Exploring the culture of Java

| Michaela Nesvarova

The annual Indonesian Evening took place on the 21st of November 2014. The main theme of the event was ´Exploring Java´ and the whole program was therefore focused on the culture of this Indonesian island. Visitors could try to play angklung, a musical instrument, and there were various dance and music performances.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

Indonesian Evening 2014 was, as usual, organized by the Indonesian Student Association Enschede (PPIE). The first part of the event, taking place in Agora, consisted of various performances, which allowed the audience to get more familiar with the rich Indonesian culture. People could enjoy dance and music performances, workshops, interactive games and even a fashion show. Later, the visitors could get a true taste of Indonesia by attending the food market held in Bastille.

Cultural diversity

At the beginning of the evening, a representative of the Indonesian Embassy presented a short speech. He congratulated the students for being successful ambassadors of Indonesia abroad and he expressed his wish for people to explore Indonesian culture by also visiting the country itself. After all, Indonesia is a very large country consisting of about 17.000 islands, 300 ethnic groups and 500 language groups. Such a diversity cannot be portrayed during one evening, which is why this year´s Indonesian Evening concentrated only on the island Java.

Engaging the audience

The organizers made sure that the audience could really experience the culture at first hand. During an interactive workshop, many visitors could try to play angklung – a musical instrument originally from Indonesia, made of two to four bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. Each piece of angklung plays only one note, and so several people need to play together to create a melody. Dozens of different angklungs were handed to people in the audience and the conductor on the stage guided them through playing. Eventually, the audience was able to play a whole song.

Traditional and modern

Various performances were showcased at the event. People could enjoy beautiful costumes displayed during a traditional dance, which symbolized the struggle between the good and the evil. However, more modern performances also got their time on the stage. The group Bandits, for example, provided a peek into today´s Indonesia by playing contemporary Indonesian songs.

The second part of the event took place in Bastille, where a food market was held. Visitors could explore another side of Indonesia by tasting many different Indonesian meals and treats.