Indonesian Diaspora Network hosting Chinese New Year festivities

Hermin Bloxham and Christine Lim.
Hermin Bloxham and Christine Lim.

THE Indonesian Diaspora Network WA is promising delightful smells and sights at its inaugural Chinese New Year event.

A dinner will take place at the South Perth Community Hall on February 11 before a festival takes place on February 12.

Celebration committee member Hasan Sidi said smaller events had been held in previous years but this was the first time the community came together for a big event.

“The Chinese-Indonesian community is quite big but there’s never been an event like this when we all get together,” he said,

“There was also a push from the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Perth to put on the event.”

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Mr Sidi said Indonesians celebrated Chinese New Year with a twist, compared to other nationalities.

“When the Chinese arrived in Indonesia they mingled with the indigenous population; they created an interesting cultural mix,” he said.

“There are some similarities in the way Indonesian people celebrate Chinese New Year but there are specific differences.

“Indonesia is mainly a Muslim country so the dishes need to be appropriate; chicken is substituted in for pork.

“There are other special dishes like Lontong Capgomeh, which is a rice cake wrapped in banana leaf, formed like a tube, and then cut into pieces to represent the full moon.”

“We will have 250 people at the dinner, which has actually sold out, and there will be lion dances and traditional dances.”

Celebration committee chairman Lim Setiawan said the festival would feature a number of exciting activities.

“There will be cultural performances, culinary workshops and food stalls, which will sell traditional food.

“We are expecting about 500 people at the festival, I think there are lots of people looking forward to the event because it’s something open to all of the community.”

The money raised from the events will go to charities Australia Oikos Care and Shoes for Flores.

What: Indonesian Diaspora Network WA Chinese New Year Celebration

When: Dinner:February 11, 6pm-9pm, February 12, 10am-3pm

Where: South Perth Community Hall