More than 2000 Indonesian and Australian people gathered at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra on Saturday, 18 September 2010 to enjoy the authentic dishes and lively entertainment at the Festival Indonesia 2010.  This Festival is a “Pesta Rakyat Indonesia” (people’s fiesta) as the final activity marking the 65th anniversary celebration of Indonesia’s Independence. This event which began at 10 am and finished at 3 pm was officially opened by the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia and Vanuatu, HE. Mr. Primo Alui Joelianto.

            The festival symbolized the face of Indonesia, from Sabang to Merauke, from the Acehnese Saman Dance to the Papuan Sajojo song. Some Indonesian traditional dances, such as the Baris Dance from Bali and the Giring-giring Dance from East Kalimantan also spiced up the afternoon. Among the highlights were the Indonesian Mini and Papuan Student Groups.  The former sang a medley of fourteen traditional Indonesian songs while the laTter performed Papuan songs and dances. These two groups successfully invited visitors –Indonesians and Australians, seniors and the young– to dance and sing together in front of the stage. A fashion show from the Indonesian Ladies Association was also a crowd pleaser, showcasing modern batik with traditional cloth. The event was also brightened up by Indonesian children from the Taman Pengajian Anak Ceria who sang traditional Indonesian songs. “It is such a remarkable festival”, said a diplomat from the Philippines.

            The food stalls, however, were by far the most popular among visitors. Sold in the 19 stalls were Padang satay and soto, lamb curry, fried rice, fried noodle, beef ball noodle, fish dim-sum, spring rolls, vegetable salad and many other Indonesian traditional cuisine. Australians and other foreign communities flocked the stalls of Indonesian products and handicrafts such as batik, bags, shoes, and accessories.

The Committee in coordination with a Indonesian student association Gerakan Lima Dolar (GELAR) held a raffle draw which offered many interesting prizes, among others were 3 return tickets  to Indonesia sponsored by Garuda Indonesia and Netfare Travel, a home theatre, a netbook computer, a camcorder, a camera, an iPod, and several mobile phones. The results of the raffle ticket sales will be used to help schools and students in poorer parts of Indonesia.

At this event, the committee also presented medals and prizes for the winners of sport tournaments and a karaoke contest held since July 2010 in conjunction with the 65th anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence.

The success of this third Festival since 2008 has strengthened the Embassy’s commitment to hold this program as an annual event in order to promote Indonesian art, culture and tourism as well as to enrich the multi cultural society of Canberra.