The excitement of the light show at Mandala Stadium illuminated a sense of equality from Papuan skies.
JAYAPURA, KOMPAS—Vice President Ma’ruf Amin officially opened the 2021 National Paralympic Games (Peparnas) on Friday evening, November 5th 2021, at Mandala Stadium in the city of Jayapura, Papua. A stunning light show performed by at least 500 drones marked the opening of the biggest national sporting event for disabled athletes. The lights in the skies above Papua implied a sense of equality for all the nation’s children.
Red, white, and blue lights flashed from above Mandala Stadium as hundreds of unmanned aircraft (drones) took different formations, ranging from garuda (eagle), cendrawasih (bird of paradise), the Red and White national flag, Papua Island, and to the words “Peparnas XVI”. The light show was the main attraction of the opening ceremony and was titled “Light from East Papua”.
The light show illuminated the skies above Jayapura before the ceremony ended with a fireworks display. The excitement during the event was reminiscent of the closing ceremony of the 2021 National Games (PON), which was also hosted in Papua on October 15th 2021 and was closed by the Vice President.
The excitement of the light show at Mandala Stadium illuminated a sense of equality from Papuan skies. Peparnas is not only a complementary event for PON, but also a unique event, as demonstrated by the event’s opening ceremony. In fact, the drones used for the light shows were imported from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and California, the United States. There was no such attraction during PON.
“Peparnas is a very special event. It is an event to break down one’s boundaries to emerge as a winner. This event is proof of solidarity and equality for us all. Let us celebrate with the spirit of brotherhood,” the Vice President said.
A lively celebration was also held in the stadium, with around 900 dancers taking part in a colossal performance featuring traditional dances from five regions. There were also performances by Papuan singers Nowela and Edo Kondologit as well as disabled singer Putri Ariani. Despite the light rain, the spectators enjoyed the series of performances.
Indonesian Paralympic Committee (NPC) chairman Senny Marbun expressed appreciation for the warm welcome of the Papuan people. “In my opinion, Peparnas is also a symbol of equality, just like PON. Everything is the same, from the service to the competition venues. They were also both opened by the Vice President and the President,” he said.
As with the PON opening and closing ceremonies, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe also attended the Peparnas opening ceremony. He pledged equal treatment of athletes with disabilities in Papua, saying that they were tough people who were able to conquer their limitations.
“Peparnas is not a complementary event. Peparnas is an equivalent forum. We, as the hosts, have prepared this national tournament with a sincere heart and high spirit. Let us all turn off negative stigmas and light the candle of equality towards space for empowerment,” said Lukas.
The Peparnas is being hosted in Jayapura municipality and Jayapura regency. A total of 1,985 athletes from 33 provinces are to compete in 12 sports, including badminton, athletics, and swimming.