Colombo: Memorable love comes from the palate. Bearing this Indonesian maxim in mind, the Indonesian Embassy in Colombo, in cooperation with Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel-Kuta, Sanggar Seni Indah Prima-Legian and Taj Samudra Hotel-Colombo, organize the 2011 Indonesian Food Festival on 12 – 21 August 2011 in the Latitude Restaurant, Taj Samudra Hotel. The Festival, held to promote the culture and tourism, is officially opened by the Indonesian Ambassador on 12 August 2011. Guests of honor attending the opening ceremony are Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development; Hon. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development; as well as Excellency Ambassadors.
This year’s Food Festival, incorporating the theme “Delightfully Bali”, is supported by a team of executive sous chef and kitchen artist, as well as professional dancers intentionally invited from Bali. For 10 days, the public in Colombo and its surrounding have the opportunity to taste a buffet of signature Balinese dishes such as Ayam Sisit Sambal Bongkot (spicy shredded chicken), Kambing Menyat-Nyat (lamb stew), Kambing Sune Cekuh (lamb in white spice), Bebek Betutu (roasted duck), Tum Bepasih (steamed minced fish in banana leaf), Lawar Kacang (long beans in yellow spice), dan Pisang Rai (steamed banana in sweet rice). Balinese ambiance is set with the support of room decorations from coconut leaves or janur craft as well as the head band Udeng and Balinese sarong worn by the serving team.
The guests can enjoy the buffet with live Balinese dances as the main entertainment. The Dance “Sekar Jagat” symbolizing the world’s harmony welcomes the guests at the entrance. The guests are also invited to experience romantic nuance of the Dance “Oleg Tamulilingan” performed by a couple dancers, as well as cheerfulness of the Dance “Joget” performed by lovely dancers. The Dance “Baris”, symbolizing the chivalry of Balinese warriors, as well as the Dance “Jauk”, presenting impersonation of an imaginary demon, reveal the masculine side of Balinese dance. The rhythmic Balinese tunes “Rindik” and “Degung” between dance performances contribute in bringing out the ambience of Balinese village.
The guests coming to the Latitude Restaurant look enthusiastic, savoring the dishes and watching the dances. Even the Ministers and other guests of honor express their appreciation to the event directly to the Ambassador.
More than promotional purposes, this Food Festival is held to share with Sri Lankans a sample of the rich cultures in Indonesia. It is also aimed at showcasing successful Indonesian tourism, relying on cultural tourism without losing its identity and nationalism. Furthermore, Food Festival is considered an opportunity to promote friendship and people-to-people contact between Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Through the splendor of art in culinary, dance and music as one of many universal language of friendship, it is hoped that the notion of friendly and congenial image of Indonesia will last among Sri Lankans and international communities in Sri Lanka.
At the end of the opening ceremony, each of the guests is given a Balinese fan as a token of appreciation.