Indonesian Pop Culture Creative Innovation in New York through “Warkop NYC”

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Warkop NYC
Photo: Nani Septianie

Jakarta, IO – Indonesia is a country that is rich in spices, which causes Indonesia to be a country that has various food innovations ranging from food to drinks. Not only rich in food and beverage innovations, but Indonesia is also a country that is creative in creating various traditional arts to pop culture that can follow the current world developments. Indonesia is currently a country that is well-known as a country rich in local culture through visual arts, music, and dance such as batik, Wayang, and Gamelan. On the other hand, Indonesia has other creative innovations that can contribute to introducing Indonesian identity to foreign countries through Pop Culture. Indonesia has a strategy to introduce its characteristics, not only through culture, but Indonesia can introduce its Pop Culture to the international community. One of these strategies is the existence of Warkop NYC. Warkop NYC is an Indonesian restaurant located in New York which has just been formed. This NYC Warkop was formed on March 3, 2022, located at 366 West 52nd Street, New York (Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, 2022, #). Warkop NYC was founded by three creative young people from Indonesia including Omar Karim Prawiranegara, Firm Chandra, and Cut Lakeisha Salsabila (Muhammad, 2022). Interestingly, Warkop NYC does not only provide typical Indonesian food in general, such as rendang, Nasi Goreng, and others. However, this NYC Warkop provides a variety of other Indonesian Food and beverages which are more complete to Indonesian desserts such as Indomie, toast, Bakwan, fried foods, Garuda beans, tea, white crackers, soy sauce, sauce, chili sauce, swallow flip-flops and Indonesian coffee. (Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, 2022, #). Where the food provided is typical Indonesian food which is more complex. where the concept of Warkop NYC is different from other Indonesian restaurants abroad which serve less food.

In addition to serving a complete range of Indonesian Food and Beverages (FnB), Warkop NYC also presents various creative ideas created by the Indonesian people living in New York, one of which is Stand up Comedy presented by Indonesian comedians. This shows that Stand Up Comedy Indonesia abroad is an event that is rarely shown, even though Indonesia is a country that has the potential to perform other arts in foreign countries that many people abroad are not aware of it. In addition, there are other creative ideas such as art and Indonesian pop music which are displayed at Warkop NYC. Through the appearance of Indonesian pop culture ranging from Stand Up Comedy to Indonesian pop art and music that can improve Indonesia’s performance abroad, through this strategy, Indonesia can show that Indonesia is also participating in following world developments with various Creative innovations in the arts, not only traditional arts, but Pop Culture can also contribute to proving that Indonesia is a country rich in innovations in the creative industry. It is because until now Indonesia is only known as a country that is rich in traditional arts, such as gamelan as traditional music, and various traditional Indonesian dances which are often performed at various events in foreign countries as symbols of Indonesia’s characteristics. However, with the existence of Warkop NYC, Indonesia has innovations by displaying current Indonesian Pop Culture such as pop music with acoustic music, to Stand Up Comedy which is Indonesia’s latest innovation in introducing Indonesian pop culture abroad while enjoying delicious food. Indonesian food and beverages through Warkop NYC. 

Through the strategy formed by the presence of Warkop NYC, this can be an opportunity for Indonesia to introduce Indonesian characteristics in various aspects. Among them is introducing Indonesian characteristics through food, beverages, and Indonesian pop culture, which is a new diaspora strategy carried out by Indonesia abroad. Because previously, in promoting Indonesian characteristics, Indonesia only introduced traditional culture and foods that were already known by many people. However, through this Warkop NYC, Indonesia introduces Indonesian characteristics through a more modern Indonesian Pop Culture, which is expected that the international community not only recognizes Indonesia as a country that has limited arts and culture, but Indonesia is also as a country rich in creative innovations both in terms of food, drinks, to Pop Culture because Pop Culture is the culture most enjoyed by people in globalization era. Therefore, to maximize the increasing performance of Indonesian Food and Beverages abroad and the Indonesian creative industry, Indonesia can implement Warkop NCY in various countries, not only through New York, but Indonesia can also implement Warkop Indonesia in various countries as a strategy to get to know more about wealth. Indonesian food and creative ideas through Indonesian Pop Culture that Indonesian Diaspora can do abroad. That means in introducing Pop Culture and Indonesian foods, contributions from various actors such as state and nonstate actors, such as Indonesian institutions abroad, Indonesian people abroad, to Indonesian academics abroad are needed. It can work together in forming concepts, ideas, promotional strategies, displaying and promoting Indonesia’s wealth from the food aspect to Indonesian Pop Culture abroad. 

In addition, Indonesia can also maximize social media by introducing Indonesian Pop Culture as an indirect strategy. Through social media, Indonesia can reach more people by introducing Indonesia’s creative innovations through social media belonging to overseas Indonesian Diaspora accounts. Where Indonesia can not only introduce Indonesian traditional arts on social media, but Indonesia can also see opportunities for Indonesian Pop Culture to be introduced to foreign countries through social media accounts. Likewise in the food and beverage aspect, Indonesia is also needed to introduce and promote a more complete Indonesian food and beverage such as that provided by Warkop NYC which provides a variety of foods and beverages, which are very rarely found in other countries. Therefore, with the existence of Warkop NYC, this can be implemented by Indonesia to be implemented also in various countries not only in New York to introduce other potentials owned by Indonesia that can improve Indonesia’s good image and reputation abroad. (nan)