Seeing the World at Your Doorstep


“Going around the world in one day …nice!” said Asti Upiastirin, information staff of the Indonesian Embassy in Windhoek.  More than two hundred visitors, including ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Namibia, enjoyed a variety of performances, crafts and culinary specialties from 13 countries during the second International Charity Bazaar at the Franco Namibian Cultural Center (FNCC) on 12 May 2012 from 10 am – 5 pm held by The Association of Diplomatic Spouses (ADS).  
The embassies participating in the bazaar were Indonesia, Algeria, Angola, Cuba, Egypt, France, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Portugal, Spain, USA and Venezuela. The Sewing Project (a project funded by the ADS) and The Katutura Soap and Doll Project (a project funded by the International Women’s Association in Namibia) also joined the bazaar.
Madame Penehupifo Pohamba, the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, opened the bazaar by hitting some notes on the Kolintang, Musical Instrument from Indonesia. Tri Astuti Sumartono, the ADS president, welcomed the First Lady and delivered a short speech explaining what the bazaar was all about.
Besides raising funds for charity purposes for the underprivileged people in Namibia, the international charity bazaar was also an opportunity for accredited embassies in Namibia to promote and introduce their culture, crafts and food to the public in Windhoek, she stated.
The Indonesian Embassy, with assistance from Dharma Wanita Persatuan KBRI Windhoek, sold crafts from various regions in Indonesia and food such as Nasi Uduk, Bihun Goreng, Dadar Gulung, Bakwan Jagung and Risoles Ragout Ayam. Meanwhile home-staff and local-staff played the Kolintang and performed Indonesian, English and African songs.
Algeria sold delicious couscous, Egypt had mouth-watering baklava, France sold fragrant croissant and quiche. Portugal displayed beautiful bags made from cork and Spain presented their signature olive oil, wine and paella, which was gone in minutes. Cuba entertained bazaar visitors with songs and dances while Thomas Brouns from the US Embassy played the accordion.
Made Santi Ratnasari, Head of Information Section from the Indonesian Embassy, remarked that hearing the accordion reminded her of the days she spent studying in the Netherlands.
Angolan teenagers performed two traditional dances and one contemporary dance. Tuka Alsoufi, the daughter of an Egyptian Embassy staff performed a belly dance accompanied by her brother to the delight of the bazaar visitors.
The ADS – FNCC International Charity Bazaar was truly a fun and entertaining day for the residents of Windhoek. They got to experience other cultures, meet different nationalities, taste traditional food without going abroad, right here on their doorstep, but above all, this event was ultimately held for a good cause: to raise funds to help the underprivileged Namibians (Source: ADS/KBRI Windhoek).