Monash has often been known to hold gatherings and events that represent its multicultural student population. The Indonesian Independence Night, that was held on the 18/8/18, was no exception. Starting with a brief introduction in honor of the 73rd anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia’s Independence, the speakers explained that this event was organized to celebrate the country’s recent achievement of being the host of the 18th Asian Games 2018. These games were held on the 18th of August in Jakarta and Palembang—reflecting Indonesia’s progress, growth and development since its independence.
Aside from showcasing Indonesian culture and development, the event was also especially successful in celebrating diversity. This was especially evident from the multiethnic audience who attended the event and the fact that the speakers interacted with its audience in both English and Malay, throughout the event. This multi-linguistic approach was interactive and inclusive of both Indonesian and non-Indonesian students. Following the national anthem and the public demonstration of the red and white colours of the Indonesian flag, the event also brought a small piece of Indonesian nationalism to the campus.
This was followed by a diverse array of musical performances of famous pop songs (that were not restricted to Indonesian music) where the Monash Dance Fusion Club danced to Korean Pop music whilst wearing the red and white colours of the Indonesian flag. Brief snippets of information regarding Indonesian culture, such as the beauty of batik (an Indonesian artform) and the diverse array of Indonesian dishes for dinner, contributed to the showcasing of Indonesian culture to an international audience unaware of these details.
Therefore, the event provided a relaxing atmosphere where students were able to play ice breaking games to develop new friendship with others, enjoy live performances and savour a delicious dinner. The event was therefore successful in creating a sense of an integrated community and demonstrating Indonesian nationalism on campus. Its inclusive and interactive approach helped to instill a sense of belonging and familiarity for those from Indonesia, whilst simultaneously demonstrating this culture to an international audience. This approach showcased a unique blend of both patriotism and multiculturalism and was a refreshing change from hectic University life.
Article by Ananyaa Sreekumar
Photos by Ryan Wee and Ivan Liew