Warmest of smiles and a welcoming air, this is what visitors were greeted with- for three days from 26 April 2018, at a trade exhibition and fair held on the Ground Floor of the Le Méridien Hotel in Dhaka, giving an absolutely delightful experience for the visitors. More than 45 exhibitors promoted Indonesian products, ranging from the traditional and world-famous Indonesian Batik and jewelry, fashion and handicrafts, to services, food and beverages, automotives, and tourism destinations.
A variety of programmes were carefully designed for the entertainment of all the visitors. It started with short films on Indonesia and all its different regions. Sights of Bali were quite understandably prominent as it is one of the most well known holiday destinations.
Beautiful traditional dances were presented as well. And what an experience that was, men and women wearing beautiful and colourful clothing and dancing to their music using large hand fans. Everyone enjoyed the cultural program and showered the dancers with a huge round of applause.
Another sight to behold was the fashion show that took place at 3pm on Friday and Saturday. It was a beautiful and breath-taking representation of Muslim fashion wear. All the outfits were designed by Lita Berlianti, a big fashion designer from Indonesia. The summer theme in the design was light beige, pink and peach. Each and every model was accessorised to the T to fit the look the designer wanted to accomplish. All the visitors were in absolute awe after watching the show, the dresses and the abayas were very different from what is normally seen on the runways here in Dhaka.
Coming to the more important aspect of the whole fair, 38 stalls were set up by different business people from Indonesia, all full of beautiful products from different regions of the country.
Batik was one of the most common items, and it was sold at various booths. And they were quite the sight as each and every one of them had beautiful designs painted in multiple colours. The best part was that one of the stalls gave the visitors a short experience of creating batik as people coloured pieces of cotton fabric with their special mix of paints. Rabeya Islam couldn't stay away from the fair once she got to know about the event from the newspaper. She too, like many others, came to get the famous batik of Indonesia.
Another common item for sale was tea, white tea to be more specific and a show stopper for some of the booths. Neni Hn Sato, tea and food coordinator at Lively, was a delight to talk to. She is situated here in Dhaka for the past few months and is trying her best to spread her love and understanding of tea among the people here. She was very keen to introduce everyone to the new and more exciting blends of tea. Younus Chowdhury, one of the many visitors was thoroughly impressed by the tea, saying, “Tea is one of our prides, we should try to enjoy all types of tea out there in the world.”
Many types of spices, coffees, jewelry and pre-made items were showcased by the different booths. Something that all of the booths had in common was the search for importers, as that was the whole reason for coming to Bangladesh; to open the market for their products, and thankfully, a lot of the exhibitioners were able to accomplish just that.
The Indonesian fair has surely had a lasting effect on the minds of all the visitors at the event, with the diversity of their products also the warmth and hospitality that was shown to whoever went up to the stalls.
By Qazi Mustabshara Tabir