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Indonesia Goes to School – Getting Closer to Know Indonesia through Language and Culture

Scotts Head, Australia – Language is the main gateway to understanding a nation. Through language, someone can communicate and get to know more closely the character and culture of the people of a nation, including the Indonesian nation.

Indonesian is an important factor in getting to know Indonesia. In this regard, by taking advantage of the momentum of commemorating Youth Pledge Day, the Indonesian Consulate in Sydney in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra held promotional activities for Indonesian language and culture through the Indonesia Goes to School program at Scotts Head, New South Wales (02/11/2020).

-The Indonesia Goes to School program this time feels even more special because it is attended by the Mayor of Nambucca Valley-NSW, Rhonda Hoban, and the Director of Educational Leadership at the New South Wales Department of Education, Sue Brown, and held at Scotts Head Public School, the only school in Australia which applies a billingual system (two languages), English and Indonesian.

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The Indonesian Consul General in Sydney, Heru Subolo, the Education and Cultural Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, and entourage, received a warm welcome from the students since arriving at the school gate with the words “Selamat Datang” in Indonesian and the flying of the red and white flag in the school field. At that time, kindergarten students demonstrated a parade of costumes from various regions of the archipelago.

The students also performed the singing of the song Tanah Airku and a number of Indonesian popular songs that aroused enthusiasm and longing for Indonesia. The opening remarks closed with a performance of Ratoh Duek Dance from Aceh by 6th grade students. Scotts Head Public School was founded in 1950 and has implemented the Indonesian language billingual system since 2009.
In his opening remarks, Consul General Heru Subolo expressed his pride for the hard work of the teachers and students in implementing the Indonesian language billingual program.

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Consul General Heru Subolo also underlined the importance of having the ability to speak Indonesian, given the increasing opportunities for both trade, investment and cultural relations between Indonesia and Australia. This is a positive impact from the strengthening of bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia, especially after the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement in 2018 and the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which has been in effect since July 2020.

The Indonesia Goes to School Program was attended by 115 students enthusiastically. The students had the opportunity to get to know the natural beauty of Indonesia through the screening of the documentary film “Taman Laut di Ujung Timur” which introduced the tourist charm of the Raja Ampat islands.

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The students also tried how to play traditional Indonesian musical instruments, namely angklung and Balinese gamelan. The students also really enjoyed the “Fried Noodle” menu which was served in a cooking demonstration and the ingredients are already available in supermarkets in Australia. The Consulate General in Sydney also conducted a Podcast interview with one of the students and Mr. Murtala, a school teacher who was one of the figures behind the successful promotion of Indonesian at Scotts Head Public School.

The implementation of Indonesia Goes to School this time is in close coordination with New South Wales Education and implements health protocols in schools in accordance with applicable recommendations and regulations. For information, the Indonesia Goes to School Program is the flagship program of the Indonesian Consulate General in Sydney which has been held since 2017.

Anang Fadhilah