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Discover Indonesia: A Taste of Indonesia in Newcastle

Written by Rizka Hidayat, International Marketing MScIndonesia

About the Event

Discover Indonesia (DI) is an annual festival consisting of two separate events namely Semarak and Retorik, which is organised by the Indonesian Students Association, usually called PPI Newcastle.

Indonesians in Balinese costume welcoming guests at Semarak event.

Semarak is a 2-day bazaar serving Indonesian cuisine. The event was held at The Lawn, on Newcastle University’s main campus, from 30 April to 1 May 2019. Many food stalls offered various delicious delicacies ranging from appetisers to desserts. Waroeng Indonesia, a Newcastle University-sponsored small business established by two young Indonesian women, participated and presented exquisite Indonesian food. Moreover, an Indomie-eating competition was held where participants were asked to finish a plate of Indonesia’s favourite instant noodle as fast as possible. The winner received three packs of Indomie with flavours of their choice. Unsurprisingly, there were many enthusiasts for Indonesian noodles!

A visitor is trying out Indonesian delicacy.

On the other hand, Retorik was an evening performance, consisting of a musical production that showcased a love story spanning three different eras, perfected with a cultural touch of several traditional dances. At the start of the performance, a captivating Balinese traditional dance named Kecak was amazingly performed.

Theatrical Performance: Sriwijayan Kingdom.

Saman Dance from Aceh Province.

Gending Sriwijaya from Palembang Province.

Kecak Dance from Bali Province.

PPI Newcastle is really keen to involve local and international students in our festival so that you can experience and enjoy our culture and community. If you’re studying in Newcastle next year, why not get involved? Our association welcomes you, and encourages you to take part in our big public events, such as Discover Indonesia.

People Behind the Discover Indonesia Event

(Left-right): Rezza Pradana (Head of DI Committee), Wimbar Ichwanto (President of PPI Newcastle).

About the committee: PPI Newcastle consists of ALL Indonesian students from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University, who come together to promote our diverse Indonesian culture with the public in Newcastle. Our association also seeks to maintain good relations with the universities, local people, and the international audience in Newcastle.

Front row (left-right): Albertus Reynaldi (Producer), Cindy Tarigan (Co-Producer).

The city council representative (right) dancing together with the president of PPI (left) at Retorik performance night.

The committee for this year’s DI was formed early in November 2018 by PPI Newcastle. Wimbar Ichwanto is the president of PPI Newcastle (2018-2019) and currently studies E-Business at Newcastle University Business School (NUBS). Wimbar appointed Rezza Pradana as the head of the committee. Rezza happens to be a fellow student pursuing his Arts, Business, and Creativity MSc at NUBS. Together, they elected representatives for each division including the Performance division, which was led by Albertus Reynaldi, also a student at NUBS pursuing Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship MSc.

Event planning and preparation were the two phases that required the most time to make sure Discover Indonesia ran smoothly. All volunteers needed to spare some time between their demanding university deadlines. Performers committed themselves to attending four hours of rehearsals every week for four months before the performance night. The sponsorship team had to manage their time to reach and set meetings with potential sponsors of the event, and NUBS was one of them. At the same time, the marketing team worked together to create content and carry out marketing programmes, offline and online, to reach the target number of audiences.

Everyone was challenged to be proactive when facing any challenges that they encountered in each division. However, there were also many skills that Discover Indonesia offered to the participants, including time management, communications skills, and event planning skills.

The first Discover Indonesia event took place in 2014 and, since then, it has become a permanent annual tradition on campus. Knowledge is passed onto each new committee and developed from year to year: conceptualising, planning, sourcing funding, rehearsing, marketing, website management and more.

It’s a great chance to make friends, get involved in projects, add to your CV, and acquire new, transferable business skills.

About PPI Newcastle

PPI Newcastle was created with a purpose to strengthen the bond amongst Indonesian students and make them feel at home even though home is a thousand miles away. Apart from organising DI as an annual event, the association also serves a purpose for students to learn from each other through delivered workshops about various fields such as Entrepreneurship, Video-editing, and Networking. PPI Newcastle also seeks to integrate with the local communities and other societies in Newcastle, and of course to promote the Indonesian culture. The association also welcomes invitations to collaborate on or partner with events and other occasions. PPI can be contacted through the following channels:

Website, Facebook, or on Instagram.

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