For the last ACICIS Indonesian School Tour program for 2015, we hosted eleven students and three accompanying teachers from Corpus Christi College (Western Australia) in Indonesia’s cultural capital, Yogyakarta. Welcomed by a typical Indonesian wet season downpour, students from Corpus Christi remained enthusiastic to explore more of the culture and the beautiful sites that the city has to offer.

With ‘learning Bahasa Indonesia through culture’ being the key theme of their School Tour, Yogyakarta was the perfect location for Corpus Christi students to be exposed to the rich culture of Java and Indonesia. In their Bahasa Indonesia classes at Sanata Dharma University, they learned about wayang – the traditional Javanese shadow puppets – and the Sajojo Dance from Papua. For their final assessment at Sanata Dharma University, they were grouped into teams and were assigned to make their own wayang out of newspaper and cardboard, which they used to perform a short story in Bahasa Indonesia. To celebrate the success of their short course at Sanata Dharma University, students had the opportunity to try on traditional clothing from all over Indonesia and learned how to do the Papuan traditional dance, Sajojo.

Outside of their classes at Sanata Dharma, students explored the uniqueness of Yogyakarta, from historic sites to its people. At the Borobudur temple, for example, students had the opportunity to mingle with some local students who happened to be visiting at the same time. These new friends did not only introduce them to some new words in Bahasa Indonesia, they also taught them how to do a perfect Indonesian selfie! Students also paid a visit to the Kotagede Royal Cemetery Park, where they dressed up in traditional Javanese clothing and attracted a local reporter to take photos of them.

One of the unique experiences that the Corpus Christi students could bring home is the moves that they learned from their pencak silat class. Pencak silat is the traditional Indonesian martial art that combines self-defense with arts. At the end of the class, some of their pencak silat teachers played a traditional music on lesung – a large Indonesian mortar and pestle used to process rice grains – to accompany their last set of moves.

Thank you to all of our Corpus Christi College participants – we look forward to seeing you all again for another Yogya adventure!

To find out more about our ACICIS Indonesia School Tours, please click here.