Indonesian Festival 2013, Nottingham UK

indofest

Saturday (15/06/2013). For me, It was so special day. The day, in which I felt home. The day, in which I felt I was in tiny Indonesia in the UK. The day, I can hear clearly the sound of Gamelan and other traditional music instrument for the first time in the UK. Yeah, the day was 10th Indonesian Festival 2013 (Indofest 2013) in The University of Nottingham.  It was annual event organized by Indonesian Student Society in The University of Nottingham in collaboration with Indonesian embassy and Indonesian students association in the  UK aimed at introducing and promoting the richness of Indonesian culture, the “unity in diversity” of Indonesian people, and the wonderful of Indonesian nature, as well as the amazingly enchanting Indonesian foods and cuisine.  There were thousands of people across the UK flocked to the one of green fields in the University  of Nottingham, one of the greenest campus environment in the world. They were Indonesian, as well as local and other nationality people. Luckily, it was quite sunny day in the summer session, the thing that made everyone felt very happy.

To introduce the Indonesian culture, people, and nature The Indonesian festival held some events including cultural performance in what we called “Indonesia Got Talent” program, Folk Games, Food Stalls, Workshops, and Photo exhibition. Herewith, some pictures that I could take from the spot.

Cultural Performance

The event was opened with a dance performance by “Tari Pendet”, Pendet Dance, a very famous dance from Bali. I saw by myself, this dance successfully attracted attention of  eyes. It was very dazzling dance performance indeed.

Another dance was ” Tari Saman”, the Saman Dance. It was also very famous dances performed by a group of people showing succinctness of the performer gestures. It was very attractive dance, indeed. Actually, there were many other dance performances that I  had no chance to spot them. You know, I was one of the event organizing committee.

Other than dance performance, there was traditional fashion show performed by British and other International people in the UK. It felt very proud and happy to know that other people from different nationalities loved our national costumes.

They also looked very happy and proud with these traditional costumes.  Yeah, to know and to learn the other cultures is always fascinating.

Folks Games

In other hand, we also introduced the Indonesian folks games. As matter of fact, Indonesia has a bunch of traditional games scattered around the Archipelago. Unfortunately, the advance of electronic and digital technology made these cultural heritages vanished. It might be only played once a year during the celebration of our independent day. It was so regretful.

In the festival, some of the games were introduced. such as “Balap Karung”.


Interestingly, It was not only played by Indonesian children, but also International children. Children, no matter what their nationality and cultural background, they are the same. They are always sincerely cheerful. They honestly express what they feel. Dealing with children is always entertain me.

The other folks games played in Indofest 2013 were Bangkiak Race and Tarik Tambang. Have a look on the following pictures, that were  successfully captured from the spot. Bangkiak is modified slipper made from wood. It must be worn by three children who must race together on the track.

While Tarik Tambang is very simple games. Two groups of people in opposite sides are pulling the same rope against each other. The winner is the group who could pull the rope stronger than another group.

At the heart of both games Bangkiak race and Tarik Tambang is a message that people should work together very well in team, it is the way to teach the children the essence of team work in which every people in team plays an important role and no one could gain full success by his/her self without helping hands from the others.

Foods

It was the things that I had been waiting for a long time to come. Yeah, the very Indonesian foods. I do not know why, my tongue never compromises with European foods. And it was the time to grab the very Indonesian food in Nottingham. So yummy.

This food yellow rice is called Tumpeng. It was amazingly delicious. It is usually made in the day of celebration such as birth day celebration. So, it is just like Tart Cake in western culture. This food has deep philosophy but in the essence is the expression of gratitude devoted to Allah, one and the only one God,  for all His blessing to us.

There were approximately 40 Indonesian food stalls in this festival with a bunch of foods from Nasi Padang to Es Cendol. Indeed, it was a great pleasure.

Other than ready served foods, there were also Indonesian food groceries as well, where you can find Indonesian food ingredient there. It was like traditional market in Indonesia. Where every people that dominated by women could speak in Javanese Language to each other without any hesitation, even it was in the UK.

I was so lucky, I found Tempeh and Sambal Pecel in the food groceries stall. They were not available in Nottingham and here they came. Although it was quite expensive compare again the price in Indonesia.

For a bar of Tempe I must pay £2 (approximately Rp. 30.000, it was equal to price of a half kilogram chicken) and £1.25 (approximately Rp. 18.000) for Sambel Pecel. However, for the UK prices, it was quite affordable.

The Workshops

To introduce the Indonesian cultures and local heritages, in the festival also be held some workshops. One of the workshop was Batik Workshop. It gave practical experience how to make Batik from scratch.

At the beginning, the visitor interested in Batik were given a chance to draw his/her own motif on white  fabric. Promptly, afterward, they drew the motif using Canting and Malam. The special tool and ink for drawing the Batik.

I saw they looked very enthusiastic learning how to make it  gradually, scratch by scratch. The process really taught us that there is no instant way to achieve a great masterpiece. Each single great achievement needs long, tedious, even painful process. Only love make the process become a pleasure.

In addition, in the festival, the committee also held Bahasa Indonesia workshop. It gave at glance introduction on how to speak some common words in Bahasa Indonesia. It was to great pleasure, to see some foreigners learning Bahasa Indonesia happily.

In the festival also be  held Bhineka Sport Championship, and the adventure Games.

The Sponsors

This festival was sponsored by Indomie, a top instant noodle brand in Indonesia and Teh Botol Sosro, to brand ready served tea.

Thanks Goes to…

We should thanks to The Indonesian Festival 2013 President and Vice President, the Indonesian Ambassador for UK and Ireland, T.M. Hamzah Thayeb. Great Job, Guys!

and for sure a bunch of thanks went to all organizing committee members, volunteers, and whoever had come to the festival. See you soon in Indonesian Festival 2014 next year !

Understanding the fact that we are different, then trying to know and learn each other is at the heart of harmony in Life. What a wonderful life, living in diversity. Not to compete against each other but to know and love each other.  Indeed,the diversity yield the unity for a better life in this one and only one beautiful world, where we live together as one.

*) Just a random note might be worth to remember in the future.

Batik: One of Proud Genuine Indonesian Local Heritage


“Indonesia…..Tanah Air Beta, Pusaka Abadi nan Jaya”. That ‘s a fragment of Indonesian folksong, which means “Indonesia is my motherland, an everlasting and glory heritage”. I am proud to be Indonesian, as the most multi-local-cultural nation, with 224 ethnics spreading in  17.504 island (including  9.634 unnamed Island)[1].  That’s why no wonder Indonesia has very many local heritages. The genuine heritage from Indonesia, which will never found in other places in this world wide.

One of very famous local heritage is Batik. Batik is a kind or genre of fashion with unique motifs.  Batik is generally thought of as the most quintessentially Indonesian textile. Motifs of flowers, twinning plants, leaves buds, flowers, birds, butterflies, fish, insects and geometric forms are rich in symbolic association and variety; there are about three thousand recorded batik patterns [2]. The batik’s motif can be made either manually by hand using a tool called “canting” as depicted in the figure or automatically using machine. I m sure you bet that the hand made one is much more expensive than the machine made one. But, for your information all of them are still affordable.  There are some places in Indonesia that very famous for its batik, such as Yogyakarta, Solo, and Pekalongan. These places are located in central of Java.

Indonesians never aware about this local heritage for many years. Batik is considered as a traditional, not modern fashion.Even, young people of Indonesian feels ashame  to wear this kind of fashion. It is only wear in traditional ceremony such as wedding party. Until once day our neighbor country, Malaysia, claimed it as their local heritage while promoting their tourism worldwide.  Since the day, Indonesians angry to know about that and since the day, Indonesian start awaring this local heritage.  Now,  batik become a trend  back in Indonesia. That’s what they called “modern batik”. Now Batik is worn anytime and anyplace, not only in traditional affair such as wedding ceremony. Even, in any governmental institution, it is compulsory to wear batik, one day a week, usually on Friday. That’s what they called “Batik Day”.

Sometime we forget, that we have a forgettable worthiness heritage. We just realized it when, it has been lost or stolen by others.

References:

[1] http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pembicaraan:Daftar_suku_bangsa_di_Indonesia
[2] http://www.indonesianmusic.com/batik.htm