On 16 October 2008, The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Bern along with CITRA Grup (Abbreviation of Cinta Nusantara, which means Love Indonesia) chaired by Mrs. Linda Agum Gumelar and Verein Indonesia-Switzerland (VIS), hosted Indonesian Cultural Performance titled “Enjoy Indonesia”, which took place at Hotel National in Bern. The same event was also held in Basle on 18 October 2008. Both events were organized in conjunction with the “Visit Indonesia Year 2008” program, launched by the Government of Indonesia early this year.
Around 40 young artists from Indonesia participated in these events, which were dedicated to promote Indonesian Culture in foreign countries. Not less important, both events were also aimed at introducing the beauty and uniqueness of Indonesian traditional arts and culture to international society, particularly in Switzerland, as well as preserving the Indonesian arts and culture.
Enjoy Indonesia Cultural Performance in Bern, started by a reception, which allowed guests to taste various typical food of Indonesia, was particularly dedicated to 300 important guests from diplomatic community, government officials, foreign ambassadors accredited to Switzerland, business community and entrepreneurs in Switzerland, Travel Agents, and Friends of Indonesia. The event, held from 19.00 to 21.30, was then followed by a slide show of Indonesia tourism, titled “Indonesia a country of thousand faces”. The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Switzerland, H.E. Mrs. Lucia H. Rustam opened the event by addressing speech, explaining the audience the natural beauty and uniqueness of Indonesia, both the landscapes and the culture. The Ambassador uttered her hope that with Enjoy Indonesia Cultural Performance, the audience could get a clearer perception on Indonesia, a country which is famous for its beautiful landscapes and culture so as its people’s friendliness, which in turn will encourage them to visit Indonesia and experience the beauty themselves.
After the opening ceremony, various Indonesian traditional cultural performances, such as traditional dances, interactive Angklung performance, as well as demonstration of batik making were presented. The demonstration of batik making and batik exhibition were dedicated at showing the audience the beauty and high quality of Indonesian Batik compared to similar products from other nations. Indonesian Keroncong singer, Tuti Maryati, which also hosted the whole event, performed various traditional songs from all over Indonesia as well as one of Switzerland’s famous songs, Edelweiss. A number of Indonesian traditional dances, such as Ngarojeng dance from Betawi, Jaipong dance from Sunda, Giring – giring dance from Kalimantan, Saman dance from Aceh, followed by Batik fashion show have aroused the interest of the audience. Another highlight of the event was the interactive Angklung performance, an Indonesian traditional music instrument made from bamboo, which presented international pop, folk and rock songs, such as Bohemian Rapsody from Queen, Symphony No. 40 from Mozart, The Power of Love from Celine Dion, and so on. The Angklung performance was presented by 6 young students of Daeng Ujo, the Angklung conductor. Daeng Ujo was also inviting the audience to play Angklung by themselves. He distributed one Angklung to each audience and conducted the audience to play some international famous songs. At the end of the performance, Daeng Ujo declared that Angklung is Indonesian Original Music Instrument, which were greeted by standing applauses by around 300 invitees in the event. The audiences were very impressed with the Cultural Performance and look forward to be invited to the next Indonesian Cultural Performance.