KabariNews – “The Hartley House,” in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen was buzzing and “on-fire” with excitement during the screening of SOEGIJA, an epic history drama of Indonesia.  Indonesian food, culture, and film lovers in New York City, ranging from Brooklyn natives to people from far flung places such as Abu Dhabi, Madrid, and Ukraine were treated to a magnificent afternoon of Indonesian culture. Indonesian Diaspora Network Tri-State, collaborating with Permias NYC, recently held a special Free SOEGIJA Movie Screening,  Food Bazaar and Panel Discussion to commemorate and celebrate Indonesia’s Sumpah Pemuda Event – Indonesia’s Heroes Day Event – promoting tolerance, acceptance, and collaboration. IDN Tri-State acknowledged the generous support of Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) for the generous sponsorship to make this event a reality.

Heru Mafudi, IDN Tri-state President, states “this event had various goals in mind: to promote Indonesian food and culture to the New York community, to train young Indonesian American youths to be more entrepreneurial and to promote networking among Indonesians and various international communities”.  PERMIAS NYC, PERMIAS New Jersey, and PERMIAS Massachusetts were also present at this event. In the near future, IDN Tri-State would like to start a series of events that promotes various Indonesian cultures that will go beyond film, dance, music, or food bazaar. The goal is to encourage more panel discussions and training sessions encouraging interdisciplinary and intercultural collaboration, and learning between Indonesians, American Indonesians and other international communities in New York City and beyond. Further possibilities will be explored between IDN Tri-State and Met Life Foundation, Parsons Brinckerhoff, VIACOM – Bet Networks, and various other professional organizations in town.

It was a great joy to see a coterie of international visitors savoring Indonesian culinary delights representing four different regions of the archipelago, handicrafts, and of course the movie screening itself. Visitors came from various academia which included Columbia, John Jay College, Yale, Juilliard, CUNY, and New York University, as well as attendees from major foundations such as Asian Cultural Council, Asia Society, Met Life Foundation, VIACOM / Bet-Networks, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and various Consulates and Permanent Missions in New York City. The panel discussion, hosted by Aryo Wicaksono and featuring SOEGIJA’s producer and composer Djaduk Ferianto, received enthusiastic feedback from the audience.

SOEGIJA is about Dutch East Indies’ (now Indonesia) first indigenous Catholic Church Bishop in Indonesia, Monsignor Albertus Soegijapranata SJ. This movie highlighted Mgr. Soegijapranata’s involvement in the transitional history of Indonesia, during the Dutch and Japanese occupation up until Indonesia’s Independence and struggle for legitimacy (1940 – 1949). According to Pak Djaduk Ferianto, the movie’s producer and composer, SOEGIJA promotes a message of encouragement, to foster one’s ability to understand other’s lives and stories through a multifaceted, but unified lens of humanity.

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