TANGO CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR CHARITY
AN AUCTION COUPLED WITH A TANGO DANCE PERFORMANCE HAS HELPED JAKARTANS SUPPORT ORGANIC FARMING INITIATIVES AND VULNERABLE YOUNG PEOPLE.
Argentinian Ambassador to Indonesia Ricardo Luis Bocalandro hosted a fundraising event on Wednesday at his residence to support a West Java-based non-profit organization called The Learning Farm, which seeks to promote sustainable organic farming by involving vulnerable youths, local school dropouts and refugees alike in a residential program that helps them develop and practice skills.
As suggested by its name, the Tango Christmas Party sought to attract people by featuring a tango performance by two professional Argentinean professional dancers.
About 100 people, representatives from the Indian, Pakistani, Slovakian and Dutch embassies, as well as local public figures who are friends of the Argentinean embassy, participated in the event.
LEARN TO FARM
After guests enjoyed some snacks and Argentinian wine during the first hour of the reception, the ambassador’s spouse, Maria Elena Urriste de Bocalandro, introduced the Learn to Farm organization.
The organization is conducting residential programs for youngsters from around the globe so that they can learn and practice at its farm in Cianjur, West Java. It has 845 alumni from about 20 different countries.
During the fundraising event, a number of vouchers were auctioned, including for stays in hotels like the Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali and Four Seasons Jakarta. Tickets to a number of social activities in numerous embassies, like an evening of Belgium beer tasting for 12 people, dinner at the residences of the Slovakian ambassador and the Dutch ambassador for 10 and lunch at the residence of the Pakistani ambassador for 20, were also auctioned.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to The Learning Farm.
Eight youngsters who joined the residential program were also present at the event to get their certificates. They came from various parts of Indonesia.
“Here, I learned how to make my own organic soil fertilizer from kitchen trash; I would like to apply the knowledge and create an organic farm in my own village in the Lampung province,” one 20-yearold participant named Eka said. He had dropped out of college because of financial problems and after gaining some skills from the program, he was hoping to boost them and be better equipped to help out on his parents’ farm.
Another youngster named Abas, 18, who comes from Bogor, West Java, had a history similar to Eka’s: He had also dropped out of senior high school because of financial problems.
Abas likewise aspired to help his family improve its welfare by learning new, sustainable ways of farming. Aside from agrarian skills, however, his experience in the residential program also brought him personal growth.
“I learned how to manage my time and life cycle better from the time I wake to the moment I go to bed again; before joining this program, I had a very messy life rhythm,” he said.
Also included among the eight beneficiaries were three refugees from Somalia and Afghanistan.
“If we never had been refugees in our country, we would not have had tango,” Ambassador Bocalandro said after the program participants received their certificates.
Tango is a partnered dance that originated in the 1880s along the River Plate, the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. It soon afterwards spread to the rest of the world. Early tango was known as
tango criollo, or Creole tango. There are many forms of tango today. Popular among tango dancing circles, the authentic tango is considered to be the one closest to the form originally danced in Argentina and Uruguay.
On Aug. 31, 2009, UNESCO approved a joint proposal by Argentina and Uruguay to include the tango on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
…then it takes you to tango
After the auction was finished, with all the offered items being bought by the highest bids, the event continued with the tango performed by a couple of male and female dancers. They danced twice while guests sat and watched. Afterwards, the music continued, with the guests being encouraged to form couples and move to the dance floor. The festive, boisterous and lively event lasted for more than two hours.
“I’m fascinated by the tango because it requires high balance and equilibrium, involving lots of energetic movements that might cause you to fall or break your ankles if don’t coordinate your body parts very carefully,” a guest named Julia told J+.