INDOfest is fast becoming one of Adelaide’s most popular cultural events, with the festival coming into its ninth year for 2016. The smell of authentic Indonesian dishes wafting through the CBD is becoming a recognised yearly event in our city, and the festival always offers a colourful and culture-filled day in the sun. Aiming to strengthen relationships between Australia and its closest neighbours, the festival also educates our community about the Indonesian archipelago and all the culture, history and yummy food that comes with it.
Happening this year on 25th September, INDOfest is presented by the non-profit Australian-Indonesian Association of SA. It is run and organised by dedicated volunteers who are recruited from locals involved in the Indonesian community, including many students from the Flinders University Indonesian School Program. Without these hardworking students and volunteers, this amazing festival just would not be possible! (Pssst — if you’d like to get involved, click here!) Because the event has become such a big deal, there is now need for artistic director, Brett Calliss and event coordinator, Katherine McDonald.
The festival introduces the food, language, culture and arts of the Indonesian archipelago and aims to educate the wider community about this neighbouring nation. INDOfest is promoted as a major community event in the 2016 OzAsia Festival and is also an important part of the Flinders-Jembatan bridge building initiative.
Among the many awesome features of the festival is the Indonesian film competition, which is run in conjunction with the Indonesian School project. Ranging from primary to secondary school entrants, the film competition encourages students to take part in an intercultural understanding of Indonesia. In it's third year, the film competition is focusing on the theme of "berbeda tapi sama," meaning "different but the same" and encourages entrants to explore the similarities between Australian and Indonesian culture. School liaison officer, Hannah May, says the film competition helps students to make connections between the two cultures. "In the end we are both nations who want to grow our positive relationship with each other," she says, "and that is what the film competition is all about." This year 10 schools are involved in the competition and the short-listed films will be shown at the INDOfest carnival day.
With performances, demonstrations, workshops and food from Indonesia, there will be something for everyone to enjoy at INDOfest. The event will include lots of interactive workshops — learn how Batik fabric is made, watch and join in on a dance lesson from Sumatra or learn how to write in one of Indonesia's ancient scripts — there will be plenty to do!
Obviously, INDOfest is exciting for lots of reasons... but let’s cut to the chase and talk about the FOOD! Always a huge part of INDOfest, this year’s menu is sure to be the forefront of the festival. With traditional as well as modern takes on Indonesian favourites, rich regional cuisines and Indonesian coffee, foodies will not be disappointed. For all the keen cooks and chefs out there, the festival will also feature cooking demonstrations to teach Adelaidians how to cook some of Indonesia's favourite dishes.
So, get on down to North Terrace on the 25th of September for INDOfest — Adelaide’s Indonesian culture and culinary festival. Choose one of your favourite Indonesian dishes, find a shady spot and enjoy the sights and scenes of one of the best cultural festivals going around. Sampai jumpa di INDOfest! (see you at INDOfest!).
All images via INDOfest