Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi speaks during the opening of the annual 'Pejambon Ifthar' event, attended by foreign ambassadors and representatives of various ministries, international organizations and agencies, in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Foreign Ministry Serves 'Iftar Nusantara' to Foreign Envoys

BY : NUR YASMIN

MAY 14, 2019

Jakarta. Foreign ambassadors and representatives of various ministries, international organizations and agencies attended iftar, or fast-breaking, event hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The event, themed "Iftar Nusantara," presented the diversity of Indonesian culture through cuisine.

"Ramadan is a holy month, a month where people are encouraged to perform good deeds. In essence, Ramadan carries with it the spirit of goodness. This same spirit of goodness is also carried by Indonesia to the United Nations Security Council, especially during its presidency this May," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in her opening remarks.

"Iftar in Indonesia is our way to gather during Ramadan, not only with other Muslims, but also with friends from other faiths," she said.

The ministry served various Indonesian dishes, ranging from otak-otak (fish cakes), green banana ice, soto Banjar (Banjar soup), wedang ronde, Bogana rice, and lumpia (fried dumplings), to Sumatran lamb curry with mesh bread.

Retno wore a black dress and orange hijab, while officials sported Muslim tops and sarongs and the women wore kebaya, which was decidedly different from their usual formal attire.

A few ambassadors, such as South Korea's Kim Chang-beom, Japan's Masafumi Ishii and Vietnam's Pamp Vinh Quang, wore batik shirts.

"This year's event is like 'kampung Ramadan' [Ramadan village]; we brought out our cultures and cuisines, and the ambassadors are very happy with it; they are all enjoying the flavors of Indonesia," the minister told journalists during the event.

Retno also explained her peacebuilding efforts during a UN Security Council meeting in New York on May 10 and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Doha, Qatar, on May 1.

"Three days ago, I returned from New York after several meetings related to peacekeeping operations, with the focus on training and capacity building. A week earlier in Doha, I held several meetings related to the peace process in Afghanistan," Retno said.

She said Indonesia would continue contributing to the peace process by strengthening development to create a better environment for peace.

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