2011 is an exciting year for the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and the UK, where 200 years of close historical ties between the two nations was first marked by the arrival of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, a British administrator and amateur scientist, in Java, Indonesia on 1811.
Raffles contributed much to the knowledge of the world then about Indonesia. He wrote a book titled ‘the History of Java’, describing the history of the island and its denizens for the Western world.
He re-discovered the Borobudur and Prambanan temple; found and named the Rafflesia arnoldi, the largest, carnivorous flower in the world; and initiated the establishment of the Bogor Botanical Garden, based on the design of the Kew Garden of London.
Raffles was also the first person to bring a full-set gamelan from Indonesia to the UK.
To celebrate this landmark, the Embassy of Indonesia in London, in cooperation with many friends of Indonesia, will hold arts and cultural activities throughout the year to commemorate this momentous occasion.
April 2011 – January 2012
Come and have a taste of the culture of Indonesia’s tropical paradise through the Bali: Dancing for the Gods exhibition at the Horniman Museum, London (www.horniman.ac.uk).
Know more about Gamelan and its influence in the UK through the launch of the British Gamelan Trail research project, headed by Prof. Mark Hobart of SOAS London.
19 – 21 August 2011
Be mesmerized through the beautiful melody of the Royal Yogyakarta Palace Gamelan, Kridha Mardhawa, at the Edinburgh International Festival (www.eif.co.uk).
10 – 11 September 2011
Indonesia is not only about Bali and gamelans. It is also a cacophony of various exotic cultures, which you can know more about through the Indonesian Village at the London Thames Festival (www.thamesfestival.org).