LSDP SD Inpers’ Cajuput Oil from East Java, and Pilemon Natural Soap and VCO from Sarmi, Papua. Each of these products is authentic and unique, handmade by forest communities using natural materials and generations of experience. 

Indigenous communities' products participating in Festival PARARA 2023
Indigenous communities' products participating in Festival PARARA 2023. (SAMDHANA/Naely Himami)


The theme of Festival PARARA 2023 is ‘Young, Sovereign, and Empowered' (Muda, Berdaulat, dan Berdaya), featuring a line-up of esteemed speakers, as among others: Robertus Aries Bastian (Perwakilan Biboki Art Shop), Calvin Kororem (BUMDES Desa Martewar, Papua), Lintang Gustina (Koalisi Ekonomi Membumi), Ratna Hartine (Senior Adisory ANGIN), Anang Setiawan, who is the Chair of the PARARA Consortium; and Tosca Santoso, an expert coffee farmer. 

The messages conveyed in the discussions include: the importance of synergy across various sectors, from government support to community involvement in forests and the management of coastlines. Collaboration among communities and CSOs is also seen as the key to unlocking market access and achieving more efficient product distribution. Crucially, by collaborating with the tech-savvy younger generation, local businesses can utilise social media platforms, reach a wider audience and ultimately raise awareness of local products in Indonesia. 

Over the five days of Festival PARARA 2023, attendees were discussing and collaborating around a range of topics, including social business, business incubation, capital entrepreneurship, new business ventures from youth groups and women’s use of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). The event also focussed on the growing trend of wearing local clothes and reducing reliance on imported products; the benefits of local ingredients in a balanced diet, such as tempeh, which is considered healthier than granola; and various other discussions related to local products made by Indigenous communities. Dances from Jakarta (or Betawi tribe) and Papua were also performed, depicting communities’ livelihood activities.

Weaving fashion show from local artisan
Weaving fashion show from local artisan. (SAMDHANA/Neni Rochaeni)


From local handicrafts and food sovereignty to seminars, social media, and cultural performances, Festival PARARA 2023 promises to be both a celebration of tradition and a stepping stone forward for the Indigenous communities of Indonesia. For more information about Festival PARARA 2023, go to the festival website.



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