The Jakarta Post
Get ready, Jakarta. For a full month, residents of the city will be pampered with a host of art and cultural performances as part of the Korea Indonesia Festival 2014.
In a speech to open the event, South Korean ambassador Cho Tai-young expressed hope that festival would present the best of both cultures and become a forum for cultural exchange between the nations.
'We hope for better relationships in the future, as reflected in the theme of the festival: Harmoni Kebersamaan [Together in Harmony],' Cho said at the opening ceremony at Lotte Shopping Avenue in Karet Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Friday.
In contrast to last year, when the South Korean embassy held several events to mark 40 years of friendly relations, this year, the embassy will present almost one month of events that will also showcase Indonesian art, culture and film to the capital's sizable Korean expatriate community.
Also at the ceremony were Foreign Deputy Minister Dino Patti Jalal; National Economy commissioner Peter Gontha; and Syamsul Musa, a staff expert from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, one of the event's co-sponsors.
Syamsul said that the event was organized under an agreement between the Indonesian and Korean governments that would see an Indonesian festival launched in Seoul.
'We have seen that existing friendships in art and cultural events have had a multiplier effect on our economy ' not only between governments and private businesses, but also between business entities,' Syamsul said.
'It also opens up the opportunity for collaboration instead of competition,' he added.
At Lotte this weekend, visitors will be able to sample Korean food, watch cooking demonstrations, join in beauty art and make-up shows and check out winter travel packages to Korea.
The work of five Korean artists and eight Indonesian artists will be displayed at the Korea-Indonesia Media Art Exhibition from Oct. 8 to 31.
Among the featured performers are The Painters: Hero, a non-verbal performance troupe combining live drawing techniques with theatrical performances and visual effects that also involve the audience in the making of the painting.
Fusi Queen, a group of women musicians who combine traditional Korean and contemporary music will also make their bow at the festival, as well as Gyeonggi folk song maestro Lee Na-young and members of the Korean community in Indonesia, who will perform with percussion ensemble Salmunori and a children's choir.
Another part of the event, the Korean-Indonesia Film Festival - slated to run from Oct. 23 to 28 in Jakarta; Bandung, Bekasi and Tangerang, West Java; and Batam, Riau Islands, will screen critically acclaimed Korean films and, in a first, Indonesian films subtitled in Korean.
Dino said that South Korea had developed into a powerful country due to a strong culture of hard work and a mentality of becoming world champions.
'Twenty years ago, who ever heard of Samsung, or LG or 'Gangnam Style'?' Dino said. 'Korea has made its culture a global culture. It is now time for Indonesia to globalize our own culture.'
For more information, visit id.korean-culture.org.
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