Indonesia to continue assisting Sri Lankans affected by economic crisis

Indonesia to continue assisting Sri Lankans affected by economic crisis

Indonesia is to continue assisting Sri Lankans affected by the economic crisis, the Indonesian Embassy in Colombo said.

The Indonesian Embassy in Colombo, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka-Indonesia Friendship Association (SLIFA), again held a “Cultural and Charity Bazaar” at the Indonesian Embassy premises.

Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aruni Wijewardane was the Chief Guest, while Ambassadors/Heads of Missions, Government Officials, Businessmen, and religious representatives were present among around 1,500 visitors at the event, Heru Prayitno, Minister Counsellor of the Indonesian Embassy said today.

“Similar to activities in 2022, this year’s charity bazaar also aims to promote people-to-people links between the two countries by promoting the culture, dances, products, and cuisine. Bazaar also aims to help Sri Lanka’s vulnerable groups who are still affected by the economic crisis,” said Dewi Gustina Tobing, Indonesian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in her remarks.

Ambassador Dewi also stated that the proceeds from the 2022 charity bazaar had been donated to vulnerable groups in the form of dry ratios to around 750 families. “We will do the same activities by distributing the dry ratios packages this year to the vulnerable people in various regions in Sri Lanka,” wished Ambassador Dewi.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary greatly appreciated the Indonesian Ambassador and her team and the SLIFA for organizing the event that strengthened Sri Lanka-Indonesia relations, which have long had historical ties and cultural similarities. The Foreign Secretary also cherished the intention of the bazaar to help the vulnerable by providing dry ratios.

The bazaar also showcases the performance of traditional Indonesian and Sri Lankan dances. The Angklung musical of Bamboo originated from West Java, Indonesia, and was performed by the Dharma Wanita (the Indonesian Embassy women’s organization) singing selected songs. VIP guests and visitors also played the traditional musical instrument Angklung to accompany selected songs hosted by Lutfi Andaru.

The Ratoh Jaroe dance, performed by 18 Sri Lankan female students from Samudhi Dance School, increasingly amazed and stunned the visitors of the charity bazaar. “The Ratoh Jaroe dance originates from the province of Aceh in Indonesia, which received recognition from UNESCO as an international cultural heritage in 2011,” said Heru.

Other traditional Indonesian dances performed include the Tor Tor dance from North Sumatra, the Malay Mak Inang Pulau Kampai, the Pendet dance from Bali, and Sri Lankan dances, such as the KandyanRabanGaminatumaGajaga, and Mask dances

Apart from being presented with dances and Angklung music, the visitors could choose various merchandise from 50 participating stalls, including food and drink, jewelry, clothes, books, household goods, handy crafts, cosmetics, etc. “Promotional booths for Indonesian tourist destinations and the 38th Indonesian Trade Expo promotion on 18-22 October 2023 also received much attention from bazaar visitors,” concluded Heru. (Colombo Gazette)

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