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200 people attend festival in Taipei marking Indonesia's Kartini Day

04/21/2024 09:24 PM
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Some of the 200 participants take the stage to dance when the vibrant Indonesian music kicks in during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.
Some of the 200 participants take the stage to dance when the vibrant Indonesian music kicks in during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.

Taipei, April 21 (CNA) Around 200 people attended the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday that paid tribute to the late Indonesian national hero who advocated for women's equality.

Held at the Taipei City Mall, the festival organized by Radio Taiwan International (Rti) and the Taiwan Foreigners Service and Care Association attracted both Indonesian migrant workers and Taiwanese.

Featuring several singing and dancing performances and a fashion show highlighting traditional Indonesian "Batik" attire, the festival attracted several performers from Indonesia.

Kiki Asiska, a singer from Indonesia famous for her Dangdut singing (a genre of Indonesian folk music), performs during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.
Kiki Asiska, a singer from Indonesia famous for her Dangdut singing (a genre of Indonesian folk music), performs during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.

One of them, Kiki Asiska, a singer from Indonesia famous for her Dangdut singing (a genre of Indonesian folk music), said she was happy to have the chance to meet her Indonesian fans in Taiwan and celebrate Kartini Day with them.

The 32-year-old singer said that the video clip of a female Indonesian migrant worker in Taiwan protecting the person she cared for during the powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake on April 3 had gone viral in Indonesia, and she hoped that all women in Taiwan can "have kind and noble hearts" like that caregiver.

Beaming with joy after dancing with her friends, Yani Lindawati, an Indonesian caretaker who has worked for nine years in Taiwan, told CNA that she had not expected her employer to let her take her monthly day off early because she had only been in her new job for 19 days.

"The responses from employers [in Taiwan] have been very good. I see that many migrant workers were allowed to take a day off even though they are looking after people who are sick," the 49-year-old caretaker said.

Indonesian caretaker Yani Lindawati expresses gratitude as her employer allows her to move her day off forward to attend the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.
Indonesian caretaker Yani Lindawati expresses gratitude as her employer allows her to move her day off forward to attend the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.

Min Chou (周民宗), a 27-year-old occupational therapist, said he happened to be passing by the festival and decided to take part, and had found everyone to be very friendly and enthusiastic.

Due to the nature of his job, Chou said he regularly interacts with Indonesian caretakers when providing on-site services at the homes of elderly patients and felt the majority of them were serious and diligent in fulfilling their duties.

He said he is better acquainted with migrant workers than most Taiwanese and often shares his insights and experiences with friends and online communities whenever discussions about migrant workers arise.

"I try to help clarify any misunderstandings or misconceptions that people may have," Chou said.

Occupational therapist Min Chou poses for a photo during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.
Occupational therapist Min Chou poses for a photo during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.

Kartini Day, celebrated on April 21, commemorates the birth of Raden Ajeng Kartini, a national hero in Indonesia renowned for her pioneering efforts in girls' education and women's empowerment during the Dutch colonial period.

It was particularly fitting that it be celebrated in Taiwan, with Rti Chairperson Cheryl Lai (賴秀如) describing all of the female migrant workers in Taiwan as "Kartini."

Lai said that approximately 70 percent of the roughly 280,000 Indonesian migrant workers in Taiwan are female, and they have made significant contributions to Taiwan, particularly in the caretaking sector.

She emphasized their bravery in facing challenges, such as the earthquake on April 3.

"They protected the elders, and they were so brave to keep working rather than run away during the earthquake," she said, adding that it was important for Taiwanese society to show its appreciation to them, which was why Rti organized the festival.

Radio Taiwan International Chairperson Cheryl Lai gives opening remarks during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.
Radio Taiwan International Chairperson Cheryl Lai gives opening remarks during the Kartini Taiwan Music Festival in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo April 21, 2024.

When asked how to better serve the Indonesian community in Taiwan, Lai said Rti would like to air more live shows and news program in its Indonesian language channel, since it is "what they need when working in Taiwan."

(By Sunny Lai and Miralux)

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