By: Qisthi Shafira

In Monday, 22 January 2018, you can hear the melody of Angklung, Indonesian musical instruments, around Pop Up Village in Australian National University. This is because a team of Angklung flies all the way from Bandung to do an Australian tour, and Canberra is where they perform that evening. The team is called Muhibah Angklung. They consist of around 42 high school students who are talented and believe in promoting Indonesian culture through music around the world. Having said that, Australia is not their only destination. Their instructor, Sang Maulana, mentions that they have performed around Europe to introduce Angklung to the world, such as 44th Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland, 50th Westerlo International Folklore Festival in Belgium, 62nd International Folklore Festival in Czech Republic, and 48th International Festival of Highland Folklore in Poland.

Canberra is lucky that evening to have such great performers. Starting with some Western songs as the opening act, the audience, Indonesian Diaspora Community in Canberra and Australians interested in Indonesian culture, is humming and dancing to Bee Gees’ How Deep Is Your Love and The Beatles’ Obladi-Oblada. Not only that, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Australia and Vanuatu, H.E. Mr. Y. Kristiarto S. Legowo and Mrs. Caecilia S. Legowo, are also there to enjoy the performance. In his speech, H.E. Mr. Y. Kristiarto S. Legowo emphasises that music is a good pillar to bridge the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia, because music is a universal language. The President of Indonesian Students Association – ACT Chapter, Yuhan Farah Maulida, also delivers her speech to thank everyone involved in making the event come true, especially the Embassy of Republic of Indonesia in Canberra, Indonesian students community in ANU and UC, and all Indonesian diaspora who have provided accommodation for the Angklung team members.

Muhibah Angklung, then, presents Indonesian traditional songs as well as the dance. They also perform songs like New York New York by Kander and Ebb and ABBA’s Mamma Mia. There are many interactive sessions with the audience, so the atmosphere is very warm and friendly that night. Indonesian students, Indonesian diaspora community, and Australians enthusiastic about Indonesian culture are there to enjoy the night. It feels so much like home in the middle of the bush capital.

Photo Cred: PPI ACT