Left to right, Indonesian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) president Philippe Augier, author Andrea Hirata, TV journalist Ajeng Kamaratih, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) rector Kadarsah Suryadi, former vice minister tourism Sapta Nirwandar, lecturer Gadis Arivia, actress Catherine Deneuve, French Ambassador Jean-Charles Berthonnet, head of France Alumni Indonesia Association (IAPI) Poppy Dharsono and Institut Français d'Indonesie director Maarc Piton on Sunday (26/03). (JG Photo/Dhania Putri Sarahtika)

Celebration of French Culture, Recognition of Indonesian Alumni


MARCH 27, 2017

Jakarta. The Embassy of France and Institut Français d'Indonesie celebrated French culture with a gala dinner at the Raffles Hotel in South Jakarta on Sunday (26/03).

The hotel's ballroom was decorated to resemble a starry evening, with dim post lighting and flowers. Guests were seated at round tables and served delicacies prepared by Michelin-starred chef Jean-François Piège.

"I encourage you all to visit France because we share similarities in taste," Piège said.

Music performances and fashion shows accompanied the dinner.

Indonesian designer Sebastian Gunawan presented an array of glamorous gowns, while On Aura Tout Vu Couture showcased its Spring/Summer 2017 collection inspired by imageries of Japanese and Greek goddesses. Neutral shades of black, white, grey and cream complimented by pearls and shells dominated the collection.

A model presents an On Aura Tout Vu Couture gown at the Raffles Hotel in South Jakarta on Sunday (26/03). (JG Photo/Dhania Putri Sarahtika)


Five notable Indonesian alumni of French universities received awards for their contributions in the fields of education, culture and business.

"These trophies are given to those with remarkable career and contributions to the development of Indonesia-France relations," French Ambassador Jean-Charles Berthonnet said.

Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) rector Kadarsah Suryadi received the award for his contributions in the higher education and research. Kadarsah obtained his DEA degree in industrial engineering from École Centrale Paris and doctorate in production management from Aix-Marseille University.

The award was also given to Andrea Hirata, a writer known for "Laskar Pelangi" ("Rainbow Troops") and a graduate of the University of Paris. His books have been translated to French and published by Mercure de France.

"I was dreaming to have my works published in French and this dream came true," Andrea said.

Ajeng Kamaratih, who now works for Metro TV channel, was recognized for her media career. Ajeng is a graduate of the Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne, a prestigious French language course at Paris-Sorbonne University.

Former vice minister of tourism Sapta Nirwandar, who now leads the Indonesia Halal Lifestyle Center, received the award in the business category.

In 1982, Sapta obtained a scholarship from the French government to study at the renown Ecole National d'Administration (ENA) and became its first Indonesian graduate.

The last recipient was Gadis Arivia, lecturer at the University of Indonesia and founder of "Jurnal Perempuan," the first feminist academic journal in the country.

She received her Master's degree from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in 1994, and her doctorate from the University of Indonesia.

The awards were given to the nominees by the ambassador, Institut Français Indonesia director Maarc Piton, Indonesian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Philippe Augier, France Alumni Indonesia Association (IAPI) head Poppy Dharsono and prominent French actress Catherine Deneuve, who was the special guest at the event.