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SIS Students Soak up Indonesian Culture

By Adrienne Frank

(Photo: Jeff Watts)

(Photo: Jeff Watts)

On Nov. 3, the Indonesian embassy opened its doors to 75 students from the School of International Service (SIS) for an evening of music and dancing.

Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, spoke to students in Professor Bram Groen’s intercultural communication classes about the country’s history, trade, and cultural diversity. Pek Koon Heng, acting chair of SIS’s Asian studies program, also addressed the students, who were treated to Indonesian food and a performance by traditional Javanese dancers.

“I wanted our students to get a taste of the diplomatic side of Washington, and introduce them to an advanced Southeast Asian country that they don’t know much about,” Groen said.

Groen plans to take his students to an embassy every semester. He said the Indonesian embassy has already expressed an interest in making last week’s gathering with AU students an annual event.