Members of Ohio University’s Indonesian Student Association (PERMIAS) at a past Indonesian Night celebration. (Submitted)

10th Annual Indonesian Night Slated For Feb. 12

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February 12 will mark the 10th annual Indonesian Night celebration for the Ohio University’s Indonesian Student Association (PERMIAS).

According to the group’s president, Moch Syifa, the yearly event intends to bring together both the student body of Ohio University and the larger Athens community for an evening of dancing, food, and general celebration of the diverse, rich culture of Indonesia.

“The Indonesian Student Association was formed, basically, for Indonesian students who are studying at OU, but we have very diverse members,” said Syifa. “Indonesians who are not students are welcome to join us; as well as domestic students and other international students.”

The theme for this year’s event is “mystical Java,” referring to the myriad of religious and spiritual traditions practiced on Java, the most densely populated island in Indonesia. The island is also home to the sprawling city of Jakarta, the capitol of the country.

“Some people just know the ‘Java’ computer program or ‘java coffee,’” said Syifa. “We wanted to introduce Java to people because, culturally, things that are considered ‘mystical’ are appreciated in Java, in a positive way.”

Syifa referenced the many majestic temples on Java, both Buddhist and Hindu, as being one way in which the “mystical” is more mainstream in Indonesian culture. Java also has numerous historical Islamic mosques and Christian churches built throughout the island.

Syifa said that preparation for the event has been underway for a few weeks now, the dance component of the event being perhaps the most elaborate one.

“The dances are complicated, even for Indonesian students,” said Syifa. “Each dance is new to us, so it’s something we have to learn from the very beginning.”

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. in the Baker Ballroom with various traditional Indonesian appetizers being served before the main event of the evening: the elaborate dance and marital arts performances. Syifa said that the particular dance that will be performed during the event is from West Sumatra.

Tickets for the event are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 2 to 12 years old. Dances, martial arts demonstrations, Indonesian food, and gifts for all will all be a part of the celebration. Tickets are on sale on the first floor of the Baker Center or by emailing Syifa at