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Indonesian Week 2019: A Journey Beyond The Horizon

Writer: Athaya Hardono | Photographer: Dimitri Haikal, Mario Elfadi, Peerayu S., Reinardus Darren, Zacky Dhaffa.

It was another hot July day in Beppu — the sun was out, shorts and tanks were back on trend and everyone was sighted around with shades on their heads. When summer is almost at its peak, we know that Indonesian Week 2019 is right around the corner! (pssst as well as those cockroaches from the corner of our apartments). 

2019 marks Indonesian Week’s 18th year of breaking grounds in APU. With its theme “Journey Beyond the Horizon”, Indonesian Week 2019 brought a new sense of Indonesian culture to the community at APU and Beppu, showing a new perspective of the Indonesian heritage. Throughout July 8 - 12, the campus grounds of APU was filled with Indonesian-themed trinkets and festivities for the whole community to enjoy, including the mouth-watering cuisine and delicacies of Sulawesi Island that was served in the ethnic food section of the campus’ cafeteria. Visitors who wanted lighter meal options were also welcomed to kick-back and relax at INA Corner where they can taste Indonesia’s crowd-pleasing snacks and drinks while making a photo stop in an old-school Batavia-themed photo booth whilst trying on various Indonesian traditional costumes. 

The week started off with the grandiose Monday Parade. As the music began to play, a couple dressed in a 1960s-themed dress danced and swayed their way through the main fountain, marking the start of Indonesian Week 2019. The parade was then followed by a series of unbridled performances from Tari Selendang, Color Guard to Mass Dance which sprung viewers’ excitement to life with their energetic choreographies. 

Tucked away inside the student hall was an art exhibition titled ‘sumARTra’. Welcoming visitors to indulge in their senses, sumARTra was more than just a biennale of art pieces highlighting Sumatra Island’s ethnic collection. sumARTra exhibited endemic murals and fabrics for us to see, an array of traditional spices to feel and smell and local fables to read and hear. The event also featured a poetry competition and a talk show led by specially-invited guest speakers for visitors to partake and enjoy. 

On Tuesday, Indonesian Week 2019 brought a piece of heavenly Bali to Beppu. Adorned with a majestic Balinese Gapura as its centerpiece, plaid cloth sprawled here and there and the flowy tunes of Balinese gamelan playing in the background, The Wave was transformed into the mesmerizing Uluwatu for TABI: Tales of Bali. Overlooking Beppu from above, viewers enjoyed the story of Ramayana depicted in the form of Kecak dance and music performances while the sun is set to the horizon. 

Thursday was time for some adventure. Building B’s Event Space rooms were transformed into a mystical labyrinth filled with ancient transcendental creatures from tales and fables of Borneo Island. Every now and then, screams were heard from the rooms signaling the nerve-racking adventure inside the mystical forest of Borneo! Uh-oh, That must be the sound of visitors solving riddles and puzzles in Borneo Quest as they find their way to the maze’s exit.

It was a cloudy Friday, and we have reached the last day of Indonesian Week 2019. Yet, the enthusiasm for Indonesian Week had not died down. Even before the sky turned dark, a long line was already sighted in front of the Millenium Hall; a crowd vying over seats for the Indonesian Week Grand Show. “Batavia: The Binoculars of Morality Audience” was a story of freedom, morality, and love of an aspiring journalist in before-independence-era Batavia. The audience was raptured by the intriguing stage set and the theatrical performance of dozens of performers partaking in the show as they applauded strenuously at the end of the show. It was indeed a splendid performance to end Indonesian Week 2019. 

Through a whole week full of joyous performances and festivities, Indonesian Week has made a name for itself as one of the most highly-anticipated multicultural weeks amongst others. The crowd is always screaming for more, so let’s wait and see for what Indonesian Week 2020 will bring!

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