Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) brought a sense of excitement to its Elementary School at the Pattimura campus this week when it kicked off Indonesia Week 2018 on 19 March. During the five-day event, students, teachers, and parents will have the opportunity to explore the Indonesian experience by participating in variety of activities and enjoying cultural performances.

The students play Gamelan at the opening of JIS Elementary School Indonesia Week 2018.
Photo courtesy of Jakarta Intercultural School/NOW!JAKARTA

The annual event aims to introduce Indonesian culture to the students, who come from around 65 countries. During the week, students have a hands-on experience of Indonesian culture through its various activities including storytelling and batik making.

Themed “Exploring Indonesia”, JIS Elementary School Indonesia Week 2018 is a comprehensive event where students learn traditional dances from guest dancers from Universitas Negeri Jakarta (UNJ), play and teach gamelan to parents, and enjoy games that are traditionally played during Indonesian independence day.  

The event was opened by the principal of JIS Elementary School, Elsa Donohue and Jakarta Deputy Governor, Sandiaga Uno. Students from kindergarten to fifth grade joined the workshop of Indonesian storytelling from Mochamad Ariyo Faridh Zidni (Kak Aio) from Ayo Dongeng Indonesia. They also had the opportunity to attend traditional weaving and batik workshops.

Jakarta Deputy Governor, Sandiago Uno attended the opeing of JIS Elementary School Indonesia Week 2018. 
Photo courtesy of Jakarta Intercultural School/NOW!JAKARTA

“In line with the name of the school, culture becomes one of the most important elements and a foundation for the development of student’s character here at JIS. Introduction to Indonesia’s culture and the values that are held in this Indonesia Week could directly grow the students’ love of their host country Indonesia,” Donohue said during the opening ceremony.

The cooperation between the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the school administration for Indonesian Week 2018 also opened up a two-way interactive learning opportunity between parents and students, therefore optimising cultural learning especially for very young students.

Implementing JIS Values
The event organiser, Palsapah Aeni explained that cultural studies are not only perceived as entertainment but also as a soft skill training which is reflected throughout Indonesia Week.

The school’s values—Resilient, Relating, Reflectiveness, and Resourcefulness—are manifested in each workshop where the student learns teamwork, confidence, adaptation, and decision making.

Batik Jumputan workshop.  Photo courtesy of Jakarta Intercultural School/NOW!JAKARTA
Batiki Miniature Costume Class.  Photo courtesy of Jakarta Intercultural School/NOW!JAKARTA

“As we expect, the students not only know the culture, but also understand it. For example, Tari Saman Dance class and Batik Jumputan workshop require students to learn to work together, be resilient if they find difficulties in making something, or find alternative knowledge and solutions from their friends. At the end of the day, it’s not always about teacher and teacher,” said Aeni who is also Indonesian language teacher at JIS.

Aeni added that the type of cultural learning can be implemented in many ways and programmes to help sharpen soft skills among students.

Visit https://www.jisedu.or.id/ for more information about JIS Elementary School Indonesia Week 2018.


Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.