Public servants in the National Education Ministry must have had links with tourism promoters when they supported musician Rupert Snook for a prestigious Indonesian government award.
For the exuberant 22-year-old New Zealander has a simple philosophy: “When you think something is really amazing, then you want to tell everyone else about it.”
In his “amazing” basket is Indonesian culture and music. Although he’s yet to mallet a metallophone in the republic, he’s already vacuumed up more about the country and mastered more of the language than many long-term visitors. If all goes well, he’s set to become an enthusiastic booster for the archipelago.
“I fell in love with Indonesia as a teenager when I encountered the gamelan in Wellington,” he said. “The music is so alive, so outrageously innovative. It was like encountering an alien, though in a real...