Ahead of London Book Fair, Indonesia impresses London public with culinary and cultural events

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The Indonesian Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Rizal Sukma (center), together with Petty Elliott (left) and Santhi Serad (right) in Jamu Workshop event, introduced various Indonesian traditional herbs and their properties to guests at the Indonesia Cultural Late event in London. (photo: KBRI London Doc.)

IO, Jakarta – One month ahead of Indonesia’s attendance as the Market Focus Country in the London Book Fair 2019 which will be held in Olympia London, Kensington, London on March 12-14, the Creative Economy Agency (Berkraf) as the leaders and initiators of the event held a culinary event and cultural arts performances. The event was hosted by the Indonesia Market Focus Country Executive Committee formed by Bekraf with the involvement of the National Book Committee and stakeholders in the creative industry.

The event is a part of an effort to promote Indonesia’s creative sectors to the London public. In the event were activities including a luncheon with food bloggers in London with the theme of “Spice Island Revisited Lunch” in the Providores, Marylebone, London on February 13, 2019.

In the event, Indonesian culinary experts Petty Elliott and Santhi Serad arranged a menu which put forward cuisine from the early spice islands of Run, Banda, Ternate, Tidore, and Halmahera. The spice island theme was chosen as part of the “17,000 Islands of Imagination” narrative which is the theme of Indonesia as a Market Focus Country in the London Book Fair 2019. Both Petty and Santhi collaborated with Chef Peter Gordon and their culinary teams.

Other than the culinary event, Indonesia was also promoted through an evening cultural session with the theme “Islands of Imagination: An Indonesia Cultural Late” held in Asia House on February 15, 2019. As way of promoting Indonesia as the guest of honor in the London Book Fair later this March, the event invited important figures to promote Indonesia, such as the media and influencers, alongside partners of the Market Focus such as the British Council, British Library, Anglo Indonesia Society, Darmasiswa members, Asia House networks, and diplomatic networks.

In the Indonesia Cultural Late event, artists, writers, fashion designers to painters showed off their talents. A number of main events in the cultural night included live music by musicians and singers Nyak Ina Raseuki (Ubiet), jazz guitarist Tesla Manaf, and kendhang player Melayu Shafur Bachtiar.

In the performance, Ubiet invited the audience to understand the voices and songs of Indonesia from the past, present, and future, which Ubiet represented through himself and two other musicians, each symbolizing three generations: Shafur from the 20s, Tesla from the 30s, and Ubiet from the 40s. The concept of past and present Indonesia was shown by Ubiet through interpreting the songs of S. Abdullah, an Indonesian pop singer in the Melayu genre during the 1920s. S. Abdullah is also the founder of the Arab Indonesia Association.

“Through these two events, Bekraf has shown its full support and effort in introducing the creative industry to the global market. We hope the London public can see the potential of Indonesia’s creative talents in these two events, so it is not only aimed at promoting Indonesia as a Market Focus Country in the London Book Fair in March but also able to create opportunities for business collaborations for participants of the creative industry in Indonesia,” said Bekraf Head Triawan Munaf.

The event did not only show how rich and diverse Indonesian art and culture is but also pushed Indonesia’s talents in the Indonesia creative industry to perform in front of a London Public. At the two events, London residents were seen to be enthusiastic and warmly greeted Indonesia as the Market Focus Country in the London Book Fair 2019. (Aldo)