Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pasar Malam Indonesia

The Pasar Malam Indonesia, a KBRI-sponsored affair, is being held for 4 days this year in the Malieveld, the same location where the Tong-Tong Festival (formerly known as the Pasar Malam Besar) is held annually.

PMI is a government affair - with official events like the "Miss Indonesisch" pageant (for youths aged 16-28 of Indonesian descent) and government-sponsored booths. Many of the artistic groups represent PemDa from around the archipelago and come with lots of sponsors, but not necessarily to offer many performances.

Diponegoro University of Semarang this year sent a small sendratari, Roro Mendut (pictured above), with some 14 dancers- mostly from Fakultas Kedokteran. The group did 2 performances of the show at the PMI (each lasting about 20 minutes or so). They were unable to get microphones, and so nearly all the dialogue (which appeared to be in Indonesian, not Javanese) could not be heard. The group had discussed going to Paris but this proved to be too expensive for their budget.

There was also some involvement from local artists - an angklung group from Eindhoven, and the ever-popular Melanie Foe (pictured above), who is originally from Surabaya but lives now permanently in Holland and is a fluent speaker of Dutch and on very intimate terms with her audience.

The food was as good as everyone says it is - much better on average than the Tong-Tong Festival, though not cheap. There was little else to purchase, though I managed to find a small oleh-oleh I think my daughter will appreciate.