ALL SMILES: Deddy Saiful Hadi, Ambassador of Indonesia to Qatar, fourth from right, standing with guests and performers. Photo by Umer Nangiana
‘Amazing Indonesia’ consists of more than 17,000 islands and 300 diverse ethnic
groups, cultures and languages,” Deddy Saiful Hadi, Ambassador of Indonesia to
Qatar, said as he made a fervant pitch for investment. By Umer Nangiana
Giving a glimpse into “Amazing Indonesia”, the country’s tourism department and its embassy in Qatar brought the best of Indonesia’s tourist attractions to town recently.
In the three-day cultural festival that concluded at Lagoona Mall, artistes from Indonesia presented some never-before-seen here traditional dances, showcasing the cultural diversity of the archipelago.
“The Indonesian embassy in Doha in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism is always vigorously promoting rich Indonesian tourism. Amazing Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands with beautiful beaches, green mountains, variety of stunning scenery and having more than 300 diverse ethnic groups, culture and languages,” Deddy Saiful Hadi, Ambassador of Indonesia to Qatar, told the audience at the festival.
“This means that when you are exploring Indonesia, every 200 kilometres, you will find a different culture, ethnic group and language and this is why we call it ‘Amazing Indonesia’,” the ambassador reasoned.
He said the reason they want to promote Amazing Indonesia here in Qatar is that Qatar is one of the most prosperous and fastest growing economies in the world. People living here come from so many different countries and nationalities and so promoting Indonesia here is akin to promoting it worldwide.
There is enormous investment potential that remains untapped in view of the great diversity of Indonesia and Qatari economies. Tourism sector, the ambassador said, can be the possible area to build on.
“This cultural festival can be a platform to strengthen bilateral economic and tourism ties. Indonesia can also be a strategic partner of Qatar in helping promote Qatar’s ambition to be a truly world-class player particularly, in areas of tourism investment which offers abundant opportunities,” said Deddy.
“We are confident that the three-day cultural promotion would popularise Indonesia as a tourist destination and enhance the interest of the Qatari people and expatriates in Qatar to spend their next summer vacation in Indonesia,” he said.
He hoped the Travelling Business community will sell Indonesia as a tourist destination and start thinking of exploring the investment opportunities particularly in tourism infrastructure in Indonesia.
This year, Deddy said, is memorable for him as ambassador since bilateral relations reached their peak in political, economic and socio-cultural spheres as evident by the historic visit of Indonesian president to Qatar in September.
Amid the traditional music and dance performances, there was a showcase of fashionable Muslim clothing by designer Astrid Ediati.
Yoh. Nyoman, the choreographer and leader of the dance troupe, the Blitar Rose Dancer, and his team set the stage alight with a blend of modern and folk dances from different parts of the island country.
The mood was set with Jaipongan, also known as Jaipong, a popular traditional dance of Sundanese people from West Java, Indonesia. It was followed up by traditional Saman dance from Aceh province. In Bali, in November 2011, Unesco announced this type of dance as a world intangible cultural heritage.
“I choreograph the show myself. I also train dancers and musicians at my art school. From children to professionals, I train more than 100 people every year,” Yoh. Nyoman tells Community. The dancers were complemented by models adorned in Astrid Ediati’s designs.
Ediati, a mother of two from West Java, started fashion designing in 2004. It started from a hobby after her autistic son would keep her home for most part of the day. Soon, Ediati expanded it as a business in the field of fashion under the banner Britha Fashion Studio, the name derived from her son and daughter’s names, Brian and Talitha.
Through self-taught knowledge of sewing, Ediati went on to take fashion education in LPK PAPMI” Yogyakarta, a fashion institute, and won an award for the best graduate.
She presented collections such as Jarik Lurik, the ones formerly worn by herbalists traditionally, now made into trendy clothing for women. “Jarik which began from areas Cawas Klaten in Central Java is increasingly different when processed into a solid match Muslim clothing. This dress also gives the impression of ethnic and unique, and dares to be different for those who wear it,” says Ediati.
Jarik is plain bright red combined with Lurik material striped top worn as outer combined with harem pants. “Lurik in Javanese language means striped and Jarik Lurik is perfect Muslim clothing for both working women and housewives as it can be worn both casually and as party wear,” the designer tells Community.
Ediati has participated in various trainings on techniques with a designer pattern-maker Goet senior Puspo and designer Yogyakarta from Indonesia.
She won a second competition Clothing Design Batik and Weaving Central Java in 2007 and her works are often displayed in the event Jogja Fashion Week since 2006. Her work is inspired by elements of Indonesian culture. She says most of the designs are inspired from the flora and fauna found in the tropical settings of the country. Ediati also presented a collection of hats and veils of Britha Fashion Studio by Astrid Ediati. These practical hats are worn on occasions both formal and non-formal over Muslim dresses.
The hat is made of cotton, striped and impressive colours of ethnic batik. Other accessories can be added to enhance the appearance according to Muslim fashion style. Britha Fashion Studio also customises the hats or hijab caps with pashmina and other materials according to the likes of the customers.
The festival also introduced some of the most expensive and unique coffee tastes from Indonesia to the audiences in Qatar. One of them was Civet coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet, an animal.
Madrim Kusumah Andhini, founder and director of La Crona, Luwak Coffee, told Community that this unique coffee from West Java in Indonesia is considered as the best and the most expensive coffee in the world.
This coffee is obtained after many processes and is very clean. The coffee bean is extracted after proper cleaning and roasting of the cherries. “The beans inside are extracted after prim cleaning and roasting under the sun,” said Andhini.
The other type of special coffee was the roasted Arabica by Javanero. Iskandar Zulkarnain, the founder of the company told Community the coffee was already a best seller in Europe, Americas and Australia-New Zealand.
“We are targeting Qatar as a hub to enter Middle East. We produce Arabica. It involves two processes such as wet process using water as part of the fermentation and dry process where the beans are sun dried to eliminate the moisture from them,” said Iskandar.
The Pasundan type of coffee, for instance, presents medium body, clean cocoa and cinnamon tones with lasting sweetness of caramelised brown sugar and is naturally organic. Iskandar said all processes are environment friendly and organic.
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