Braving the falling rain and cool weather outside, around 400 people came to and filled the Studentenhuis De Therminal, Ghent, the venue of The Sound of Heritage Indonesia (SOH) 2013 on Saturday, May 11, 2013. SOH is an annual event to promote Indonesian arts, culture, and culinary organized by the Indonesian Students Association in Ghent (PPI Gent) in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Brussels, Indonesian students from various cities in Belgium, Indonesian community, and the private sector.
Pendet dance opened the cultural performances on stage, followed by Saman Dance by PPI Gent; Legong Keraton, Bird of Paradise and Rantak dances by the gamelan group “Saling Asah”; medley of Indonesian songs by classical violinist Amelia and friends; medley of Indonesian songs by PPI Brussels; ethnic fusion songs by the collaboration of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and PPI Gent; Iwan Fals’, Slank’, and Gong 2000’s songs by Assia Band; and culminated with Poco-poco dance by the excited visitors.
In addition to the cultural performances, visitors also had the opportunity to taste a variety of typical Indonesian foods and beverages offered at various booths. There were also a variety of Indonesian handicrafts, as well as furniture and home decorations made in Indonesia to see and to buy.
One highlight of SOH is the presence of one-stop-service for administration and Indonesian travel documents, courtesy of the Embassy. Indonesian visitors of SOH 2013 had the opportunity to report themselves or their family to the Embassy officials, to apply for the extension of their Indonesian passports, etc. The presence was an attempt by the Embassy to get closer to Indonesian community in Belgium and to provide services for them, taking into account that it is not always easy for Indonesians living outside Brussels to allocate time and money to visit the Embassy office in Brussels.
In his remarks, H.E. Ambassador Arif Havas Oegroseno praised PPI Gent for its efforts in promoting Indonesia to the Belgian public through SOH. On this occasion, PPI Gent paid tribute to those who were supportive of PPI Gent and SOH, including the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Brussels.