The Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC Opens Indonesian Language Classes Spring 2022

The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United States, Rosan P. Roeslani, expressed his pride because Indonesian is taught in many universities in America. “One of my priorities as the Indonesian Ambassador is to connect people in the world, for example with a strategy to encourage Americans to learn Indonesian,” said Ambassador Rosan, Tuesday (29/3).

“I believe that respecting a language increases one’s global awareness and tolerance. Learning another language aims not only to communicate but also to enable one to become familiar with the culture and people of that language,” said Ambassador Rosan.

Previously, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) in Washington DC officially opened the 2022 Spring Indonesian Language Class, Friday (25/3).

The opening was hosted by a student from the state of Georgia, United States, Aurelia VanderWilde. Ambassador Rosan officially opened this event.

The Education and Culture Attache of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington DC, Popy Rufaidah, said that a total of 160 participants had registered to take part in this program. “Learning is divided into several groups, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups. Participants come from 75 cities spread across 35 states in the United States,” said Popy on the same occasion.

The Head of the Center for Language Strengthening and Empowerment, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek), Iwa Lukmana, was also present at this opening. “I am happy to see the enthusiasm of Indonesian language learners in the United States and appreciate the initiative of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC in an effort to increase international awareness of the Indonesian language which is a unifying language and the national language in Indonesia,” said Iwa.

“For all learners, I hope everyone will get something in the learning process later and I hope you enjoy it. Once again, thank you and our appreciation,” concluded Iwa.

Atdikbud Popy explained, Later, the participants will study together with teachers who are members of the Consortium for the Teaching of Indonesian (COTI) in the United States, chaired by Jolanda Pandin, who is an Indonesian language teacher at Cornell University. Jolanda admitted that the support from the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC through the Education and Culture Attaché was very important in supporting the increase in the number of interested Indonesian language learners in the United States.

“We hope that all parties are involved in teaching Indonesian, from teachers to Indonesian people in the United States in transmitting the desire to learn Indonesian,” said Jolanda.

The opening was also enlivened by participants Paul Oman, who works as a lawyer from Virginia, by singing while playing the harp as well as greeting the Indonesian Ambassador. In addition, Kristin Gerald, a participant from the state of Maryland who has been taking Indonesian classes since 2019, welcomed Ambassador Rosan and his family.

“I am very happy with this Indonesian class. Thank you to the Indonesian Embassy for holding Indonesian language classes. Here, I can learn Indonesian language and culture and meet amazing friends,” said Kristin.

Joining the celebration that night, Wendy Zales, an American resident who is located in California and gave a testimony about the class she attended. “Thank you to Ms. Popy and my very kind and patient teachers. I am happy to get to know my classmates who have also become part of my community,” he said.

Wendy also rhymed in Indonesian to close her performance that night. “Going to the shop to buy rice, after that go to the market. Thanks to the Indonesian Embassy, ​​I can continue to learn,” said Wendy.

The opening ceremony was even more lively with the appearance of Kristin D, a dangdut singer from Philadelphia. Kristin, who has been in dangdut music for a long time and is a member of the Dangdut in America group, sings an Indonesian song with dangdut music accompaniment. The combination of fluent Indonesian and a distinctive twist of dangdut made his appearance even more charming.

Another participant, Suzana Romero, came to welcome the Indonesian Ambassador by reading an Indonesian poem by Sanusi Pane entitled Teratai. This poem, which means a tribute to Ki Hajar Dewantara, was read with great appreciation by Suzana.

While wearing his elegant kebaya, participant from Florida, Yvone Jackson, appeared to give a message and impression during the Indonesian language class. “I’ve been to Bali and I’m happy to join this class,” said Yvone.

Several messages and impressions were also conveyed by the students in previous classes in the same program. William, a participant from North Carolina, is able to speak very fluent Indonesian. William said, “Thank you Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia for opening Indonesian language classes. I enjoy learning Indonesian language and culture. Hopefully this program will continue and I will be able to go to Indonesia one day.”

Next, an Indonesian pop song entitled ‘Bahagia’ which was popularized by GAC, a young Indonesian musician, was performed by Tessa Malobasang from Maryland.

Positive comments also came from Participant Luke Lischin from Washington, DC “I am very happy with the Indonesian language class program at the Indonesian Embassy in DC,” said Luke, which was agreed by Participant Hani Brook, from North Carolina.

“I really enjoy learning Indonesian with the Indonesian Embassy. I hope I can speak Indonesian fluently and meet new friends,” he said.

Atdikbud Popy explained, later there will be six classes that will run. “Three classes are beginner level, two classes are for intermediate level, and one class is advanced level. There will be six teachers who are ready to accompany the students to know more about the Indonesian language and culture,” said Popy.

One of the Advanced Class Lecturers, Miss K. Norris from Virginia, said she was optimistic about the spring class. “One thing I have learned over the years as a lecturer in Indonesian is that students are always highly motivated to learn Indonesian and everything about Indonesia,” said Nona.

Some of the other teachers are Andang Purnama and Bunga Mastari who are assigned to teach beginner classes, Wimbo will teach intermediate classes, while Ihsan Faris and Berlin Pranendya will teach beginners and intermediate levels. Berlin said he was happy to have the opportunity to teach again. In addition, I Kadek Sandjaya will teach Beginner and Advanced classes. The four instructors are Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) alumni.

The recording of the live broadcast of the opening of the Indonesian language class held by the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, DC can be accessed at the link on the official Facebook page of Atdikbud USA

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