Indonesian traditional musical instrument, the Javanese Gamelan, is becoming more and more recognized by Norwegians. On Saturday, 12 May 2012, Gamelan workshop became one of the favorites in Barnas Verdensdager in Fredrikstad, Norway.
Barnas Verdensdager, literally Children’s World Day, is held in a series of cities in Norway throughout the year. However, this is the first Barnas Verdensdager held in Fredrikstad, organized by Rikskonsertene (Norwegian Cultural Institute) and the Fredrikstad Kommune.
“Fredrikstad warmly welcomes Barnas Verdensdager, and hopefully this festival brings more understanding and knowledge of the various international cultures to children of Fredrikstad, and people in general,” said Fredrikstad Mayor Jon Ivar Nygård in his opening remark.
Director of Rikskonsertene, Turdi Birkeland, who also attended the event mentioned that she was satisfied with the festival, ”I am very happy, and I hope this festival is spread throughout the country.”
Bente Aster, a representative from Rikskonsertene, also said that she was very enthusiastic with festival in Fredrikstad, including the gamelan workshop, which had always been a favorite in the past Barnas Verdensdagers.
“The Indonesian Embassy has long been a Rikskonsertene’s partner in Barnas Verdensdager, and children always liked the gamelan workshop. We are very excited to bring gamelan workshop in Fredrikstad and I see that children love it,” said Bente.
This was also the first time that Indonesian gamelan appeared in Fredrikstad. This fifth biggest city in Norway is located 100 km south of Oslo, and inhabited by more than 70,000 residents. The number makes Fredrikstad one of the areas with high tourist potentials.
Indonesian Ambassador to Norway, Esti Andayani, once said that the Embassy’s participation in various festivals in Norway an effective tool in promoting Indonesia’s tourism and culture, while also helping in improving the understanding of Norwegians towards Indonesia.
The gamelan workshop was held in 5 sessions, and each was always full with children who wanted to play the instruments as thaught by Camilla Kvaal from Rikskonsertene, who studied music in Java and Bali several years ago. Some children who were disappointed for not having an opportunity to join a session, were even willing to queue to join the next session.
At about 2,000 people attended the festival, which also could enjoy various other workshops such as African music, Latin American music, Bollywood dance, animation, acrobat, etc.
At the same time the festival was held, Rikskonsertene also organized similar event in Ås, around 40 km south of Oslo. The festival in this city inhabited by more than 16,000 people also offered Indonesian traditional dance workshop, the Bajidor Kahot dance, taught by Ossy Ivarson, an Indonesian citizen residing in Norway. This proved that Indonesia had become more and more popular in Norway.
Barnas Verdensdager in the Oslo World Music Festival next October will be the biggest of the series, and the Indonesian Embassy plans on participating again, among others with the gamelan workshop and Indonesian dance performance by Anak Indonesia.