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Indonesian Night celebrates Southeast Asian culture

Baker Center Ballroom was packed on February 15 for Ohio University’s sixth annual Persatuan Mahasiswa Indonesian Amerika Serikat (PERMIAS) Indonesian Night.

Vicki Wijaya, president of PERMIAS, said this year’s event was even more special than previous years because there was an exhibition of traditional Indonesian artwork and a performance by a Wayang golek—an Indonesian wooden puppet—named Cepot, who played host for the evening.  

During the two-hour event, Indonesian students and their American counterparts performed an array of cultural acts ranging from traditional Indonesian dancing and martial arts to musical routines and storytelling. A dinner followed the show.

Gene Ammarell, director of Southeast Asian Studies and PERMIAS’s interim advisor, called the event an awesome evening. “It will be a hard act to follow in 2014,” he said.

Costume fitting

Jingin Liu (right) and Manindia Singh get their costumes fitted before the opening ceremony and performance of Tari Piring, a traditional Indonesian dance from West Sumatra performed using a plate as the primary medium.

Tari Piring

(From right) Jingin Liu, Olivia Brand and Bella Monan open 2013’s Indonesian Night by dancing the Tari Piring through the audience and tables, gracefully making their way to the front stage.


Manindia Singh (center) performs the Tari Piring during the opening ceremony with (left to right) Emma Bryce, Neti Cupta, Olivia Brand and Arin Hening. The Tari Piring is a traditional Indonesian dance that uses a plate as the primary medium. The performers must hold the plates in their hands throughout the dance, moving them with carefully controlled and regal gestures.


Anton Sutandio entertains the audience with a comical performance of traditional Wayang golek, or wooden puppetry. Cepot (left) and his friend Buda provided much of the amusement for the night with their hilarious routine. Wayang golek dolls originate from West Java, Indonesia, and are carved from acacia wood, then intricately hand-painted and dressed in batik clothes.

Martial arts

Amy K. Miller gives an indigenous Indonesian Pencak Silat martial arts performance. Pencak refers to the performance aspects of Indonesian martial arts, while silat refers to the spirit of the actual fighting.


Abdul Hakim tells the story of “Baddu and the Baby Water Buffalo” with his children, Jazmin Inayah and Muhammad Suud Siraj, while playing the Kecapi, a guitar-like Indonesian traditional musical instrument.

Musical performance

(From left) Budi Winursito, Taylor Smith and Riana Upton perform an angklung musical ensemble. An angklung is a traditional musical instrument from Java, Indonesia, made from bamboo. Each angklung is hand-cut into different sizes in order to attain various tones. In addition to a traditional Indonesian piece, the performers also sang “Under the Sea” and “Twist and Shout,” much to the appreciation of the audience.

Dinner line

Guests wait in line for a traditional Indonesian dinner of capcai, oseng tahu buncis, sate ayam, rendang, kerupuk, and sambal tomat. Sate ayam (marinated chicken on a skewer with a peanut sauce) and rendang (a spicy meat dish cooked with coconut) were both featured on CNN’s list of Most Delicious Food in the World in 2011, ranked #14 and #1 respectively. Es Buah—an Indonesian drink made from a sweet mixture of seasoned fruits, milk and sugar—was offered for dessert.