Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia
Ottawa
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Ambassade de la RÉpublique d'Indonésie

WTO MC9 Side Event: Indonesia Introduces Its Art, Culture, and Tourism to The World

Bali, 4 December 2013 – During the 9th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Bali, as the host, Indonesia did not forget to introduce its art, culture and, tourism to the spouses of the Ministers, Ambassadors, or their representatives who attended the conference.

Yasmin Wirjawan, wife of the Indonesian Minister of Trade who is also the Chair of the WTO MC9, Gita Wirjawan; took the opportunity to specially introduce Indonesian art, culture, and tourism to the spouses.

“As the host of such a great event like the WTO MC9, we must be able to capture real benefits for Indonesia. These benefits should be able to be felt directly by the community. In that regard, we took the initiative to introduce Indonesian art, culture, and tourism, including authentic Indonesian cuisines, dances, and handicrafts,” Yasmin explained.

According to Yasmin, for the entire day (4/12), the spouses were involved in various interesting activities. One of the morning agenda included them being invited to learn how to cook Indonesian dishes at Sundara Restaurant in Jimbaran Bay.

At this cooking demonstration, the spouses were shown how to cook Urab Sayur (a salad dish of steamed vegetables mixed with seasoned grated coconut for dressing), Basic Suna Cekuh (traditional Balinese garlic and ginger paste which is used to flavor rice or sauces), Sate Lilit Bali (Balinese satay made of a paste of minced meat and molded around sugarcane sticks) with nut sauce, and Dadar Gulung (a traditional sweet snack in a form of a rolled pancake filled with a mixture of palm sugar and grated coconut). Afterwards, they were invited to lunch, its menu being the same dishes as previously demonstrated.

“Authentic Indonesian food is greatly diverse. Thus, we have to introduce it vigorously in order to make them known to the world. As Thai and Vietnamese food have entered various countries, Indonesian food should also be able to penetrate a majority of the WTO member countries,” Yasmin explained.

Apart from being introduced to authentic Indonesian food, the spouses were also presented with traditional Indonesian dances. Upon entering the restaurant and banquet, the spouses were shown the Pendet and Cendrawasih dance, both of which are traditional Balinese dances.

The Sundara Restaurant is one of the fascinating tourist destinations in Bali. Apart from its delicious food, this restaurant is also famous for its beautiful view of the beach, as the position of the restaurant strategically faces Jimbaran Bay. “The word ‘Sundara’ itself in Sanskerta language means ‘beautiful’,” Yasmin explained to the spouses.

Following that, Yasmin also took the spouses shopping for products made by Indonesian crafters at a traditional Indonesian market, namely Lesehan Market. In this market, Yasmin introduced an artistic silver handicraft from Ubud, which was also designed by Indonesian artists. “This silver handicraft is combination of modern and ancient tradition where every product reflects faith and culture so that it has its own individual uniqueness,” Yasmin said.

Other jewelry products that were introduced were jewelry made of horn, seashells, and wood from leftovers of the furniture and food industry. These jewelries are made and carved by the hands of Indonesian expert crafters.

Afterwards, Yasmin also introduced the highly artistic hand fan. One of the designs was a depiction of seven goddesses in which each goddess represent different symbols such as knowledge, luck, fertility, prosperity, beauty, justice, and wisdom. “Every fan has its own unique story,” she said.

When the spouses were shown how batik and woven (tenun) cloths are made, Yasmin explained that batik and tenun cloths are the living heritage of Indonesians whose skill in making them are passed down from generation to generation, yet continue to develop to become one of the modern fashion products loved by all generations.

Yasmin believes that the visit to Lesehan Market will give real contribution to the economic enhancement of people in Bali and in Indonesia as a whole. “It’s not only the shopping transactions that happens today that matters, but it’s also the introduction to quality Indonesian products to these spouses that will certainly ease market access for Indonesian export handicraft products in the future,” she explained.

After visiting Lesehan Market, the spouses were taken to see the process of making ceramics at the Jenggala ceramic crafts center. Afterwards, they ended their activities with a visit to the Pasifika Museum to see around 600 paintings and artifacts made by artists from countries in the Pacific. “Most of the artworks exhibited in this museum shows the cultural richness of Bali and Indonesia,” added Yasmin.

Source : www.kemendag.go.id, Wednesday 4 December 2013