SHOWCASING OF INDONESIAN CULTURE IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
Indonesia - comprising of over 17,000 islands and over 500 ethnic groups – is home to immense diversity of traditional and contemporary cultural expressions. To introduce Indonesia’s rich and diverse cultures to foreign audiences, as well as to forge stronger regional and international networks, the Ministry of Education and Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have established the House of Indonesian Culture (HIC) programme across the world. The main objectives of the HIC programme are:
- to function as cultural diplomacy centers in friendly strategic countries;
- to inform the richness of Indonesian culture and its contribution to the development of world civilization; and
- to attain acknowledgement from the international community, including stronger recognition of Indonesian cultural icons in the form of both tangible and intangible cultural heritages.
- Each HIC implements three programmes, which are:
- Indonesian Cultural Promotion. This programme hosts several events aimed at promoting the Indonesian culture to the general public through many forms of cultural activities, including the Indonesian Day, food bazaars, and cultural expos.
- Indonesian Cultural Expressions. This programme is run by the Indonesian diaspora to support activities in preserving the Indonesian culture and strengthening their pride and identity as Indonesian people, which includes cultural performances and participation of Indonesian diaspora in local annual festivals/parades.
- Indonesian Cultural Learning. This programme is held regularly without admission fee and open to public in the form of courses to introduce Indonesian culture, which includes culinary workshops, gamelan classes, Bahasa Indonesia speech/essay competition, and traditional dance courses.
- Each HIC has a variety of traditional costumes, musical instruments, and books on Indonesian culture that can be used or rented for various occasions.
- Currently there are 10 HICs operating in 10 countries. One HIC in Timor-Leste was established in early 2016 in a newly constructed building, whereas other HICs in Australia, United States of America, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, France, Singapore, Myanmar, and Turkey are operating within the Indonesian embassy complex.
Specific expected results were not available at the time of writing this report.
State budget, in the sum of about USD 9,500,000 (approximated currency conversion from Indonesian Rupiah).
Overall, the HIC programme has been a success and has received positive response in all its establishments. Feedback has shown that the HIC has:
- strengthened efforts to introduce and promote Indonesian culture, both contemporary and traditional, in the targeted countries; and
- increased the awareness of international public towards Indonesia’s rich and diverse culture.