14 Balinese finalists in the "Putri Indonesia" contest attended a luncheon hosted by the Bali Hilton International on Saturday, June 22, 2002.
The 14 young ladies, selected from across the island for their poise and grace, are competing in the regioanl finals of the prestigious contest. One of the local finalists will be chosen to compete in the national finals of the Putri Indonesia, or Indonesian Princess, contest to be held in Jakarta. The event was long considered unacceptable by local comunity standards and has only recently granted formal permission by the Government. Organizers are quick to explain that the Putri Indonesia competition is not a beauty contest. Contestants are selected on the basis of their general knowledge on subjects such as the environment, tourism, and traditional culture, English language skills, poise and deportment, and sense of fashion style.
The Balinese "princesses" were hosted at the Bali Hilton International to a traditional luncheon served in Megibung style. Megibung feasts represent a fundamentally traditional banquet style in Bali where diners sit together on specially prepared mats and enjoy local delicacies, eaten by hand from common serving bowls. The Bali Hilton International has pioneered this unique meal format with great success, recently offering a Megibung feast to a group of 300 ministerial-level visitors to Indonesia, including Her Royal Highness, the Crown Princess of Jordan.
Before the lunch and in order to deepen the participants' appreciation of Indonesian culture, the Putri Indonesia finalists were provided an in-depth tour of the hotel whose design and architecture are inspired by the Hindu epic Ramayana tale.
The young lady to represent Bali in the national finals of the contest was selected at a final gala evening held at the Sari Segara Resort in Jimbaran on June 23, 2002.
The Putri Indonesia contest is co-sponsored by the Putri Indonesia Foundation and the Mustika Ratu traditional cosmetic corporation.
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