Life of the Party: A Taste of Indonesia

The 2011 Indonesia Festival begins on a strong note with a kick-off party hosted by Indonesian Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal.
By Shannon O’Reilly

Glenn Ballard and try their hand at the angklung, a traditional Indonesian instrument.

Standing outside the palatial hilltop residence of Indonesian Ambassador , you might have been able to catch the faint tune of “We Are the World” and “New York, New York” eluding from the estates walls. Yet, the classic tune would be slightly unfamiliar but beautiful all at the same time.

The reason why?

The more than one hundred guests in attendance played the tunes one note at a time on an angklung, a traditional Indonesian instrument that only plays one note, similar to a hand bell. Under the direction of Indonesian angklung , guests such as TIME’s Jay Newton Small, NBC Bureau Chief , BET’s , Pamela Sorensen, and Washington Life’s own and created music in celebration of the 2011 Indonesia Festival.

The party served as a kick off for the July 9th event on the National Mall, a celebration of multiculturalism and a promotion of the diverse Indonesian cultural tradition, which also included the world record attempt for the “Largest Angklung Ensemble.”

Along with making music, guests also sipped wine and sampled traditional Indonesian cuisine while taking in the beauty of the Indonesian estate, furnished in traditional wood carvings and furniture. Guests associated the estate with “the feeling of being in a majestic tree house.”

Art Orkisz takes his angklung with glee, as he prepares to make traditional Indonesian music with the over 100 guests in attendance.

A traditional Indonesian band plays for guests as they enjoy Indonesian cuisine and the majestic estate.

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