In November, I was chosen by my university to be an Indonesian delegate in an annual ASEAN Festival held by Ubon Ratchathani University, along with my partner Doni in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand.
At first I was like – Ubon Ratchathani – let me check where that exactly on Google. I’ve heard of Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai but never Ubon. Turns out Ubon Ratchathani is located on the southeast of Thailand, and this will be my first time traveling to Thailand.
Getting to Ubon Ratchathani
During my departure, unluckily my first flight was delayed and was operated using two different airlines. I went from Jakarta – Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani. I almost MISSED my flight to Ubon if I had not plead to the counter office in Bangkok! The check in counter was already closed by the time so I was given the chance to put my gigantic luggage on the cabin. I guess Nok Air – the airline to Ubon Ratchathani – deserves a credit for saving my life! Otherwise I had to stay at Bangkok for a night by my own.
It was actually my first time to know about this airline, as it’s a domestic budget airline from Thailand. What catches my attention to this Airline is the cute logo though.
Opening of UBU ASEAN Festival
Cultural Booth — Indonesia’s Interactive Booth
We opened cultural booth that represents our country’s food, traditional clothes, pictures, traditional games, or basically anything!
To make it authentic, I simply printed shots I took myself from my 2-months community development experience in Alor last July to show authentic stories. It did had the kindest response from visitors! I also brought Tenun Fabric from Alor with different patterns. I really felt the essence of becoming a cultural representative by bringing my own stuff.
We also did some games and boy the cutest part is where there are Thai children gathering in our booth learning about Indonesia.
Kids coming to our booth to rob our free Indonesian snacks
Thai people trying out Indonesian clothes they can use in our Interactive Booth
I was REALLY nervous for this as I have only did a short time to prepare. First, It was the first experience where I have to perform totally by myself. By that I mean it includes managing my costume and the most horrifying part – my make-up, make up FOR dancing performance which needs to be on point! Luckily I have my talented dancer twins from Cambodia who are kind enough to do my make up and make it as professional as possible.
Second, I actually more used to dances in groups like Saman dance with Sanggar Kesenian Aceh UGM. But now, as a Jakarta citizen and once performed several Betawi dance in Jakarta Sister City Program, I decided to represent exactly city with Lenggang Nyai. Lenggang Nyai is a cultural dance of Betawi people originating in jakarta. Whlist my friend Doni, performed Baladewa, a Javanese dance. His dance was more to an interactive dance as he goes around the audience tables while performing.
Prep & Getting to Know Each Other
The delegates came from Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos – um, basically ASEAN countries.