On the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the declaration of independence of Indonesia and the 61st anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between our two countries,

the Embassy organized the first festival of arts and culture "The Wonders of Indonesia". Its opening was accompanied by a reception at the National Gallery - "Square 500", held by H. E. Ms. Sri Astari Rasjid, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia in our country. Officials, ambassadors, business partners and friends attended the event.

In her greetings to the guests H. E. Ms. Sri Astari Rasjid stated: "...the establishment of Indonesia is not only a creation of a state but also of a new nation. A nation that is not based on ethnicity, culture or religion but is a community of people from over 300 ethnic groups with different religions and cultural experiences sharing the common vision of freedom and dignity ... This year we celebrate our 72th anniversary of independence, we remember the three and a half century struggle against the chains of colonialism and imperialism - the highest form of violation of the human rights..."

Her Excellency continued her emphasis on Indonesia's role in the international scene and its contribution to addressing today's global and regional challenges: "Indonesia will continue to contribute to the promotion of world peace and prosperity, even now it is the 10th largest participant in the UN peacekeeping missions, with more than 2,800 staff deployed in 10 missions; and we aim to increase its number to 4,000 by 2019. In order to play a more constructive and responsible role, Indonesia filed its candidacy for an inconstant Council for security part of the UN peacekeeping for the period 2019-2020 as a "true partner for world peace". Your support for Indonesia's bid in this UN institution among many other important institutions is highly valued”.

In connection with the 61st anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Indonesia, she stressed that our trade relations have grown at an average growth of 8.9%. The fact that in the social and cultural sector we witnessed a growing number of personal contacts, Indonesian participation in several cultural festivals and scientific events in Bulgaria; as well as, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of culture between the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria. It has provided the platform for future cooperation. Regarding the growing interest of Bulgarian youths towards Indonesia and its culture, it has been answered with a cultural exchange program. "Despite the progress, much can be done for the realization of the great potential in the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Bulgaria".

H. E. Ms. Sri Astari Rasjid presented the new Honorary Consul of the Republic of Indonesia in Veliko Tarnovo - Mr. Georgi Shopov. He is the second, after the one in the city of Varna - Mr. Krasimir Simov.

Later the guests at the reception enjoyed the festival. They attended a fashion show with Indonesian textiles, the traditional dance of Saman Gaio, and they also heard various musical performances. Everyone had the opportunity to see the exhibition of the antique handmade textiles - batik, ikat, songket, tenun, jewelery and artifacts; as well as, to try the dishes of the famous Indonesian cuisine.

The photos were provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the Republic of Bulgaria.

First line: H. E. Ms. Sri Astari Rasjid, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia, and Mr. Rumen Dimitrov, Deputy Minister of Culture; Her Excellency and the guests; Cutting the cake (from left to right): Mr. Rumen Dimitrov, Mrs. Slava Ivanova, Director of the National Gallery, Ms. Sri Astari Rasjid and the Honorary Consuls in Varna and Veliko Tarnovo - Mr. Krasimir Simov and Mr. Georgi Shopov.

Second line: moments from the festival and the embassy team