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Women ministers show off their national attire

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, August 17, 2019  /  06:27 pm
Women ministers show off their national attire

A picture posted to Twitter by Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti (center) shows (from left) Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Susana Yembise on the sidelines of People's Consultative Assembly's (MPR) annual plenary meeting on Friday. (Twitter/@susipudjiastuti/-)

Women ministers of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Working Cabinet paid special attention to their appearance for the plenary meeting of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) on Friday, where the President made public the administration’s annual report.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti took to Twitter and shared two pictures of her and her colleagues dressed up for the occasion.

In the first photo, Susi posed with Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Susana Yembise.

While the other four were wearing either a kebaya (traditional blouse) or baju kurung (ankle-length underskirt combined with a knee-length blouse), Susi was in black blazer and pants.

For the caption, she wrote: “Who says we’re not beautiful and great? Who dares [to say so]?”

In the second photo, Susi accessorized her black attire with a colorful shawl and posed with Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Health Minister Nila Moeloek.

She playfully captioned the picture: “We’re cool gals, aren’t we?”

Siti Nurbaya was wearing dark suit and tie, while Nila had on a kebaya kutubaru with a matching sarong.

The President himself wore a Sasak traditional garb from East Nusa Tenggara, while First Lady Iriana had on a white baju kurung and batik.

Susi is one of Indonesia’s most popular ministers, according to strategic intelligence company Indonesia Indicator ( i2 ), which based its finding on the number of positive conversations about her and her ministerial policies on Facebook.

At the top of the list, according to the report released on Thursday, is Sri Mulyani.

For the plenary meeting, Sri Mulyani wore an outfit designed by Didiet Maulana. The simple cut of the kebaya emphasized its bright green color, which according to the designer represented nature and a beacon of Indonesian values and culture.

Fashion designer Didiet Maulana (left) designed and styled the outfit worn by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.Fashion designer Didiet Maulana (left) designed and styled the outfit worn by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati. (Courtesy of Didiet Maulana/-)

Her kebaya is paired with a sarong and selendang (scarf) made with Lasem fabric, whose motif, called Sekar Jagad Lumintu (Flower of the World), was hand-painted by artisan Ekawati.

Sri Mulyani also wore kain angkin, which is similar to a Japanese obi but is adorned beneath the kebaya, made by a lurik (Javanese woven fabric) artisan from Yogyakarta. Her brooch, meanwhile, is unique to Surakarta, Central Java.

“The attire itself represents the diversity of the nusantara (archipelago), whose differences should be celebrated […],” said Didiet in a press release made available to The Jakarta Post on Friday.

“On top of that, the plenary meeting’s theme of SDM Unggul, Indonesia Maju [Better Human Resources for an Advanced Indonesia] is relatable. Indonesian people are rich with ideas and talent. It is our task to support each other.” (ste)