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Jakarta Post

Gastrodiplomacy: Indonesia wants to advance soft power with good taste

  • Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Sun, October 27, 2019   /  08:24 am
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Gastrodiplomacy: A cooking demonstration of Indonesian food in the Paris Store in Marseilles receives a warm welcome from locals.(Courtesy of Consulate General of Indonesia in Marseille /-)

Everyone eats and, therefore, food can be a universal language that connects the world -- a nonverbal tool for global citizens to engage with each other and help governments in their public diplomacy. But with geographic distance being a barrier, Indonesia is now seeking extra hands from the diaspora to introduce its national delicacies to people across the world. Aries Tjahjadi was around 30 years old when he decided to move to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from Jakarta in 1998. Now, 21 years later, he runs Aries Noodles. Opening in 2012, the restaurant receives around 10 to 100 customers every day, around 30 percent of whom are Dutch. Most of them come to order mie goreng (stir-fried noodle) or nasi goreng (fried rice). “At first, it was challenging to introduce ordinary dishes like mie goreng or nasi goreng. However, since it was the Netherlands, which historically is rel...