IIEC Spectacular Performances!
Indonesian culture comes to Kamloops this weekend when high school students from a boarding school in Jakarta take the stage to perform Merantau: A Hero’s Journey.
It is a traditional Indonesian story being told by visiting students from the International Islamic Education Council.
The audience will follow the travels of Hamid, an apprentice from Indonesia who has been sent on a journey. The 130 students, between 12 and 17 years old, will tell Hamid’s story through song, dance and oration along with traditional Indonesian music, instruments and costume.
They have been hard at work since 2017 practising for the performance. Rehearsals began last year back home in Indonesia in preparation for their six-week visit to Kamloops.
The group is in the River City studying at the World International Branch of Thompson Rivers University (TRU). The performance is just one component of a curriculum for a short-term program offered by the Indonesian school and its partnership with TRU. This is the fifth year students from the International Islamic Education Council have come to Kamloops.
“This is such an important program to me,” says Myrissa Krenzler, a program coordinator with TRU World. “I have been with it since 2013 when it began and it is such a joy to see how it has grown and changed.”
Krenzler says she’s very proud of Kamloops and how open and welcoming the city is to the students.
“Beyond that, I see a city that takes an interest in this program and the students. Each student is staying with a Kamloops family as a result of a home-stay initiative. This is such a bonus for our students because Indonesian culture is much different from Canadian.”
She gives the example of the different cuisine and how living with a family helps to build that bridge. Besides sharing a home with a host family, students also take part in other cultural activities, including rock climbing, kayaking and camping.
Dellia Paramitha is a 15-year-old musician from Bandung, West Java. She plays the talempong, a small kettle gong in the percussion section. She says her most memorable experience so far in Kamloops is the public transportation system.
“It takes me anywhere I need to go,” she tells KamloopsMatters.
As for the Sept. 9 show, many of the student performers speak English (subtitles will be provided). Admission to the family-friendly event is free. The show runs from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Sagebrush Theatre, at 821 Munro St.
“It is a program that these students have worked so hard on, and this performance is their way to say thank you to Kamloops,” says Krenzler.
— Marguerite Dodds is a TRU journalism intern