Indonesian Independence Day in Vancouver was celebrated with vibrant colours and styles
October 2nd was National Batik Day. Batik is a traditional Indonesian textile art.
In 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage, said Dr. Tuti W. Irman, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia at the 74th Independence Day celebration held on October 4th at Vancouver Community College (VCC). She added,
The occasion not only celebrates 10 years of UNESCO’s recognition, but also pays tribute to the strong and remarkable Indonesia-Canada people-to-people connection.
She acknowledged and thanked Canadian textile anthropologist Judith Knight-Achjadi‘s contribution that lead to UNESCO’s recognition of batik – their cultural heritage.
Present at the evening reception was Diyan Achjadi, Knight-Achjadi‘s daughter. Achjadi is currently Associate Professor of Print Media at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Irman commended VCC culinary team for their gracious support in the Independence Day preparation. “Our decision to work together with VCC symbolises that, for Indonesia, education and human resources development is of great importance.”
“Education is in fact a strong sector in our relations with British Columbia (B.C.). B.C. is traditionally the main destination for Indonesian students studying in Canada. In 2017, 61% of Indonesian students with student visas chose BC as their destination. It is our goal that our education cooperation can be further enhanced.”
Indonesia-Canada Bilateral Relations
The country continues to enjoy longstanding bilateral relations with Canada. Bilateral relations go beyond interaction on government level. “It’s built upon relations among our people,” said Irman. Indonesia’s diaspora population may be small, but she is confident they contribute meaningfully to the diversity of the people of B.C.
“We gather tonight to celebrate and treasure what we have achieved and what we can accomplish together to advance our mutual interest.”
Donning a batik shirt, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston cited Canada and Indonesia bilateral trade relationship goes back almost 70 years.
BC’s exports to Indonesia continue to grow rapidly over the last five years. Indonesia is significant to BC because of its economic and human potential, cited Ralston.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, and a member of the G-20, according to the World Bank Indonesia Overview updated on September 25, 2019.
Jakarta, the capital is home to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Secretariat. Indonesia’s importance to B.C. prompted the establishment of a B.C. Investment and Trade Office in Jakarta three years ago. The office provides direct access for B.C. companies interested in the Indonesian market and other ASEAN countries.
Speaking at the event, City of Vancouver Deputy Mayor Pete Fry congratulated the Indonesian government and the people on their country’s 74th Independence Day.