Farewell Message from ICONE’s Outgoing President, Olla Chas

Massachusetts, 12/20/2020 - This month marks the end of Olla Chas’s role as the President of ICONE. On behalf of ICONE and our community, we would like to thank her for her leadership, extraordinary work, and enduring commitment in shaping ICONE, empowering our community, and helping promote Indonesia for the past five years.

Her stewardship of ICONE has been characterized by her love for the community and the motherland Indonesia, her innovative ideas, strategic thinking, networks, and her passionate efforts to increase the credibility and visibility of ICONE as the umbrella entity for various coordinated Indonesian community initiatives. Her energy and devotion to the role will be difficult to match, but she leaves ICONE and our community on a strong footing for those who follow her.

We wish her all the very best in her future endeavors and we look forward to her ongoing involvement in our community.

Here is her farewell note to us.

Dear fellow ICONEans and friends,

I hope you are safe and well during this extraordinary time. After five years in my role as the President of the Indonesian Community of New England, Inc. (ICONE, Inc.) and with my term reaching its end on December 31, 2020, I would like to bid farewell to all of you. It has been an honor as well as an exciting and challenging experience serving and building our community by working alongside many of you.

When I was elected to lead ICONE, my intention was not only to make a difference but also to become a contributing community member in any and every way I could, all while working towards the missions of this amazing nonprofit organization. It is so gratifying to see how our community has become more united, stronger, and culturally accessible through ICONE’s various programs over the years. Some of the milestones that ICONE has accomplished during my tenure include:
    • Launched the first community-based Indonesian language course ever held in Boston, offered for 7 consecutive semesters with students from all over the New England region and beyond.
    • In collaboration with Permias MA, co-organized 5 New England Indonesian Festivals (NEIF) that has been known as one of the largest Indonesian festivals on the east coast.
    • Launched the Indonesian Storytelling Tour program at 3 local schools & libraries in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
    • Led 5 community fundraisers under the ICONEBerbagi program which include education supports to children and youth in need (orphans), Sunda Strait Tsunami relief, and food staple distribution to those impacted by COVID-19 in 3 cities in Indonesia.
    • Initiated various community empowerment programs that have collaborated with and promoted about 50 local Indonesian talents in different areas of expertise.
    • Organized 6 Indonesian food bazaars in Somersworth and Dover, New Hampshire, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
    • Co-organized the Javanese shadow puppets and gamelan show at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology in Boston.
    • Organized 4 community discussions/sharing sessions in Boston with prominent Indonesian leaders including Mayor of Bandung, Vice Governor of Jakarta, CEO of GE, and a well-known comedian/public influencer.
    • Provided community assistance during COVID-19 through masks distribution and temporary storage for the displaced Indonesian students in collaboration with KJRI New York and Permias MA.
    • Promoted Indonesian culinary through 55 weeks of weekly Indonesian home-cooked meals program via online and food delivery to towns in the Massachusetts area.
    • Launched several online community resources including the “Education Corner” scholarship information hub, “New England Living” webpage, Interpreter Assistance Program, and “ICONEDataKita” census.
    • Created and maintained ICONE’s official website (www.icone-inc.org), Facebook page, and Instagram as the main communications channels to the community.
    • Other initiatives including ongoing assistance in employment findings/channels, Indonesian Independence Day celebration events, immigration/consular community gatherings with KJRI New York, Indonesian movie screenings, Balinese dance course, Indonesian cooking class, charity yard sales, and ongoing community supports.

There is still much to do, but collectively we have paved the way towards a more harmonious, resourceful, and resilient Indonesian-American community in New England and beyond.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you, especially my team, ICONE’s Board of Directors, and the countless extraordinary people from varying walks of life who have helped make all of this possible for our community here and in Indonesia. Special thank you as well to all the volunteers, donors, government officials, influencers, and partners, who have supported and collaborated with me and ICONE in making members of our community feel belonged, connected, and empowered. Know that even though I will not be in ICONE’s driving seat anymore, I will always be cheering you on and keep supporting our community in any way I can.

I wish you and your family a joyful, healthy, and peaceful holiday season. Let us all hope for a better 2021.

Warmest regards,
Olla Chas

Students from All Over the USA Learn and Practice Bahasa Indonesia Virtually with ICONE During the Pandemic

Students from All Over The USA Learn and Practice Bahasa Indonesia Virtually with ICONE During the Pandemic

Massachusetts, 11/23/2020—As COVID-19 cases continue to soar, ICONE has completely adapted to full live online class sessions for its Bahasa Indonesia Fall 2020 semester. Students from all over the USA and various backgrounds have jumped into the opportunity to learn and practice the Indonesian language from the comfort and safety of their homes. And after a well-structured, engaging, and fun 10-week online class session, our Beginner and Intermediate level students have successfully completed the course and are ready to interact more effectively with their Indonesian family members, friends, and colleagues.

Led by ICONE's native and experienced instructor Tia Wulansari, sessions were designed in such a way so that students can actively engage with their fellow students as well as the instructor utilizing multiple online learning tools in a variety of real-life settings. Unlike those of the previous in-person classes, the students were required to watch a pre-recorded grammar and vocabulary video and did an online exercise before each lesson via Book Widget. During the live session through Zoom, students then reviewed the materials from the video, practiced writing and speaking with the instructor, and used the Kahoot website for interactive quizzes.

In addition to students from different New England states, this semester was also special because of students participating all the way from California, Seattle, Kentucky, and Virginia. Starting with very little knowledge and skills of the language, the Beginner level students ended the semester by being able to compose complex sentences after practicing a lot on vocabularies in the right grammar patterns. Students even set up a study group to help them practice more together outside class sessions - proof of how eager they were in learning Bahasa Indonesia wholeheartedly.

As for this semester's Intermediate level students, since many of them have had experience living or working in Indonesia, most students had pretty strong language proficiency. For the instructor, it felt almost like teaching an Advanced level course. These Intermediate students spent many sessions learning about the prefixes and suffixes of Bahasa Indonesia, and comparing and contrasting the informal and formal usage of the language. It was not always an easy assignment, but it was very interesting and valuable exposure to the language.

Both Beginner and Intermediate level online classes ended with a fun Jeopardy-like game as a way to review what they have learned throughout the semester. Every student was able to answer all the questions, which proved the effectiveness of their virtual learning. We applaud each of these fabulous and enthusiastic students for all their hard work. With the skills they all acquired this semester, we are confident that they can now speak and listen better in Bahasa Indonesia.

In their exit reviews, students highlighted how much they have gained necessary language skills from the well-thought balance in the learning efforts required from their sessions. And to add to that, being able to practice speaking and listening with an instructor who was very encouraging and helpful made the whole learning experience worthwhile. Students also appreciate the different aspects of Indonesian culture embedded in the course through videos, pictures, articles, and class discussions.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the making of ICONE's Fall 2020 Bahasa Indonesia course including the Indonesian Education and Cultural Attaché, Prof. Popy Rufaidah, and her team at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington DC, ICONE's President Olla Chas, Treasurer Trisia Bantacut, and ICONE's Educational and Cultural Programs Director Dhanni Setyaning. Bersama, kita bisa!

> Check out our students' testimonials and the main Indonesian Language Course page.

ICONE Berbagi: Relief Effort to Help Those Impacted by COVID-19 in Indonesia

ICONE Berbagi: Relief Effort to Help Those Impacted by COVID-19 in Indonesia

Boston, 5/18/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has brought our entire world to a halt, including Indonesia. Not only it has claimed the lives of thousands nationwide, but it has also cut off the lifeline to millions of people in cities all over Indonesia.

With community spirit fueling high, "ICONE Berbagi" (ICONE Giving Back) fundraising program was carried out to help fellow Indonesians who are struggling to survive in their daily lives due to economic hardships resulting from this unprecedented situation. Within 2 weeks of the fundraiser, we have collected a total donation of $3,099.22 from 70 ICONEans across New England and beyond, including New York, Philadelphia, Maryland, and Virginia.

100% of the money raised was utilized to purchase hundreds of essential food (sembako) packages, each consisting of a bag of rice, eggs, instant noodles, cooking oil, sugar, tea/syrup, and other non-perishable food, as well as masks to be distributed to low-income families, day laborers, seniors living alone, and orphans in 3 cities in Indonesia: Jakarta, Medan (North Sumatera), and Pangkalpinang (Bangka Belitung). Depending on the number of people in their household, these essential packages can help sustain them for one or two weeks.

About 300 essential food packages were distributed by ICONEan friends to those in need in these cities from May 14 to May 17, 2020. Many of them have been hit hardly by the COVID-19 crisis, including daily laborers who have lost their incomes, small business owners (e.g. street food vendors, warung owners) who have gone bankrupt with no money left, recently laid-off workers, and the poor elderlies (with orphan grandchildren) who are still waiting for help from their local authorities.

We are beyond proud and grateful for the generous donations and participation that our community has shown in this relief effort. Without each and every one of you supporting "ICONE Berbagi", we would have not been able to do all this.

A special thank you to our friends in Indonesia: Reza Maulana and family in Jakarta, Yose Rizal Adha and Yayasan Pintu Sedekah in Pangkalpinang, as well as Umi Kalsum and family in Medan, for helping us with the local operation and delivery aspects of the relief.

Last but not least, thank you to ICONE's President, Olla Chas, for spearheading the effort, and ICONE team members Dhanni Setyaning (Education and Cultural Programs Director), Armaya Doremi (Social Media Marketing), and Trisia Bantacut (Treasurer) for the great synergy in managing the fundraiser.

We could not help all the millions who are currently in need, but together, we were able to offer our extended hands to hundreds of them. And for that, from the bottom of our hearts, we THANK YOU.

Together, we can.


Check out: ICONE in the News

Selamat! Congratulations to the Superb Graduates of ICONE’s Indonesian Language Spring 2020 Class!

Massachusetts, 4/18/2020—COVID-19 pandemic evidently cannot stop our students from learning Indonesian language, Bahasa Indonesia. And today, we are very proud of their accomplishment in completing ICONE's Bahasa Indonesia course for the spring term of 2020.

The seven-week program of ICONE's Bahasa Indonesia course this term was unlike any other previous terms we ever done. The circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced everyone to practice social distancing by staying home, and in turn, required us to modify our Bahasa Indonesia course to be done virtually. Started with an in-person class meeting on the first session at Pao Arts Center in Boston, the course was then switched into virtual face-to-face sessions for the remainder of six weeks led by our experienced instructor Tia Wulansari.

The change from in-person class to virtual learning did not stop our adult beginner students from learning Bahasa Indonesia and making tremendous weekly progress. Every week students were given recorded lessons, online materials, quizzes on multiple platforms, and followed by live interactive online teaching sessions on Saturday mornings. The students learned various aspects of Bahasa Indonesia, such as ways of self-introduction, numbers, and vocabulary to talk about daily activities. Their vocabulary grew larger and their understanding of the language grew stronger. Embedded in each lesson, the students also learned about the richness of the Indonesian cultures and its people. Students' hard works were paid off when each of them proved their newly acquired language skills by composing a well-written short descriptive essay in Indonesian and reading it fluently on the final day of the course.

It was such an honor for ICONE to follow each of the student's improvement throughout the weeks. We commend our students for their eagerness to keep learning virtually and our instructor for her hard work in maintaining the quality of each lesson from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Warmest congratulations to Emeric Viani, Laura Brubaker-Wittman, Margaret Geary, Jason Katz-Brown, and Aden Makris for completing the course. We hope that with the language skills they have acquired, they will be able to communicate better in Bahasa Indonesia with their Indonesian family, friends, or colleagues, and can effectively enjoy their future travel or work in Indonesia.

Special thank you to our Ibu Guru Tia for a job well done in teaching Bahasa  Indonesia with well-thought preparation, passion, and dedication, especially in such a unique situation we are currently in.

Thank you as well to the Education and Cultural Attaché, Prof. Popy Rufaidah, and her team at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington DC for supporting ICONE in rolling out this program. Our appreciation also goes to the management of the Pao Arts Center at Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center for assisting ICONE in providing a classroom for our first in-person class session. Last but not the least, thank you to the President of ICONE Olla Chas and the Treasurer of ICONE Trisia Bantacut for leading the initiative and managing the funding, and Dhanni Setyaning, the Educational and Cultural Programs Director of ICONE, for managing the program.

Keep on practicing Bahasa Indonesia and we hope to see you back at the next ICONE's Indonesian Language Course!

> Check out our students' testimonials and Indonesian Language Course page.

KJRI NY & ICONE Peduli: Bantuan Masker Untuk Penanggulangan COVID-19

Boston / 10 April, 2020 - Dalam menghadapi pandemik virus COVID-19, KJRI New York and ICONE melakukan pemberian bantuan masker kepada warga masyarakat Indonesia di wilayah kerja KJRI New York, termasuk Massachusetts dan sekitarnya.

Mengingat sangat terbatasnya jumlah masker ini, maka penyaluran bantuan akan di prioritaskan pada:

    1. Warga Indonesia yang terpapar COVID-19 dan sedang melakukan karantina dirumah, atau mereka yang memiliki immune rendah.
    2. Mahasiswa/pelajar Indonesia yang terdampak COVID-19 (akan disalurkan melalui rekan2 PERMIAS MA.
    3. Warga Indonesia lanjut usia yang tinggal sendiri tanpa sanak keluarga.

Bagi warga yg membutuhkan, silahkan email kami di contact@icone-inc.org ataupun mengisi kolom komentar di bawah untuk mendapatkan masker ini.

Kami menghimbau masyarakat Indonesia untuk terus memperhatikan dan mematuhi arahan otoritas setempat, menghindari kerumunan, dan mempraktekkan physical distancing, serta menjalani pola hidup yang sehat.

Untuk bantuan darurat, hubungi 911. Untuk bantuan dan informasi lainnya yang menyangkut kesejahteraan warga Indonesia di New England, bisa menghubungi KJRI New York melalui nomor hotline:

    • (347) 806-9279
    • (929) 329-4872
    • (646) 491-3809
    • (646) 238-8721
    • (929) 366-9842

Let’s us support each other in this challenging time. Together, we can. Please stay well and healthy. 😊🙏


Please find the latest news and information, including FAQs, helpful CDC resources and more here.

Assistance Efforts for Indonesian Students in MA Displaced by COVID-19’s Universities Closure

Boston / March 11, 2020 - We know so many of our community members are affected by the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Affected by this pandemic are also the Indonesian students who are forced to vacate their dormitories due to campus temporary closure to prevent the virus from fast-spreading. The closure is part of a follow-through action after the State of Emergency status was declared by the Governor of Massachusetts effective by March 10, 2020.

Many of these Indonesian students, due to financial and other limitations, find it difficult to return to Indonesia and may face a challenge in finding temporary accommodation during the closure period. Therefore, we are inviting members of our community to assist students in need with storage, temporary housing/room, mover, etc. List of assistance can be made at bit.ly/aidsforindostudents

Students requesting assistance will be able to view the responses at bit.ly/helpforindostudents and will reach out directly to those who are offering assistance for further arrangement. 

For additional assistance, a hotline emergency number by the Indonesian Consulate General office in New York (KJRI-New York) is also available for all Indonesians in New England. You can call +1 (347) 806-9279 or email consular.newyork@kemlu.go.id 

Please reach out to your friends, families, or us at contact@icone-inc.org or any of our team members if you are feeling frustrated or scared. Remember that we are all in this together and we will get through it together. In the meantime, be vigilant, social-distancing if you can, keep washing hands, and stay well. 

On behalf of the Indonesian community and students in New England, we thank you for your meaningful participation, assistance, and cooperation. Let’s keep looking out for each other.



Olla Chas

President & Co-Founder

Indonesian Community of New England, Inc. (ICONE Inc)



Please find the latest news and information, including FAQs, helpful CDC resources and more here.

Bona Taon 2020 Celebration with the Bataknese community in New England

Celebrating Bona Taon 2020 with the Bataknese Community in New England


Kittery, Maine, 2/8/2020 - One of the major ethnic groups in Indonesia, the Bataknese, celebrated the new year in a mix of religious and cultural community festivity named Bona Taon 2020 on February 8, 2020, in Kittery, Maine. The Bataknese community from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, DC, and New York came together to be grateful of the year passed and to welcome the new year with positiveness and blessings from the Almighty.

Organized by Pbb Dos Ni Roha, an organization that focuses on keeping the cultural bond between the Bataknese community in the region, the event was also attended by the Consul General of Republic of Indonesia and wife, DR. Arifi Saiman and ibu Endang Arifi, as well as Consul Rizal Zaal from KJRI New York. ICONE's President Olla Chas and one of the Directors Anto Sianturi were also present to show support and appreciation towards the people and its culture as part of the overall Indonesian community in New England. The other ethnic-based organizations such as the Kawanua Maesa NH, the Maluku Association, and Kumpulan Tionghoa (KITA) were among the guests who came and danced the night away with the spirit of togetherness, peace, and love.

Community Celebration at the Indonesian Bazaar in Cambridge, MA

Community Celebration at the Indonesian Bazaar in Cambridge, MA



Cambridge, 11/24/2019 - As the 2019 holiday season approaching fast, ICONE has concluded its last community program for the year, the indoor Indonesian Food Bazaar, at Cambridge Masonic Hall in Massachusetts on Saturday, November 23, 2019. The bazaar brought together people from different walks of life in the Greater Boston area to celebrate the Indonesian culture, the diversity of its people, and to enjoy the richness of its culinary.

Hundreds of people came together to savor in varieties of Indonesian delicacies made by the best local Indonesian food vendors in the region. Included in some of the most sought-after dishes were Rendang (one of the CNN's 2019 top 12 world best dishes), Martabak, Satay, Bakso, Soto Betawi, Siomay, to all kinds of traditional desserts and refreshing beverages.

Attendees were also entertained by the amazing performances of the local Indonesian talents in music and dance. Different music genres - from jazz, pop, and Indonesian's dangdut - were entertainingly showcased through songs and musical renditions. Traditional dances from Dayak, Kalimantan to hip-hop dance caught attendees' attention due to the dancers' enchanting, meaningful, and energetic movements. One of the event highlights was when the attendees were getting the hands-on group experience playing angklung, a traditional Indonesian music instrument made of bamboo tubes. The whole room was echoed with the beautiful and unique sound of angklung.

With the spirit of the season of giving, a Coat Drive was also carried out at the same time as the bazaar to help the less fortunate children and adults in our community here in New England to stay warm this winter. Thanks to the donors, dozens of winter coats were collected and are now ready to be delivered to a dedicated non-profit organization that will distribute the coats to those in need for free and without discrimination.

Embracing the very essence of the Indonesian culture, culinary, its people's diversity, as well as encouraging and facilitating simple acts of kindness to the people in the need at this bazaar are in line with what ICONE is all about. In her brief remark, Olla Chas, ICONE's President & Co-Founder highlighted that one of ICONE's missions is to empower, connect, and bring the best out of Indonesians in New England and the bazaar is one of the most effective ways to showcase and put these community strengths into actions.

Sincerest thank you to everyone who has helped in the making of this bazaar. ICONE's team members: Sophia Jamila, Elvina Setia, Rizki Setia, Dhini Purnamasari, Dhanni Setyaning, Watty Grant, and Tia Wulansari. The MCs: Grace Purba and Tisa Umar. The vendors: Yuandita Pransanti, Dian Febrinda, Novia Aldhila, Dewi Rosdiana, Lia Muse, Mici's Kitchen by Micita Mahoney, Kartika by Afrianti Anggoro and Theresia, Dapur The Tio's, Bakso SuperPhilly, Z's Kitchen, Pecel Ndeso, Taste of Surabaya by Fefe Ang, Sury's Kitchen, and Seulanga. All the performers and volunteers: Calvin Limuel, Aubrey Situmorang, Sharon Stephania, Kunto Nurcahyoko, Armaya Doremi, Tia Wulansari & Alia Koasanto, Christopher J. Lym, Junus Kbarek, Maria Yuanita, Boston Angklung Ensemble, Berklee Indonesian Community, Adrian Hasianda, Dimas Muhamad, and Jhendra Samodra. Bersama, kita bisa!

Happy Thanksgiving and we wish you all wonderful holiday seasons ahead.

Semi-Theatrical Musical Adventure to Indonesia’s Folklores Took Stage in Boston

Semi-Theatrical Musical Adventure to Indonesia’s Folklores Took Stage in Boston

Boston, 10/2/2019 - An outstanding semi-theatrical performance was showcased in a concert titled Indonesian Cultural Night: LEGENDA, produced and organized by the Berklee Indonesian Community last night. Around 800 people came and filled the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. Each of them was lit, swayed and wowed by the energy dan exciting tunes from the original compositions of 6 Indonesian musicians of the Berklee Indonesian Ensemble and the graceful dances by Nusantara Kreasindo and Boston Cendrawasih dancers. Indonesia's well-known folklores such as Bawang Merah Bawang Putih, Cendrawasih, Malin Kundang, Ramayana, Telaga Biru, and Telaga Tiga Warna came to life in such an interesting depiction through music, songs, and dances.

The LEGENDA concert was created to further introduce and raise public awareness on the richness and uniqueness of various Indonesian arts and culture in the United States, especially in Massachusetts and neighboring New England states. And for that, the Indonesian Community of New England, Inc. (ICONE Inc.) is proud to be part of this one-of-a-kind collaborative Indonesian cultural event in Boston. Thank you to all the event partners, dancers, supporters, and volunteers who have helped make this event a truly night to remember.


Check out also: ICONE in the News

Thousands of People Flocked the New England Indonesian Festival 2019 in Boston to Experience the Traditional Culture of Indonesia

Thousands of People Flocked the New England Indonesian Festival 2019 in Boston to Experience the Traditional Culture of Indonesia


Boston, 09/28/2019 - Thousands of people flocked the Copley Square in Boston to immerse themselves in what is known as the largest Indonesian festival on the east coast, the 2019 New England Indonesian Festival.

The New England Indonesian Festival (NEIF), organized by Permias MA (Indonesian student association in Massachusetts) in collaboration with the Indonesian Community of New England, Inc. (ICONE Inc.), is an annual celebration of Indonesian food, arts, and culture with over 10,000 people attending each year. The event featured live performances, food, folk-games, arts, and crafts showcased from 12 noon – 6 pm. It was a spectacular celebration of authentic Indonesian culture with the square filled with delicious smells, vibrant traditional performances and the sounds of excited visitors.

Dozens of Indonesian traditional food vendors, performers, and volunteers from across New England came together to take part in this annual event that has become the pride of Indonesians in Massachusetts and neighboring states.

NEIF 2019 showcased various traditional Indonesian arts and culture such as the dances from West Sumatera, Central Java, West Java, Bali, and South Sulawesi by the Indonesian dance groups Nusantara Kreasindo, Boston Cendrawasih, and Maengket Maleosan, as well as Angklung (a traditional bamboo music instrument from West Java) performance by the Boston Angklung Ensemble. Tons of Indonesian food, snacks, and drinks from all kinds of sate, rendang, bakso to batagor, martabak, lupis, cendol, and many more were sold out in a short time. Batik fashion show and live music by local singers and bands such as Berklee Indo, 24 Denby’s, Bernard Dinata, and Java Jukebox completed NEIF 2019 with a big bang and style.




Semarak New England Indonesian Festival 2019 Pukau Ribuan Pengunjung di Boston, Amerika Serikat

Boston, 29 September 2019 – Jantung kota Boston di Copley Square hari ini dipadati oleh ribuan pengunjung dari berbagai negara bagian di Amerika Serikat yang melebur dalam keriaan ala Indonesia sambil menikmati secara langsung beragam suguhan kuliner, tari, musik, dan budaya Indonesia di acara New England Indonesian Festival (NEIF) 2019.  Belasan vendor makanan dan minuman Indonesia dari negara bagian Massachusetts, Maryland, Philadelphia, dan New York, serta puluhan pekerja seni dan sukarelawan yang terdiri dari masyarakat dan mahasiswa Indonesia di Boston dan sekitarnya turut serta mensukseskan acara akbar ini.

NEIF merupakan ajang festival Indonesia tahunan dan terbesar yang diadakan di New England, kawasan pantai timur Amerika Serikat dengan cakupan 6 negara bagian yaitu Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, dan Vermont. Dalam sambutan via video, Duta Besar Indonesia untuk Amerika, Mahendra Siregar, menyatakan kebanggaannya atas nama pemerintah Republik Indonesia akan keberhasilan mahasiswa-mahasiswa dan komunitas Indonesia di Massachusetts dalam menghadirkan festival Indonesia sebesar ini.

Diselenggarakan rutin sejak tahun 2013 oleh Permias Massachusetts (organisasi Persatuan Mahasiswa Indonesia di Massachusetts) yang kemudian berkolaborasi dengan New England Indonesian Community Inc. (ICONE, Inc.), NEIF selalu mengangkat tema acara berbeda tiap tahunnya yang merujuk dari potensi budaya, alam, dan keunikan Indonesia. “Melalui konsep ‘Pasar Festival’ yang kami usung tahun ini, kami ingin menghadirkan suasana kemeriahan pasar tradisional Indonesia yang sangat khas dan dinamis di pusat kota Boston”, jelas Grace Purba, Presiden dari Permias Massachusetts. Adanya ajang festival ini tidak hanya dapat mengobati rasa rindu masyarakat Indonesia yang sedang berada disini akan Tanah Air, tapi juga dapat menambah ketertarikan dan pengetahuan masyarakat lokal akan keberagaman dan kekayaan seni, budaya, dan kuliner Indonesia. “NEIF merupakan bukti nyata bahwa kami sebagai mahasiswa Indonesia yang sedang menimba ilmu di Massachusetts dapat melakukan sesuatu yang berarti kepada Tanah Air dan komunitas kami di Amerika”, tambah Grace.

NEIF 2019 menampilkan beragam kesenian Indonesia seperti tarian dari daerah Sumatera Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Barat, Bali, dan Sulawesi Utara yang dibawakan oleh sanggar tari Indonesia Nusantara Kreasindo, Boston Cendrawasih, dan Maengket Maleosan, serta pertunjukan angklung yang dibawakan oleh Boston Angklung Ensemble. Bermacam masakan dan hidangan penutup khas Indonesia, mulai dari sate, nasi padang, bakso, sampai dengan jajanan tradisional seperti batagor, martabak, lupis dan banyak lagi, habis terjual dalam waktu singkat. NEIF 2019 juga dimeriahkan oleh peragaan busana kebaya, permainan tradisional Indonesia, Batik workshop, serta suguhan live music dari beberapa penyanyi dan band lokal seperti Berklee Indo, 24 Denby’s, Bernard Dinata, dan Java Jukebox.

“NEIF 2019 adalah acara kebanggaan dari seluruh masyarakat Indonesia yang berada di New England dan merupakan buah karya bersama anak bangsa yang cinta akan negerinya”, ujar Olla Chas, Co-Founder & President dari ICONE, Inc, sebuah organisasi nirlaba berbasis sukarelawan yang menaungi beragam kegiatan kemasyarakatan Indonesia-Amerika dan promosi seni budaya Indonesia di New England, Amerika Serikat. “Kami berharap sinergi positif sesama diaspora Indonesia di sini serta antara warga Indonesia dan warga setempat dapat terus terbina dengan baik demi tercapainya komunitas Indonesia yang bersatu, produktif, dan kreatif”, tambah Olla.

NEIF 2019 didukung oleh Kementerian Perindustrian RI, Konsulat Jenderal RI New York, Atase Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Indonesia di Amerika, Indonesian Student Association of the East Coast (PERMIAS East Coast), Protelindo, Danar Hadi dan 20 sponsor lainnya, serta perwakilan mahasiswa Indonesia di beberapa universitas di Massachusetts seperti Harvard University, Babson College, Boston University, Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts Boston, Bentley University, dan Berklee School of Music.

Check out also: ICONE in the News

Indonesian Community of New England, Inc.