The Indonesian government is preparing to hold a congress that aims to mobilize the Indonesian diaspora communities overseas in the hopes of building a strong a vibrant community of Indonesians living abroad.
The Indonesian diaspora congress will be held in Los Angeles July 6-8, Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, Dino Pati Djalal told BeritaSatu.
“The Indonesian Diaspora Congress is aimed at encouraging the Indonesian diaspora community where ever they are to united into a bigger community built with a real force,” Dino said.
Diaspora is a broad term that refers to the migration of people away from an established or ancestral homeland. The congress, which is open to Indonesians residing anywhere, already has registered participants from the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Singapore and a number of other countries.
Dino said he hoped the congress would build both friendship and a spirit of togetherness between Indonesian diaspora groups. The government is also hoping “to awaken the awareness among the diaspora to create synergy with their nation.”
Tourism and Creative Industry Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, Education Minister Muhammad Nuh and Deputy House Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso are among the officials planning to attend the congress, which will also discuss problems faced by diaspora communities. Officials hope to formulate ways to address these issues.
The business world will also be well represented with entrepreneurs such as Chairul Tanjung and Anindya Bakrie. Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of Indonesian Islamic organization Muhammadiyah as well as artists Nicholas Saputra and Cinta Laura are due to attend as well.
The congress, to be opened by Ambassador Dino and the mayor of Los Angeles, will see the first day filled with cultural performances. Discussions and debates will be held starting on the second day, when participants will be split into several groups in the hopes of fostering a more effective discussion.
Among the topics to be mulled are the empowerment of the business sector outside of Indonesia, the promotion of Indonesian restaurants overseas, as well as the importance of approaches on the local politics and government.
Gender issues —including the role of women as bread winners or community leaders, the role of the younger generation, education and innovation — are also topics on the list.
The second day will close with a “Harmony in Diversity” concert. The congress is scheduled to close on Sunday with a declaration that is aimed at concertizing the commitment of the Indonesian diaspora.
“This declaration will become a basis for the development of the Indonesian diaspora in the future, and is also hoped that further meetings of follow up congresses will be held to follow up the results of the first Indonesian diaspora congress,” Dino said.