By Libertina Widyamurti Ambari

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - A number of Azerbaijani students performed several traditional Indonesian dances at the opening ceremony of the third Indonesian Cultural Festival (ICF) held at Haydar Aliyev Sarayi, Baku City, Azerbaijan, on Thursday night (September 13).

"I was very surprised by the Azerbaijani people`s love for Indonesia. I saw that almost all of those who performed the Indonesian dances were Azerbaijani students," the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, Muhajir Efendi, said.

A statement from the Indonesian Embassy in Baku received by Antara here on Friday mentioned that the Minister of Education and Culture had come to Baku to open a series of the Indonesian Culture Festival 2018.

"I wish every success to Ambassador Husnan Bey Fananie, who is organizing the ICF. This event establishes the good relationship between Indonesia and Azerbaijan," the minister said.

The opening of the cultural festival was also attended by the Minister of Education of Azerbaijan, Abulfaz Garayev, and thousands of Azerbaijanis and hundreds of businessmen from Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Garayev said that the ICF in Azerbaijan was being held for the third time.

"The Indonesian Cultural Festival has been held for three consecutive years. Now, many Azerbaijanis know about Indonesia and love Indonesian culture," he said.

According to the Indonesian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Husnan Bey Fananie, the ICF brought many new paradigms about Indonesia and Azerbaijan.

"Because of the ICF, there are now many Azerbaijanis who know about Indonesia, many of them want to vacation in Indonesia and want to conduct business with Indonesian companies," the ambassador said.

He added that the ICF would also feature a business meeting, and an exhibition, which will be held in the heart of Azerbaijan, the Fountains Square, from September 15 to 16.

The traditional dances performed by Azerbaijani students at the opening of the ICF 2018 were Ondel-Ondel from Betawi (Jakarta), Rampak Gendang (West Java), Enggang from Dayak Tribe (East Kalimantan), Mambri (Papua), a dance from Tulang Bawang Barat (Lampung), Jajar Gandrung (Banyuwangi, East Java) and Reog Ponorogo (East Java).

The ICF 2018 is being held for the third time in two different locations across Baku. The event carries a theme, "Keeping the Archipelago of Greatest Culture Alive".

The two locations of the 2018 ICF are Heydar Aliyev Sarayi and Fountains Square, an outdoor shopping center that is always crowded with Azerbaijanis and foreign tourists because of its location in the middle of the Standard Formula 1 Circuit.

The 2018 ICF was attended by several Indonesian ministries, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Religion.

Some entrepreneurs from Indonesia will also enliven ICF while promoting products, such as batik, furniture and handicrafts.

The ICF 2018 will be featuring a traditional martial arts performance, Reog Ponorogo from East Java, and a music show by artistes Dwiki Darmawan, Ita Purnama Sari and Amelia Ong.
Editing by Yoseph Haryadi

Reporter: Libertina W. Ambari
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2018