Armidale to celebrate relationship with Indonesia

Published 15 August 2008

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Armidale will celebrate the vital relationship between Indonesia and Australia with a night of Indonesian food and culture on Saturday 23 August.

Indonesian Night 2008, in Lazenby Hall at the University of New England, will include a program of traditional Indonesian songs and dances as well as a full Indonesian meal.

This will be the third annual Indonesian Night to be organised by the Indonesian-Australian Community of Armidale (KIAA), the Indonesian discipline at UNE, and the Armidale branch of the Indonesian Students’ Association. It will begin at 6.30 pm and continue till 9 pm.

The event is planned each year in conjunction with the celebration of Indonesian Independence Day (17 August). Dr Zi Adnan, Convener of Indonesian at UNE, said that the theme of this year’s Indonesian Night would concern collaboration: “With collaboration we can make a change in the world.”

The professional dancer and dance teacher Alfira will travel from Sydney to present a series of dances from various Indonesian provinces. She will be accompanied by her teacher Murtala, from Indonesia. As Artistic Director of Sanggar Suara Indonesia Dance Troupe, Alfira has organised and coordinated dance workshops and performances at schools, universities and festivals across Victoria, the ACT, NSW and Queensland, and in Java and Aceh.

Joining Alfira on the program will be 20 high-school students from Macksville, who will perform the East Indonesian dance Poco-poco. An Armidale-based group comprising students and staff from the Indonesian discipline at UNE and Indonesian residents of Armidale will perform a Sajojo dance from West Papua and a medley of folk songs from throughout Indonesia. Colourful Indonesian costumes will be a feature of these performances.

The meal, prepared by a local team led by Ms Ratna Widiarti, will include spring rolls, nasi goreng and mie goreng, satays, and desserts.

Entry to Indonesian Night 2008 is $10.

Referring to the theme of collaboration, Dr Adnan said: “Knowledge is essential for collaboration. We’re keen to provide opportunities for people to find out about the Indonesian nation and its culture.”