Enjoy Jakarta Festival by Steven

There are a lot of events in Los Angeles that promote the diverse cultures that exist here such as Greek Fest and Brazilian Day. They also provide us a small taste of the food and art from those countries to encourage us to travel there. One such event was the Enjoy Jakarta Festival that was held on December 2nd in the Hollywood & Highland Center.

Despite the rain, the Enjoy Jakarta Festival had a wonderful turnout. Compared to most cultural events I’ve attended in the past, this festival was small with only four booths present. By the entrance, you could find the LA Weekly booth and a booth that provided free samples of Indonesian cuisine catered by Wong Java House. We were given a sweet and crunchy salad consisting of greens, bean sprouts, fried tofu, noodle, and shrimp chips covered in peanut sauce. I wished there were food booths selling Indonesian cuisine because that left me craving for more. Afterwards I visited S.Sn Margono‘s booth that was selling shadow puppets called wayang kulik. They’re made of water buffalo leather and consisted of intricate, colorful designs so it’s not surprising that some of them costed at least $150. The types of shadow puppets ranged from people to horses to palace sets. The final booth in the festival, Visit Indonesia, sold vacation packages to those interested in visiting Indonesia. For a newcomer like me, they recommended the “Bali Escape” package. While it costs over $1,750, it also includes round-trip air tickets as well as accommodation for twelve consecutive days, daily breakfast, three full-day tours, and two half-day tours to Lake Beratan, the Holy Monkey Forest, Batubulan Village, the volcano Mt. Agung, and more! In addition to the booths, there were also music and dance during the Enjoy Jakarta Festival.

The rain didn’t stop performers onstage from exciting the crowd. Harpist Maya Hasan played a fusion of Indonesian and Western music while a couple wrap themselves together with cloth and dance as one. (Imagine a sack race but with dancing.) The dreamy, jazzy melody complemented the romantic dance splendidly. You can check out a short clip of her performance here. The Enjoy Jakarta Festival also encouraged participation from the crowd by holding a mask dancing competition where the winners won Barbie dolls and free Indonesian coffees. While it was hilarious to witness strangers from the audience attempt mask dancing, they should be applauded for their courage. The festival ended with a bang when the crowd danced and posed with the Indonesian performers.

Enjoy Jakarta Festival‘s a great way to introduce people to Indonesian culture, and I hope it will continue to expand with more participants in the future. The festival was held in the Hollywood & Highland Center on 6801 Hollywood Blvd right above the Hollywood/Highland Metro station. The Hollywood & Highland Center also provides two-hour parking for only $2 with validation. Please check out our Facebook page for more photos as well as our Phereo page for some 3D photos of the event. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for future events!

Until next time,

Steven

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