Now in its eighth year, Indonesia Night has become a flagship event at the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings in Davos, Switzerland. 2018 was no different and was a lively, bustling affair this year with guests from all over the world in attendance.
This year’s event was especially significant as it saw strong support from the Indonesian government and the business community. His Excellency Ambassador Hasan Kleib, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, opened the evening with a short welcoming speech.
Together with Mr. Thomas Lembong, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, the evening was attended by Mr. Rudiantara, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Industry and the most senior member of the Indonesian cabinet, Mr. Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs.
Of course, an Indonesian event would not be complete without the hallmark of the country’s hospitality – a sumptuous spread for both the eyes and the stomach. Indonesian cuisine from Bunga Rampai, one of Jakarta’s most renowned restaurants whipped up a feast full of Indonesian flair and spice, which included hot favourites like Beef Rendang, Smoked Chicken in Balinese Sambal Matah and Chicken Satay. No Indonesian meal is complete without the ubiquitous Sambal chilli sauces; Sambal Roa, Sambal Terasi, and Sambal Gandaria.
Another highlight of the evening was very talented percussion band Svara Samsara, who put up energetic and enthusiastic performances that got some of the guests dancing! With the motto of ‘tradition, but not traditional,’ Svara Samsara uses Indonesian instruments in their contemporary performances, putting new, modern twists on traditional sounds and rhythms of Indonesian music. The group has performed all over the world, most recently at Europhalia in Brussels. Their unique, exotic instruments included talempong – a kettle-like gong from West Sumatra, rindik – a Balinese instrument similar to the Western xylophone, and rebana hadrah, a tambourine-like instrument from East Java.
In line with this year’s theme of “anyaman” or weave, we had the privilege of having Masulin Lim, Founder of BYO Living who contributed the event’s modern decor. Traditionally regarded as a classic art-form and typically seen in Indonesian souvenirs, weaving has evolved into a multi-dimensional creative field which includes architecture design, interiors, fashion, furniture and other forms. On showcase was the dexterous workmanship of some complex and large weaves designed by Masulin, an excellent representation of Indonesia – a country and people who are seamlessly blending the modern and the traditional in its thinking, businesses, and culture.