It is said that for people who have lived abroad and faced other cultures, some would realize and feel more appreciation to his/her own cultural identity. It was, perhaps, what the Javanesse in Switzerland felt. The longing for a Javanesse values, culture and tradition – and not forget to mention, the food and homesickness, which encouraged them to have a meet up between them.
Then, it all started when the Javanesse who have lived in Switzerland for quite some time initiated a Wong Jowo (or Javanesse people) meeting on May 2007 in Fribourg. It drew many attentions and appreciations that later, on 17 January 2010, Paguyuban Joglo Semar was officially formed in Geneva.
Today, Paguyuban Joglo Semar has 102 members who reside in many cantons of Switzerland, such as Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg, Valais, Bern, Solothurn, Aargau and Jura. Likewise, there are also some members who live in the France neighborhood close to Switzerland, like Annemasse, Saint-Julien-en-Genevois and Prévessin-Moëns.
The head of Paguyuban Joglo Semar, Ki Sri Joko Wiyono says, “Basically, the nature, characteristics and culture of Java are different (in some regions of Java). However, it is from one root. Therefore, it is embodied and create a sense of bond and unity wherever the Javanesse may live, even if they live overseas.”
Even though this non-profit and non-commercial association was formed originally for Javanesse, it has evolved into a community for everyone from any cultures and ethnics of Indonesia and their families in Switzerland. Furthermore, foreigners who develop interest in Javanesse culture or friends of Indonesia are also warmly welcomed in this association.
Therefore, Paguyuban Joglo Semar Switzerland now is an association to accommodate Javanesse culture admirers who currently live overseas, especially in Switzerland. It has an objective to be an instrument to conserve national heritage, particularly the richness and nobility of Javanesse culture in Switzerland.
Moreover, this association has the intention not to entertain any of Ethnics, Religion, Race and Groups issues, as well as politics issue. It aims to strengthen the bond and unity of Indonesians and the membership is open to anyone who wishes to gain more understanding and appreciate the notable values of Javanesse culture.
Besides introducing and promoting about Javanesse value teaching to the members, there are also numerous activities, such as Javanesse dancing course, painting, cooking class, a demo how to put on Javanesse hair bun and woman’s traditional clothes to an exhibition of Javanesse and Indonesia’s culture and art.
The exhibition that was held last June 2012 in Geneva, home to United Nations headquarters and many of International Organisations and bankings. The Paguyuban Joglo Semar’s members organized the event and it was sponsored by Air France & KLM, by providing a return KLM ticket Geneva – Bali, and also Pasar Indonesia Versand for Indonesia’s foods products promotion. The event went success but the most important feature behind that event was probably the sense as part of the family, the spirit of togetherness and gotong royong – features that most Indonesians have everywhere. (AY)
(Courtesy of Ki Sri Joko Wiyono, the head of Paguyuban Joglo Semar – CH)