Bamboo is very useful and has economic value for the Indonesian people, the ambassador noted.
"Almost all regions of Indonesia have bamboo plants. Bamboo can be used to make musical instruments, furniture, accessories, foods, and various other products," Ambassador Budhy added.
The Indonesian Embassy in Panama held the Indonesia Bamboo Workshop in collaboration with Universidad de Panama, the Bocas del Toro Regional Office in Changuinola.
The initiative was set in motion during a visit of the Indonesian Ambassador to Changuinola in 2018, in which he saw many bamboo plants that had not yet been utilized by the locals.
In a meeting with the Director of Universidad de Panama, Ambassador Budhy offered to train people in Changuinola in bamboo crafts, and the proposal was welcomed and followed up.
The bamboo craft workshop was part of Indonesia's cultural diplomacy. Making bamboo handicrafts skill would ensure economic benefits to the locals, according to Ambassador Budhy.
The embassy invited two bamboo experts from the Indonesian Institute of Cultural Arts (ISBI) Bandung (West Java) and alumni from the Indonesian Darmasiswa scholarship from Costa Rica.
There were various ideas presented during the training. These included how to select and cut bamboo in proper shape and how to split it, sort and whittle bamboo for handicrafts, musical instruments, furniture, as well as how to make food from bamboo.
The workshop is planned to be held twice in Panama in 2019 and 2020.
This year's workshop will focus on identifying the skills and abilities of the participants in processing bamboo and learning basic materials on bamboo processing.
"The people here are still very ordinary in processing bamboo, but they are very enthusiastic about learning it," Zaini Alif, ISBI team leader noted.
In addition to learning about making products from bamboo, the participants also gained knowledge about Indonesia's philosophical and cultural aspects of processing and using bamboo.
"By inserting Indonesian cultures in this workshop, I hope bamboo could be an important element in enhancing relations between the people of Panama and Indonesia in the future," Ambassador Budhy said.
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