Indonesia continues to give its charm to the world. Recently Indonesia returned to show at the 5th International Folklore Festival dance competition that took place on 10-13 March 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Indonesian team managed to set aside teams from Armenia, Malaysia, India, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey as well as Russia’s hosts. As stated in the press release of the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow which was received by AFP on Saturday (03/16/2019).
The Indonesian team represented by the Muhammadiyah 1 Yogyakarta High School dance team won the best team award and was entitled to a Grand Prix for the international participant category. Participants from Selangor, Malaysia were awarded as the team with the best costumes. While the Slavyanochka arts team won the competition for the Russian regional category.
The festival with the theme “Keeping Traditions” is an annual event organized by the Pelangi Utara Russia Foundation. This competition is divided into two categories, namely the category of international participants whose participants are from various countries and local categories whose participants are from various regions or regions in Russia.
The struggle of the Indonesian dance team is not easy. The preparation was quite short, the Saint Petersburg weather which was still cold and snowy did not dampen the intention of these high school students to participate in the festival. With confidence and great enthusiasm not only carrying the name of the school, region but also the country, the team managed to pass the preliminary round and enter the final round to be chosen as the best.
The Indonesian dance team presented Saman Dance. The harmony between movement and rhythm made the audience, including the jury, amazed and amazed. The Indonesian dance team not only won the competition but also received a standing ovation and boisterous applause from around 700 spectators who met the Concert Hall, Saint Petersburg Hotel. Also present at the highlight of the festival was Minister of Economic Counselor, Edi Suharto, who represented the Indonesian Ambassador to Russia and also Belarus.
The organizing committee expressed appreciation for Indonesia’s participation and hopes that in the future Indonesia will also continue to participate in festivals in Russia so that the diversity of Indonesian arts and culture is increasingly recognized in Russia. Meanwhile, the Chair of the Jury invited the Indonesian arts team to attend the International Festival in Batumi, Georgia on June 18-23 2019.
The manager of the Muhammadiyah 1 High School Dance Team in Yogyakarta, Tika Musfita, said the struggle for intensive training for two months before departure produced results that were shared with pride. “We thank all those who have supported the Team, including the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow,” said Tika.
While in Saint Petersburg, the Muhammadiyah 1 Yogyakarta high school dance team not only competed but also held a Saman dance class at Saint Petersburg Pedagogical College No. 4.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Russian Federation concurrently to the Republic of Belarus, M. Wahid Supriyadi who was informed of the success of the Yogyakarta Muhamadiyah 1 High School dance team expressed his congratulations and high appreciation to the team.
According to Ambassador Wahid, Indonesia’s participation in this festival is an important part of the efforts of the two nations to further promote people-to-people-contact and cultural understanding which in turn can bring closer bilateral relations between the two countries. Indonesia has always been active in various cultural activities in Saint Petersburg which are considered the capital of Russian culture.