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Indonesian Extravaganza - Byron Bay High School

On 2nd December 2002, the Australia Indonesia Arts Alliance, NSW North Coast Branch hosted an Indonesian cultural concert for the children in the North Coast Region. The concert was a wonderful success with over 400 children from various schools in the surrounding area attending the concert. The Langen Sari Gamelan Orchestra played a variety of songs, including an original composition by visiting Indonesian musician Efiq Zulfiqar. Gamelan musician Carolins Stubbs explained to the children the meaning of each song and there was a demonstration of each instrument in the orchestra.

The Indonesian Gold Coast Dance Group with Ibu Vera Kos and daughter Christina Kos performed a variety of dances from various parts of Indonesia with some incredible music and costumes. Ibu Sri Suma and Ibu Komang from the Balinese community of the Gold Coast also performed a some gorgeous traditional Balinese dances. The kids seemed to love to hear the music and especially to see the costumes.

It was especially joyful for those who organized the concert to see some of the young girls in the audience moving their hands and widening their eyes as if they were also Balinese dancers.
This concert was in response to requests from teachers and community members with a desire to create a healing event for the children traumatised by media coverage of the Bali bombings. The Indonesian Extravaganza brought the beauty and magic of our Indonesian neighbors' culture closer to home for many of these children and seemed a very positive experience for everyone.

As the concert came to a close, Judy Shelley of AIAA told the children, "when you go home today, take these beautiful memories with you, and wherever you are, always remember that people of all nations and all religions are one family, that our neighbours from Indonesia are also our family, living here with us in our community, just as many Australian people are also married and living in Indonesia and are part of the community there too."

Indroduction by Judy Shelley and Jaemmy Basirudin

"Selamat Siang Anak-anak. Nama saya Ibu Shelley - my name is Miss Shelley and I'd like to introduce you to Bpk Jaemmy, who comes from Bandung in West Java - Jaemmy is one of the presenters of Suara Indonesia Radio Show which you can hear every Sunday on Bay FM.

In every corner of the world, in every country, in every culture - there is secret wisdom to be learned. In every religion and philosophy - there are clues - mysteries to be revealed.

"If we find each piece of wisdom and bring them together - if we find each piece of the jigsaw puzzle and put them all together - will we not then find the way of peace.

"If we seek the truth in every corner of the earth and every wise thought of women and men of every race - will we not then find the way to live in harmony with each other and the earth.

"The time has come for us to open our minds and hearts to seek the truth in every philosopohy. There is knowledge, wisdom, kindness, forgiveness - love and compassion held within every religion, culture and every belief -

"Here in the North Coast, our community is made up of people of every culture and ethnicity, we also have our own Indonesian community here - Our tiny rural Indonesian community represents most religions and ethnic groups of Indonesia- we have Australian Muslims, Indonesian Christians, Balinese Hindus - all the families of our community are of mixed Australian and Indonesian ancestory and include many different ethnic backgrounds - Balinese, Javanese, Chinese, Sundanese, Australian, Dutch, Scottish, French, Jewish as well as people from Lombok, Moluku, Sulawesi, Kalimantan......

What you will see on stage today are a range of cultural performances from many parts of Indonesia, with performers from all over Byron Shire, as well as visitors from far away like the Gold Coast and especially our special guest from Indonesia - the wonderful musician Efiq Zulfiqar from Bandung in West Java. The Langen Sari gamelan orchestra plays Sundanese gamelan which means it comes from West Java, dance performances will be from Bali, Java, Sulawesi and Moluku. One thing I might mention in case you didn't notice - all the gamelan musicians today are of Australian backgrounds…. One day I hope that some of you might be up here performing too.

"Also, you, as our audience represent a wide range of North Coast cultures from tiny country schools, to large towns from every corner of our region - hands up everybody from Emmanual Anglican College from Ballina, Alstonville High, The Channon Public School, Lindesfarm Anglican School, Murwillumbah , Mullumbimby High - Mullumbimby Primary, Eureka Public School and last but not least - our host - Byron Bay High school.

"Just now you have been listening to a beautiful suling performance by Efiq Zulfiqar which he created and performed at the Bali memorial service in Maroochydore. We are all here for a reason - we are here today at the invitation of your teachers, who asked us to share with you some part of the culture that we love - the culture of our close neighbour and friend - Indonesia - and to remind you that we are all part of one global village - a beautiful village filled with colourful, exciting people and cultures who love life and love peace. So enjoy today - selamat menikmati".

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