When shuttlers learn Batik and dance Kecak

Athletes and officials were invited to try some Kecak dance and to dress in Indonesian batik at the Indonesia Open welcome dinner held after the first round on Tuesday at […]

Athletes and officials were invited to try some Kecak dance and to dress in Indonesian batik at the welcome dinner held after the first round on Tuesday at the Golden Ballroom Sultan Hotel.

By Altania Cut Wigri, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live)

Indonesian cultural themes are always highlighted at the welcome dinner at the Djarum Indonesia Open Premier.  As in previous years, athletes were welcomed with a dinner event filled with cultural events to offer an introduction to the country.

“Entertaining guests has become our duty as host.  The participants have come all the way from their respective countries to Indonesia.  On this occasion we would like them to be even more aware of other various aspects of Indonesian culture,” said Djarum representative Roland Halim.

This year, the welcome dinner held on Tuesday – after one day of qualifying and one of two days of first round action – at the Golden Ballroom Sultan Hotel.  The event was hosted by VJ Daniel Mananta and Nirina Zubir.  The athletes and officials were introduced and invited to try Kecak, a Balinese dance.  In addition they also got an introduction to the method of making batik, which has been recognized as one of the world’s cultural heritages.

The organizer requires all attendees to don traditional Indonesian batik  and some of the world’s top shuttlers had the opportunity to wear Batik.  Among these were Chen Long and Li Xuerui of China, Hans Kristian Vittinghus and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark, Ratchanok Intanon and Maneepong Jongjit of Thailand, Taufik Hidayat, Melati Daeva Oktiaviani and Edi Subaktiar of Indonesia, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia, and Arundhati Pantawane and Jerry Pranaav Chopra of India.  They were a real hit, attired in their traditional Batik Cirebon ‘Mega Mendung’ outfits.

Danish singles player Hans-Kristian Vittinghus said, introducing batik is a good idea to popularize the local culture.  “This is traditional Indonesian clothing.  This outfit is very different than the others.  I’m happy to wear this,” said the world’s 15th-ranked men’s singles player.  Another shuttler from Denmark, Christinna Pedersen, said that she likes the concepts of welcome dinner held in the Indonesia Open because each year it introduces different concepts.  Agreeing with Hans and Christinna, Chan Peng Soon from Malaysia also said that he felt happy and comfortable to wear the batik.

Despite the batik theme, not all players wore batik costumes to the Welcome Dinner.  Doubles player Liliyana Natsir did look neat with a batik shirt, but Meiliana Jauhari went with a more casual polo shirt and the teams from Korea, Japan, and China sported their team training uniforms.

In addition to the dinner, guests were treated to a performance by Indonesian singer Denada while they dined. Denada also invited some guests to the stage and asked them to sing and dance in the Indonesian musical style of Dangdut.  The guests were taught to do a drill, chainsaw, and duck dance.  Moreover, the organizer also entertained the guests by providing door prizes with latest gadgets.  It was Muhammad Ulinnuha of Indonesia whose number was picked out of 250 lottery numbers, but the host required him to dance Gangnam Style and Jai Ho before he would be awarded his iPad.

The atmosphere became melancholy when Taufik Hidayat confirmed to those present that the Indonesia Open would be his final tournament before his retirement.  When asked why he had chosen to retire, Taufik said that this was the right time to say goodbye to international badminton.  Chen Long from China expressed his hope that Taufik would always be happy and successful.

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