Martial arts, singing, dancing, a magic show and free food provided the entertainment for Indonesian night on Saturday.
CSU’s Indonesian Student Association, organized the event to introduce Indonesian food and culture to American people, said ISA President Dhania Iman.
A dinner of traditional Indonesian food, cooked by several students and the head chef, Anna Wulandari, commenced the festivities at 5 p.m.
Lines of people stretched through the Lory Student Center sunken lounge and lobby, composed of people ready to taste foods some of them had never heard of: dishes like “nasi kuning,” yellow rice, “tahu goring,” fried tofu, and “kerupuk udang,” shrimp crackers.
“I was so surprised to see this many people,” Iman commented, looking around at the crowded lounge. “I only expected around 200 people.”
Between 400 and 500 people actually attended the affair.
Two dancers, Kirsten Carroll Asleson and Heather Marie Hoffman, performed a Balinese welcome dance called “Puspanjali” during the dinner in the lounge. This was the first of many performances that followed the dinner.
“The Indonesians sure know how to party,” said Alberta Peterson, a retired CSU professor who taught English as a second language. “The Indonesian students have always had a strong organization. They have parties and invite everyone, at least twice a year.”
Rimiko Okuno, a junior sociology major, explained her interest in Indonesian night stems from a curiosity of all cultures.
“As an international student, I definitely have an interest in what they’re doing tonight,” Okuno, originally from Japan, said while munching a plate of food.
After filling up on the dinner, spectators traveled down the hall to the theater, to see an Indonesian fashion show, musicians, dancers and other performers introduce several aspects of traditional and modern Indonesian culture.
The presentation that seemed to invoke the most gasps and applause from the audience was the Martial Arts demonstration. Five men, from both the Fort Collins Chu Do Academy and also the Denver Kun Lun Pai Academy, performed feats such as breaking boards and metal files with their hands and feet.
Eating glass, lying on a nail and getting pounded with a sledgehammer onstage, Daniel S. A. Prasetya, said this particular art, “Pencak Silat,” lets him accomplish these acts by focusing on an inner power. Prasetya choreographed the demonstration, noting that although the five performers come from different schools, they all stem from the same Indonesian roots.
After an intermission, a music parade introduced the second half of the night’s performances. Several additional musicians and dancers took the stage, demonstrating traditional arts from Indonesia.
The secretary of ISA, Indra Prakoso, said this event was the biggest they have ever hosted. He serves as one of three officers in the association, along with Iman and Treasurer Aris Indriyatno. Prakoso noted that the group distributed 1,800 fliers for the event, in town as well as in Boulder and Denver.