Indonesian International Student Mobility Awards (IISMA) awardee recipients not only go through the learning process at world’s top campuses, they also become cultural ambassadors for Indonesia by promoting the potential of the archipelago’s cultural arts. For example, when celebrating the momentum of Batik Day, which falls every October 2, IISMA students hold a “BATIK Challenge”. BATIK here stands for Bracing Awareness, Togetherness, Inclusivity, and Kindness which is also the motto of this activity.
As the motto of this challenge emphasizes the value of togetherness and the value of inclusion, the awardees hold various social activities or join volunteer activities or community services where they study. In the European region, IISMA awardees studying at the University of Pecs, Hungary, for example, held activities for children at Elementytar, a daycare for children aged 4-14 years in the city of Pecs. They invited the children to draw batik patterns and color them, introduced Indonesian traditional games such as marble running and also a donut eating contest as a modification of the cracker eating contest. At the end of the event, they also distributed souvenirs in the form of pencil cases with Batik motifs for the children who were very enthusiastic about participating in the activity. This activity that they hold shows the value of inclusion, namely embracing all, not only those of the same age, but the younger generation, to get to know Indonesian culture.
Meanwhile, in the Americas, IISMA awardees at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile held a series of activities that contributed to the environment, animals and Indonesian culture. They cleaned the campus environment, gave food to animals that live on the streets of Santiago, and performed gamelan performances at the Museo del Sonido with the Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) in Santiago. This series of activities is entitled “Memayu Hayuning Sesama, Memayu Hayuning Bawana” which means sharing goodness for fellow human beings, and sharing goodness for the world.
In Australia, IISMA awardees at Monash University opened a booth offering a variety of native Indonesian coffees, including coffee from Aceh, Lampung, Toraja, and other coffee-producing regions. Through a cup of coffee, they provide an experience of taste and aroma, and open conversations about Indonesia. They also invited booth visitors to donate to the Literacy for Life Foundation, an organization that works on indigenous literacy. It didn’t stop there, they also opened a photo booth so that Monash University campus students could take pictures and create Indonesian traditional fabrics available at the booth.
In England and Ireland, awardees at University College Cork held activities which included exhibitions of Indonesian traditional fabrics accompanied by informative information. Participants in the event also got hands-on experience using Indonesian traditional fabrics and even learned the process of making Batik with needlepoint training. In addition, they invite participants to donate to the UCC’s Cancer Society cancer agency.
In the Asian region, awardees at Chulalongkorn University took part in a fashion show by demonstrating Indonesian traditional fabrics and painting training with a number of native Indonesian painting artists, in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok. Apart from that, they also donate their blood through the Thai Red Cross because they believe that a drop of their blood can help save human life, wherever they are.
Not only on the four campuses above, the BATIK Challenge was attended by 1155 IISMA awardees at 72 world-class universities in 26 countries in Europe, America, Australia and Asia collectively at each host university. During the activity, of course the awardees used Batik and other Indonesian traditional fabrics to introduce the diversity of Indonesian culture to various parts of the world. With this BATIK Challenge, it is hoped that IISMA, which is one of the Merdeka Learning Campus Merdeka policy programs launched by Minister Nadiem, can achieve its goal of preparing students to become graduates who are resilient, relevant to the needs of the times, and ready to become leaders by upholding a high national spirit. .
“In addition to introducing Indonesian culture at the global level, the BATIK Challenge activity is also an actualization space for IISMA awardees to practice collaboration skills and also contribute to a positive impact on the communities around them and for the country,” said IISMA Program Head, Rachmat Sriwijaya.
The BATIK Challenge activity is a manifestation of the message Acting Director General of Higher Education, Research and Technology, Nizam, when sending off the IISMA awardees last September. “Young brothers and sisters are truly representatives of Indonesia to report about the country