Indonesia celebrates unity in diversity at Janadriyah Saudi cultural festival

Artists perform at the Indonesian pavilion at Janadriyah festival. (AN Photo)
Updated 19 February 2018

Indonesia celebrates unity in diversity at Janadriyah Saudi cultural festival

RIYADH: Indonesia, the Southeast Asian nation made up of thousands of islands and home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking different languages, is representing Asia at the Janadriyah festival this year.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry invited the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh to participate in the Janadriyah festival, Arab News learned on Monday.
“This is as a follow-up to the memorandum of understanding signed to bolster cultural affairs between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia that was inked during the historic visit of King Salman to Indonesia in March 2017,” said Sunan J. Rustam, information officer at the embassy.
Acknowledging the honor, Indonesian Ambassador Agus Maftuh Abegebriel said: “The partnership between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia is moving in the right direction. There are many untapped opportunities in cultural cooperation between the two brotherly countries.”
He also said that Indonesia and Saudi Arabia were key countries in the Muslim world, and with the fresh change of open policy in the Kingdom, cultural cooperation could be synergized to promote peaceful, open and moderate Islam to the world.
Notably, this is Indonesia’s first participation in Janadriyah, the national heritage and culture festival named after the village on the northern outskirts of Riyadh, where it has been organized since its inception in 1985.
Indonesia, represented by its embassy in Riyadh, is showcasing its diverse culture and heritage including traditional dances and signature dishes of the country.
Unity in diversity takes center stage in Indonesia’s participation at the festival, sharing primarily the experience of how Islam and democracy can coexist peacefully in a diverse nation, said the embassy official.
The Indonesian pavilion also highlights tourism on the largest archipelago in the world including packages of halal tourism from Lombok and Sumatra and brochures on Indonesian international products.
Lombok, also known as the island of 1,000 mosques, has been recognized as the world’s best halal tourism and honeymoon destination at a recent event held in Abu Dhabi.
Besides Indonesia, other countries representing various continents include Brazil, Algeria, Ukraine, and Ethiopia.
India is the guest of honor country this year. The annual heritage festival, which runs for 18 days, will conclude on Feb. 24.


Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

  • Presence of 2.6 million Indian expats in Saudi Arabia boosts bilateral ties

On the occasion of India’s 71st Republic Day, I extend my best wishes to my fellow Indian citizens in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations which reflect centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.
Visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and in October 2019 plus the exchanges of other high-level visits have further strengthened the warm relations between the two countries.
As our prime minister said during his visit in October 2019, India would work hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.  
The presence of over 2.6 million Indian expatriates in the Kingdom has also contributed immensely to the strength of economic and socio-cultural ties between our two nations.
Bilateral trade delegations have also increased in the last few years. Indian business delegations are now a regular feature of trade exhibitions in Jeddah and other parts of the Kingdom. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah works tirelessly and diligently to provide the best possible service to Indian nationals residing in the western region of the Kingdom.
This good service includes reducing to three working days the length of time required for issuing/reissuing passports.
The introduction of an e-visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined visa processing and provides a smooth first step for those wanting to visit India.
The Indian government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hajj Minister Dr. Mohammed Benten for making excellent arrangements during Hajj 2019. In that year, 200,000 Indian nationals performed Hajj and more than 650,000 Indians came for Umrah.
The Indian side remains committed to partnering closely with Saudi Arabia and working toward a very successful Hajj 2020.
We sincerely express our gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior and the authorities of Jawazat, Tarheel and other concerned agencies who have always provided exemplary assistance to the consulate which has enabled the comfortable stay of the many Indians visiting, living, and working in the Kingdom.


• Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh is India’s consul general in Jeddah.