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Arunika 2.0 Continues To Resonate A Lasting Impact On Students

Writer: Emmyllisa Anak Achai

Editor: Raihan Farhanna Binti Mohamed Rizal 

Source: Committee of Arunika 2.0


BANGI, 13 Nov - Held in Ibu Zain College at the National University of Malaysia (UKM), this annual event highlighting Indonesian culture is deemed to have achieved remarkable success in spreading awareness and promoting the richness of Indonesian culture, customs, and heritage internationally among the students in UKM.

Arunika 2.0, which was planned since May and organized by the Indonesian International Students Mobility Awards (IISMA) of UKM, one month ago, marking the event's triumphant return for the second consecutive year. Inspired by the success of last year's event, the attendance at Arunika 2.0 surpassed expectations, drawing in around 70 to 80 participants who eagerly engaged in this event.

Arunika 2.0, featured a standout attraction and the mesmerizing Tari Saman dance. Anindya Talitha Hasna, an accomplished awardee, brought her expertise to lead the team, infusing professionalism into the dance performance that captivated the audience. The event also included the preparation of Indonesian foods, souvenirs and games, resulting in a rich and engaging experience for participants.

In addition, the director of Arunika 2.0, Debora Ajeng Wahyuningtyas expressed her gratitude, noting the enthusiastic response and heightened engagement from the students.

“Thankfully, we achieved the set objectives, told by how many students here finally know many new things about Indonesia and they showed interest and engagement too.”

“During the fashion show session, the models, which included both local and international students from diverse countries, exhibited a genuine interest in Indonesia’s batik and its diverse stylings while there were also some students who exchanged knowledge of the cultures in their own country with us, Indonesians. So, the arrow was thrown right at our target,” Debora added.

The success of Arunika 2.0 in fostering cultural exchange and awareness was not only measured in numbers but also in the palpable enthusiasm displayed by participants.

Saw Min Yee, 22, a student of Biological Science stated, “Cultural events like Arunika 2.0 play a crucial role in shaping students perspectives by exposing them to diverse cultural backgrounds. Such events foster open-mindedness and help prevent the development of unfair prejudice based on cultural differences."

Min Yee also shared her perspective as a local student and conveyed her interest in participating in similar activities again in the future as such events provide an opportunity for her to celebrate and understand different cultures, and promote inclusivity by fostering understanding, respect and appreciating the cultural background.

Meanwhile, a student from Japan, shared their vibrant experience and newfound knowledge at Arunika 2.0, shedding light on cultural differences and culinary surprises.

Sakiko, 21, expressed, “I found it enjoyable since I was not familiar with Indonesian culture. Surprisingly, I learned that Indonesian food tends to be spicier compared to Malaysian cuisine.”

“I would like to join again because I like to know foreign cultures. Now I live in Malaysia, but there are many international students here. I am happy if there is a chance to be able to learn about their culture or things about their country," said Sakiko.

When asked about the prospect of the university organizing more events like Arunika 2.0, the participant firmly advocated for it, stating, "Yes, because the university is not only for learning but also for communication between students. This gives students a chance to know each other and the culture or society they live in."

In a forward-looking note, IISMA extends anticipation for its next activity. Emphasizing the significance of Arunika as an annual program by the Indonesian government, there is hopeful expectation for the future awaiting the potential IISMA UKM 4th batch to continue paving the way for Arunika 3.0, promoting Indonesia globally, and engaging more UKM students in the vibrant tapestry of Indonesian culture.

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