A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
You will always be amazed at the things you never expect to learn when you live in and experience a foreign culture. Being a foodie (as we all are), I have to say that living in Leiden really broadens my horizon when it comes to… Indonesian food. Strange as it may sound, I never had a chance to try Indonesian food before, and my knowledge about this cuisine is just limited to mi goreng. Of course, like any other cuisine in the world, Indonesian people eat more than one kind of dishes. In fact, they have A LOT more than one, as I just learned after going to the Indonesian Food Festival in Enschede last week.
Probably because of the history, the Indonesian community in the Netherlands is significantly big. From my observation, here it seems a bit easier to spot Indonesian restaurants and find Indonesian food than other Asian cuisines like Japanese or Korean ones. And it’s a really interesting thing to notice because it’s quite different from the countries that I have lived in before.
Back to the festival, it was actually quite a pleasant experience. My Indonesian friends actually succeeded to persuade me to sit 2 and a half hours on the train to try Indonesian food, which they promised “will be very authentic because it will be cooked by Indonesian students.” And I glad I went. The festival was held inside the lovely campus of University of Twente, where everyone sat on the grass, enjoyed the food and watched various performances. They really went all the way with the food: a wide range of varieties, sumptuous portion and great spiciness (which my friends had to give their thumbs up!). The show was quite fun to watch also, ranging from live band performances, traditional dances and games to a flashmob at the end.
All in all, even though we might have spent more time on the train than at the festival itself, it was really fun and you can see it as the great excuse to explore another city of the Netherlands which you’re not likely to visit. It’s nice to discover the green and large campus of University of Twente as well, such a different scene and atmosphere compared to ours in Leiden 😛