INDOINDIANS BAZAAR 2022
As the famous Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, it is the time for youth to know who they are by being active in contributing to various activities. After a long time waiting for offline networking and volunteering opportunities, our three BINUS international students (Faith from Nigeria, Sandra from India, and Mey from Cambodia) were able to participate as volunteers in the 4th Indoindians Bazaar 2022, quenching their thirst for meeting like-minded people and learn more about different culture in Indonesia.
Indoindians Bazaar is an opportunity to bring under one roof buyers and sellers for a day of shopping, friendships and fun while connecting the Indian diaspora, expat, and local communities in Jakarta which held by Indoindians community. It features apparel, handicrafts, food, education, households’ products, fashion, and jewelry. The bazaar was held on this year’s Kartini Day; Thursday, April 21st at Hotel Le Meridien, Jakarta. More than fifty vendors participated in Indoindians Bazaar 2022.
Let’s join our three international students showing a glimpse of their experiences in Indoindians Bazaar!
Sandra, Faith, and Mey are glad to share their cross-cultural experiences participating in this event. They had an opportunity to be stall keepers for one of the popular vendors. Our international student’s trio were helping and supporting the vendor on the sales floor and with setup. On the other hand, they supported the organizer and visitors with directions as well. The trio felt a bit nervous, but excited at the same time as they will meet visitors from different backgrounds and help them with what they need!
It turned out that a lot of Indonesian people came to the bazaar, so they were also practicing their Indonesian fluency. It will be easy if all the visitors speak English, but a good volunteer like our trio enjoyed challenges! They were digging deep into their memories to remember all the Indonesian phrases they picked up a long time ago, or through the online classes with the other Indonesian students. Mey and Faith found that even speaking in broken Indonesian, the visitors can still understand them, which boosted their confidence in trying to speak more (fun fact, Mey told us that Indonesian apparently is not that hard as there is no specific grammar to follow, and that she found similarities with Khmer language too!). Sandra who speaks Tamil also got the chance to speak with few Indian visitors and taught her friends some basic Indian too.
During the bazaar, they got a chance to shop around first and spoke with the passionate vendors. They managed to make new friends and learned cool tips on building businesses. Some of the tenants also sold unique stuff, such as Himalayan crystal lamps and crystal bracelets. After exchanging a friendly conversation, the crystal bracelets vendors gifted them a charming bracelet that suits each of their personalities and zodiac signs! Beyond the gift, they found the warmth and kindness of the vendors in sharing their passion in their products and business knowledge were one of the true treasures of the opportunity. Sandra found a stall that offered henna art. Henna, or mehndi, is of a cultural significance in India that is thought to resemble beauty, purity, and love. She decided to get one, and it was beautifully done – so captivating to attract the other two students to try it too!
The rewards for our cultural volunteers are the opportunity to learn about the Indian community here in Indonesia, and dig deeper into the culture through arts, crafts, food, and businesses, connect with new people and share meaningful conversations. Our trio was thrilled and felt empowered already from the interactions, but they received another surprise as they received a bunch of beauty products from one of the sponsors. It was a wrap and wonderful day to spend for our wonderful girls on Kartini Day!
Sandra, Faith, and Mey were glad to have amazing and memorable experiences participating in Indoindians Bazaar 2022. Our international students have a lot of opportunities to explore and participate in various activities in the future with other students in Indonesia!