The Indonesian Embassy in Canberra on Saturday, 12 February 2011 took part in the annual National Multicultural Festival 2011, one of two large festivals held in Australia’s capital city each year. The Embassy operated an information stall and presented 4 dances and a mini fashion show in a forty-minute presentation at the Petrie St. Stage.
The Indonesian Embassy stall displayed tourism brochures from various areas in Indonesia, and visitors were also given a calendar which includes all the information needed to contact the Indonesian Embassy including telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses and the official Embassy website. The special theme of the stall was the ikat cloth specific to the East Nusa Tenggara region, which featured the special weaving equipment and its cloth craftswoman flown in especially from Kupang in Indonesia. Visitors had the rare opportunity to try their hand at weaving the traditional cloth under the guidance of the genuine artisan herself, while some had their photos taken while behind the traditional weaving machine.
The Embassy also coordinated 4 dance performances with the 40 minutes given for Indonesia at the Petrie Street Stage at a primetime viewing slot which was 1pm on the Saturday of the festival. The four dances were the Jaranan Senterewe from Java, the Jauk Manis from Bali, the Angguk Ndolalak from East Java, and the Kataga dance from East Nusa Tenggara province. After the last dance, the dancers from Kupang displayed the ikat cloth they wore which originates from East Nusa Tenggara province which is colorful and rich with various motifs. After the performance, the dancers made themselves available for photographs with visitors.
As the Embassy’s contribution to the National Multicultural Festival 2011 in Canberra, the stall and the cultural performances were yet another form of people-to-people contact that further introduced Indonesian culture among the residents of Canberra in particular and the Australian people in general.