Islamabad - A cultural extravaganza at the embassy of the Republic of Indonesia brought lively and colourful enactment of Javanese wedding ceremonies, an elegant and inspirational fashion show, above and beyond some enchanting performances of the Indonesian mystical musical instrument of gamelan and the dynamic and intensely expressive traditional dances to highlight rich and diverse culture of Indonesia.

In his remarks, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Pakistan Burhan Muhammad said that the musical show was to celebrate the assumption of the office by the new president of the Republic of Indonesia after a peaceful democratic electoral process this year. The envoy said that the musical event presented a mix of Indonesian and Pakistani cultures and was organised by the Indonesian embassy in Islamabad in collaboration with Indonesian Consulate General in Karachi, PTV-Home, Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design and International Grammar School & College Islamabad.

The ambassador elaborated that the new Indonesian President Joko Widodo had been inaugurated on October 20 this year and comes from the grassroots level and not from elite or political dynastic family.

Burhan added that the new Indonesian president was one of the 240 million ordinary Indonesians. More than 200 ethnic groups live in Indonesia that comprises more than 17,000 islands.

“The president’s victory reflects the unique implementation and celebration of pluralism and unity in diversity, the values that connect all the diverse Indonesian people,” he said.

Dressed in traditional costume, Ambassador Burhan added that the event has been titled as the “The love story of Laila and Habbie” and most of the performances represented Javanese culture wherefrom the new Indonesian President has come from.

The culture of Indonesia has been shaped by long interactions between original indigenous customs and multiple foreign influences. The event was certainly an opportunity to witness and have a glance at the Indonesian cultural heritage passed on through generations that offers a wealth of traditions, arts and crafts.

Indonesia is home to various styles of music but gamelan is the music of Indonesia. For most Indonesians, gamelan is an integral part of their culture. It was for this reason that the show started off with medley performances of the ancient and mystical music of gamelan that received big round of applause by the audience.

A truly rich depiction of Javanese wedding ceremony was the special attraction of the evening. The audience welcomed with cheerful applause the model bride and groom along with their “friends and family members” attired in traditional outfits as they appeared on the beautifully decorated stage presenting an ambience of a Javanese wedding.

Audience showed great interest in the enactment of the wedding and not only observed and enjoyed the fascinating wedding ceremonies and festivities but also gained some insight into Indonesian culture and social mores.

Indonesia has a great culture with rich customs. An Indonesian wedding is a great feast of fun, wearing fancy clothing, merriments and celebrations. It is celebrated with great fervour, symbolism and values essentially followed by several pre-wedding customs and rituals. Understanding the philosophy behind each ritual helps the bride and groom recognise the value of the holy union they are entering into.

Another major highlight of the programme was the dazzling fashion show that featured a fusion of creative skill of Indonesian Batik Maestro and the brilliance of a professional team of Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design that produced an exclusive collection of outfits showcased on the ramp.

Meticulously created hand-woven exquisite batik silk by a renowned Indonesian batik artist and fashion designer Rosso and the fabulous traditional fabric of Ajrak from the Sindh region came to be the main fabric of the collection blending the traditions with cotemporary and elegant look for both men and women.

The audience while witnessing the show applauded the eye-catching collection on the ramp and admired the inspirational infusion of the Indonesian and Pakistani traditions to fashionable designs.

During the cultural show, the ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia also led the Indonesian band through a medley of songs with vocal performances and mystical tones of the gamelan.