A cultural embrace between Indonesia and Cuba took place during the hours of Thursday afternoon in the José White Concert Hall, in the city of Matanzas.
With the presence of the ambassador of that Asian nation, Mr. Alfred Tanduk Palembangan and his wife, the Cuban artists offered a gala in which they showed part of the artistic wealth of both countries. The Ambassador thanked the Provincial Assembly of the People’s Power in Matanzas and Camagüey for their attention during the tour in which he also met with authorities of the Culture Directorate in Matanzas and knew places of historical and patrimonial interest in the Athens of Cuba, declared in recent dates tourist destination.
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He also recalled the exchange between Matanzas and Indonesia in previous years.
The vice president of the Provincial Assembly of Popular Power, Mario Sabines Lorenzo, highlighted the close ties of friendship between Cuba and Indonesia. “The paths of friendship and solidarity call us to this meeting. The relations of Matanzas with other peoples of the world are characterized by strong ties of humanism that are expressed in the actions of exchange, affection and support that we have received from many countries throughout history.
“When we met the possibility of holding a cultural meeting between a representation of Indonesia and Cuba, we did not hesitate to do so. Although geographically distant, Cuba and Indonesia are friendly and very close countries.
“The bilateral ties between our peoples are historical and we always remember that in May 1960 President Sukarno was the first foreign Head of State to visit the island after the triumph of the Revolution. We thank the Ambassador and his team that have thought of us to develop this activity.
” On the Cuban side, the chorus of the provincial art school and the Athens Brass Ensemble wind quintet with iconic themes by musicians from Matanzas such as Simpson’s heights, by Miguel Failde and Mama’s number 5, by Dámaso Pérez Prado.
So also those present appreciated the work of Maestro Eugenio Silva, at the head of the Angklunk orchestra, made up of students and professors from the José White Conservatory in Camagüey.
The angklunk is a typical percussion instrument in Indonesia made of bamboo, with more than a millennium and a half of existence. Declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, it is a curious piece, since each one represents a musical note.
In his presentation the orchestra interpreted emblematic themes of the Cuban national pentagram in genres such as danzón, contradanza, bolero, as well as traditional music from Indonesia.
Students from both archipelagos gave the audience a demonstration of four of the typical dances from various regions of Indonesia: the saman, known as the dance of a thousand hands; the yapon with its cheerful and exotic movements; the tor-tor, created in the thirteenth century, and the sayoyo, all with a history that exceeds a thousand years of existence.
The gala dedicated to the culture of Indonesia in the city of Matanzas reaffirms that, notwithstanding the geographical distances and the diversity of our identities and traditions, both nations preserve cultural values that make them unique in the international context, a convincing demonstration that sometimes the differences unite us.