RIYADH: Indonesia, the Southeast Asian nation made up of thousands of islands and home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking different languages, is representing Asia at the Janadriyah festival this year.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry invited the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh to participate in the Janadriyah festival, Arab News learned on Monday.
“This is as a follow-up to the memorandum of understanding signed to bolster cultural affairs between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia that was inked during the historic visit of King Salman to Indonesia in March 2017,” said Sunan J. Rustam, information officer at the embassy.
Acknowledging the honor, Indonesian Ambassador Agus Maftuh Abegebriel said: “The partnership between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia is moving in the right direction. There are many untapped opportunities in cultural cooperation between the two brotherly countries.”
He also said that Indonesia and Saudi Arabia were key countries in the Muslim world, and with the fresh change of open policy in the Kingdom, cultural cooperation could be synergized to promote peaceful, open and moderate Islam to the world.
Notably, this is Indonesia’s first participation in Janadriyah, the national heritage and culture festival named after the village on the northern outskirts of Riyadh, where it has been organized since its inception in 1985.
Indonesia, represented by its embassy in Riyadh, is showcasing its diverse culture and heritage including traditional dances and signature dishes of the country.
Unity in diversity takes center stage in Indonesia’s participation at the festival, sharing primarily the experience of how Islam and democracy can coexist peacefully in a diverse nation, said the embassy official.
The Indonesian pavilion also highlights tourism on the largest archipelago in the world including packages of halal tourism from Lombok and Sumatra and brochures on Indonesian international products.
Lombok, also known as the island of 1,000 mosques, has been recognized as the world’s best halal tourism and honeymoon destination at a recent event held in Abu Dhabi.
Besides Indonesia, other countries representing various continents include Brazil, Algeria, Ukraine, and Ethiopia.
India is the guest of honor country this year. The annual heritage festival, which runs for 18 days, will conclude on Feb. 24.