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A little Indonesia in Tokyo

by Eriko Arita

Spicy curry, beautiful batik fabrics and traditional Javanese dancing, Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park will transform into a Little Indonesia Aug. 15-16.

The second Citizen-Cooperation Festival Inter Japanese and Indonesian is organized by nonprofit group C.P.I. Japan and the Indonesian Youth Association. It’s a charity event and profits from stalls selling food, drink and handicrafts will go to helping poverty-stricken single mothers whose husbands were killed by a massive earthquake that hit Java in 2006.

The festival introduces a variety of Indonesian activities in an attempt to promote cultural exchange between both nations.

Three Indonesian restaurants from the Tokyo area will set up stalls to sell various Indonesian foods such as nasi goreng (a fried rice dish) and rendang (a spicy beef stew).

Local beers and the ingredients that go into Indonesian dishes will also be available at the stalls, in addition to information on Indonesian tours.

Visitors will also witness the thrill of Indonesian martial arts, dance and music performed at the event’s main square.

On Aug. 15, a traditional Indonesian martial art known as Puncak Silat will be demonstrated from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. A fashion show of clothes using various batik, Indonesian fabrics made using a special dyeing technique, will be held at 1:15 p.m.

Indonesian traditional dance will be performed from 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., from 3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same day.

On Aug. 16, Indonesian dancers will make another appearance from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The festival is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Yoyogi Park is a 10-minute-walk from Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote line and a seven- minute-walk from Meijijingu and Yoyogikoen stations on the Chiyoda Subway Line. For more information, visit the Web site of the organizer, C.P.I. Japan at: www.cpi-mate.gr.jp/indonesia-fes.html