Indonesia’s 74th Independence Day commemoration was marked with a diplomatic reception featuring a two-hour cultural performance and batik exhibition.
The reception at the Jerudong International School Arts Centre on Wednesday was organised by the Indonesian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam.
Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah was the guest of honour.
The 500-guest list included dignitaries and high-ranking government officials, foreign ambassadors and diplomats accredited to Brunei Darussalam, former Brunei Darussalam ambassadors to Indonesia, former Indonesian ambassadors to Brunei Darussalam and prominent business people.
Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Dr Sujatmiko delivered an exposé of Indonesia’s current developments in the political, economic, and social spheres.
He noted that Indonesia held what is touted to be the world’s largest single-day presidential and legislative elections on April 17, 2019. He also conveyed the remarkable achievement in infrastructure construction carried out in the last five years, encompassing nearly 5,000 kilometres of roads, 10 airports and 19 seaports throughout the 17,000-island archipelago.
The ambassador noted that Indonesia is also prioritising the human capital development to tap on the projected demographic dividend with around a 60 per cent productive working-age population in the 2040s.
On the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia ties, the ambassador remarked that this year coincided with the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. These bonds have grown from strength to strength, as testified by the joint commitment to prioritise bilateral cooperation in nine sectors, such as in strategic industry, health, agriculture, tourism, and in addressing regional and international issues.
The address was followed by an official session consisting of the cone-shaped yellow rice cutting ceremony, souvenir presentation, and group photo session.
The evening culminated in a mesmerising two-hour cultural performance showcasing Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage, from traditional dances, musical performance, to traditional martial arts demonstration. The spectators were spoiled with the dazzling sight of dancers and the wonderful sound of the accompanying traditional music.
Dancers dressed in colourful costumes adorned with traditional regalia gracefully performed eight dances against the backdrop of the majestic landscapes of the eight regions.
The mind of the audience was also soothed with the calm and slow tempo of gamelan music from Central Java performed by 12 players from the embassy, including the ambassador. The audience was also lulled by the uniquely distinctive and moving sound of angklung bamboo instruments, performed by an ensemble of 15 players who are interns at the embassy.
Guests also enjoyed a demonstration of the pencak silat traditional martial arts performed by members of the Indonesian community in Brunei Darussalam.