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A Norwegian man's ode to Nasi Padang: Audun Kvitland

Asmara Wreksono
Asmara Wreksono

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, October 7, 2016 | 09:05 pm
A Norwegian man's ode to Nasi Padang: Audun Kvitland

For the past 48 hours, Indonesian netizens have been actively sharing a viral music video by Norwegian singer, Audun Kvitland Røstad, an ode to one of Indonesia’s most popular dishes, Nasi Padang. (YouTube/Kvitland/-)

For the past 48 hours, Indonesian netizens have been actively sharing a viral music video by Norwegian singer Audun Kvitland Røstad, an ode to one of Indonesia’s most popular dishes, Nasi Padang (rice with various side dishes).

Audun, a music and sound designer for films, runs a sound studio called Ambolt Audio with his friend and colleague, Jørgen Meyer in Norway. “I also play guitar in a band called Asiago, and we will release new music in early 2017,” Audun told The Jakarta Post, Friday.

His interest in Indonesia began five years ago when he bought a Lonely Planet guide on Indonesia. “I sat down with my friend, Petter Heggen, who was my travel mate on this trip and we were discussing which places in the world we should travel to. After comparing pictures, testimonies, blogs and climate reviews [in the month] of July, we ended up in Indonesia,” Audun reminisced.

(Read also: A taste of the best rendang in Jakarta)

Audun and Petter set off for Indonesia in July 2016 and spent three weeks exploring Bali, Lombok, Labuan Bajo, Ende, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. “We went to see Buyan Lake in Bali, the rice terraces and Gitgit Waterfall. We enjoyed all of them but I for me, the rice terraces looked really stunning. It’s like arriving in a different planet,” Audun said, also noting that they were lucky to be in Bali as the Bali International Arts Festival was taking place. 

After Bali, Audun and Petter traveled to Lombok and Labuan Bajo, where komodo dragons made a great impression on them. “We did some tracking on Rinca Island and were lucky enough to see three or four Komodo dragons. Powerful experience, and slightly frightening when one of them came walking straight toward us,” said Audun.

Making friends with locals at Moni, Ende, even participating in cultural-exchange activities in one of Yogyakarta’s homeless shelters are also the highlights of his trip, but Audun was most impressed by Indonesian food, especially Nasi Padang.

“Nasi Padang was my favorite because of the unique combination of tastes and different dishes with big variety. I’m also a fan of spicy food, which made the chili combination very good,” Audun gushes about his food crush. “When I visit a country, I enjoy tasting local foods, and I feel Nasi Padang is a good representation of Indonesian cuisine. Too bad I only tasted it on the last day of my travels,” he added.

Audun never expected the overwhelming virality of his Nasi Padang video, “I had never dreamed of this kind of response, and I am very flattered that people seem to like it. What really makes my day is knowing that someone got happy from listening to the song.”

(Read also: Minangkayo, digging up Minangkabau's cultural riches)

Apparently, viral songs are not new for Audun. However he didn’t expect Nasi Padang to be huge considering its simple beginning, “I talked about the Nasi Padang meal with an Indonesian friend, and made a joke about making a song about it. Five minutes later, I had a sketch ready for the beginning of the song. I thought it would be a fun idea as my love for the food is genuine at the same time,” he said.

Audun adds, “I never expected or even dreamed about this kind of enthusiasm. I must confess the affection for Indonesia and its people is just growing when I’m receiving all this love.” The musician has made the Nasi Padang video available on YouTube and the song free for download on Soundcloud and iTunes. Fans can also stream the song for free on Spotify.

 

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