Monday, 30 April 2018

La Dolce Tenun: All Roads Lead to Rome

"... Rome, by all means Rome,
I will cherish my visit here in my memory as long as I live"
(Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar winning role in "Roman Holiday")

My first encounter with the city of Rome is through "Roman Holiday", my Mother's beloved movie. JET was only 4 years old when Mom used to turn on the video (vhs) -yes, we didn't have the DVDs in the 80s :-). I remember I would sit in a small chair and waiting patiently for the movie to be played. 

The story revolves on the Royal Visit of Princess Ann, a character immortalized by the enchanting Audrey Hepburn, to the Eternal City. The Princess met a dashing reporter, Gregory Peck and realized there was a connection between them. At the end of the movie, the Princess returned to her country after saying a proper royal good bye. To Hepburn, it was the movie that gave her First Oscar. To JET, it was an eye-opening experience of Rome. 

I remember visiting the capital of Italy finally as an adult and found that the city is more enchanting than the one depicted in the Hollywood blockbuster. For those who have not visited the capital of Italy, I must admit that it is not difficult to fall in love to this city. 

Built on 753 BC, myth says the historical city owes its existence to twin brothers of Romulus and Remus who were breastfed by a fox. Rome grew more and more powerful as well as prosperous at the age of Caesars, including the well-known Julius Caesar. 

Each corner of Rome holds a memento to a glorious past as the current city is established upon an ancient city. Rome became not only a capital to the Caesars but also to the Popes. Long before the Papal State Vatican was incepted, Rome has been the seat of Popes. Since Saint Peter to Pope Francis, all Popes call Rome their home. 

Being a Catholic, I always long to return to Rome. Indeed, visiting Rome means having a pilgrimage to the Vatican. Visiting Saint Peter's Basilica in the heart of Holy See, attending a Sunday mass inside the Basilica, praying in front of the final resting places of late Popes and getting mesmerized by the priceless works of art inside the Basilica, including Michelangelo's Pietàstatue. 

So, when the occasion arose recently, I was deeply grateful to be able to walk in the steps of the Popes in Rome. A pilgrimage visit to Vatican requires a good preparation, including fashion preparation. Surely one does not wish to look shabby inside the House of God. I choose to wear a hand-crafted Tenun (hand-woven) knee length jacket not only as a sign of respect to Basilica of St Peter as the Mother Church of all Catholic churches in the world, but also as an ode to the Catholic women of East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia who crafted the Tenun cloth. 

See more of JET's vivid documentation in Instagram (@JETANDJUNG) as well as Facebook Page (JET's Fashion Diplomacy). 

Catatan Kecil Untuk Rekans Diplomat dan Sahabats Fashionista:

Jangan pernah ragu mengenakan busana buatan dalam negeri di luar negeri. Bahkan pada saat sedang berziarah. Salah satu cara memperkenalkan khazanah budaya Indonesia adalah melalui busana. Selama berziarah di Vatikan, JET banyak didekati sesama peziarah dan turis yang mengagumi coat Tenun Maumere yang dikenakannya. 

There was once a classic saying that when in Rome, eat, drink and dress like the Romans (saat sedang berkunjung di Roma, biasakanlah makan, minum dan berbusana ala bangsa Romawi). Well, it is not against the law to do so, but JET prefers to dress in his very own signature attire, hand-crafted from Indonesian traditional textile. After all, the man may travel out of Indonesia, but Indonesia shall always remain in the man's heart and soul as seen by his appearance. 

Further, by showcasing the Tenun coat, JET did not only pay respect to St Peter's Basilica as the Mother Church of all Catholic churches in the world but also an ode to the Catholic women in Maumere who have meticulously crafted the Tenun cloth.  

"Bellisimma Tenun!" (Beautiful Tenun) or "Che Bello!"(How handsome!) were uttered by pilgrims and tourists alike who saw the Tenun coat.

Coat designed by Dana Duryatna for Priya(IG: @priyabydana).

The ever graceful and charming H.E. Madam Esti Andayani, Indonesian Ambassador to the Republic of Italy, Malta, Cyprus, San Marino and FAO, IFAD, WFP, Unidroit.

Behind us is the world famous Peter Paul Rubens's The Triumph of Eucharist tapestry which dated for a few centuries. The panel is one of Indonesian Embassy's stunning artworks collection. 

President Sukarno, First President of Indonesia, in front of Rubens's masterpiece in Indonesian Ambassador's residence. (Source: Indonesian Embassy, Rome) 

With the smart and kind-hearted senior of mine, Mr George Lantu, Deputy Chief of Mission of Indonesian Embassy in Rome. 

With my inspiring senior, Ms Carolina Tinangon, Counsellor on Political Affairs, Indonesia  Embassy in Rome. See our outfits and you know how in love we both are with Batik and Tenun. 

SAngel alias Selfie with Angel! Where else but Vatican provides us with so many cute cherubs and beautiful angels. :)

And then some down time in Trevi Fountain with my dear colleague, Ms Conny Tinangon.

"Totus Tuus" is Saint John Paul II's apostolic motto during His papal years. It is a Latin phrase meaning "totally thine" (totally Yours, God) and expressed his personal Consecration to Mary based on the spiritual approach of Saint Louis de Montfort and the Mariology in his works.

Saint John Paul is one of the longest serving Popes and to date, the second Pope to set foot in Indonesia. During his visit to Indonesia, he met the then President Suharto and led a number of masses in Jakarta as well as in other Catholic regions. 

Angels we have heard on high. Look at baroque style of the Basilica's frescoes, they all add splendour to this Mother of all Churches.

The Basilica centers around the Papal Altar -behind JET- where only the Pope celebrates Mass. It was consecrated by Clement VIII, June 5, 1594, on top of several other altars. Rising above the altar is the 95 feet canopy which is titled Baldacchino, Bernini's masterpiece and first work in St. Peter's. The ancient tomb of St. Peter lies directly below the altar.

Meet Saint Peter bronze statue which the Basilica is named after, Basilica di San Pietro (Saint Peter's Basilica). Each pilgrim would say a prayer and rub or kiss his feet. His feet has been rubbed by millions of pilgrims that they look glossy.

Since it was carved from a single slab of marble, Michelangelo Buonarotti's Pietà-a statue depicting Christ when He was recently deceased and his body is held by his Mother, Blessed Virgin Mary- has been attracted public for centuries. Art critics consider the statue as Michelangelo's best work, even better than fresco of Sistine Chapel and David statue in Firenze.

They adore my Tenun, I adore their printed African Batik. Meet the amazing pilgrims from Nigeria whose Batik outfits display the solemn image of Mother of Perpetual Help.

Learn more about all deceased Popes who are listed in this memorial tablet. From Saint Peter, the First Pope, to Pope John Paul II.

Majestic tombs of the Popes lie at the Grottoes of St Peter's Basilica. 

One of the most visited pilgrimage destinations in Vatican: The tomb of Saint John Paul II. Previously placed in the grotto (underground) where the Pope's remain is placed next to other Popes, this tomb was recently elevated following the canonization of the much-loved Pope. 

Regardless of the drizzling rain, JET and Mbak Conny remain in the St Peter's Square with the thousands of believers waiting upon the appearance of Pope Francis. 

Appearing from His Holiness's window, Pope Francis delivered his Angela Coeli message on Sunday. His voice so tender bringing peace to everyone, even those living in all corners of the Earth. 

Sun-soaked crispy Italian artichoke is served! The fertile land of Italy is home to numerous agricultural products, including the artichokes. 

Piazza di Spagna, or the Spanish Steps, is one of the most famous squares in Rome. The name derived from Palazzo di Spagna, seat of the Embassy of Spain to the Holy See. Nearby is the famed Column of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Piazza di Spagna has always represented a hub for cultural and tourist life in the city of Rome. Artists and scholars have been hanging out here since the 16th century.

Damai Kristus!
Le Paix du Christ!
Peace be with you all. 
Carrera marble and granite are sculpted meticulously to execute this stunning peace bearer for millenniums: the white dove. 

From Rome, with Love, to all JET's friends and families.


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Kartini Day 2018: Elegant Celebration with First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo

"Do you know my motto? I will!
Those two brief words have often supported and took me crossing 
mountains of difficulties and grieves
While the words "I can not" will eliminate our strength
The words "I will" make us hike the mountain easily"
 (Letter of Kartini "Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang")

Those very words are written by Kartini in a letter to Mevrouw Abendanon and her Dutch friends in the Netherlands. Long before we are all accustomed with the term of girl or woman power, Kartini was probably the first in Indonesia who encapsulated the true meaning of national heroine. 

Born in 21 April 1879 to a noble Javanese family, Kartini received a short yet meaningful education. She spoke Dutch fluently and this had ease her communication with foreign counterparts. Smart, strong willed and passionate about providing education to children, particularly girls, Kartini established a school on the courtyard of her Father's residence. The school was attended by children of the villagers and workers in her Father's household. This school for girls was considered among the very first in Indonesia which educate girls. In short, long before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was incepted, Kartini had rightly proposed the right of education for women and girls as well as equality among men and women. 

Given Kartini's outstanding contribution, she has been declared as National Hero in Indonesiai. Each April 21, which is her birthday, the Kartini Day is celebrated nation wide, from schools and universities to government offices. 

Madam Iriana Joko Widodo, Indonesia's First Lady, just hosted an elegant celebration of Kartini Day 2018 at the Bogor Presidential Palace. Along with Madam Mufidah Jusuf Kalla, the spouse of Indonesian Vice President, the First Lady granted a few awards to inspiring Indonesian women who have delivered best contribution to Indonesian people. These women could come from various lines of career, such as social worker, academic, medical doctor, lawyer, etc. This year, the women awardees consist of a traditional weaver of Bataknese Tenun, Catholic nun, and a Balinese Spa products creator.

As Kartini Day is not only about emancipation, but it has also encompassed culture, the celebration also presents show presenting Indonesia traditional fashion. Batik, Tenun, Songket, Tapis were all displayed by spouses of Governors and Armed Forces officers during the celebration. 

Oh and it didn't stop there as the audience were in awe with the charming appearances by three female Ministers serving in President Joko Widodo's cabinet, including H.E. Mrs Retno LP Marsudi, Indonesia's Foreign Minister. Mrs Yohana Yembise, Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection, as well as Mrs Siti Nurbaya, Minister for Environment were also in attendance. 

JET is utterly joyful and proud to be invited to celebrate Kartini Day in the Presidential Palace. Indeed, the Palace served as a lovely venue to the historical celebration. From the melodious musical tunes to the fashion show, the event besotted the hearts and minds of the audiences. 

As indonesians are celebrating Kartini Day, let me extend "Selamat Hari Kartini, semoga semangat dan perjuangan Ibu Kartini terus hidup bersama kita".

Add JET in Instagram (@JETANDJUNG) and Facebook page (JET's Fashion Diplomacy), Twitter (@Jonesey4Eva) to see more image and witness the beautiful show. 

Ps. Catatan Kecil untuk Sahabats Fashionista dan Rekans Diplomat

Meskipun Ibu Kartini hidup di dua abad lampau, visi dan pemikiran beliau tetap relevan di abad ke-21. Tengok pesan yang tertulis dalam surat-surat kepada sahabat-sahabat Ibu Kartini di negeri Belanda. Bahkan jauh sebelum Deklarasi Universal tentang Hak Asasi Manusia dicetuskan di tahun 1948, Ibu Kartini lebih dulu merealisasikan sekolah untuk anak gadis. 

Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang bukanlah ungkapan klise, melainkan suatu jeritan hati Ibu Kartini yang mendambakan perubahan bagi anak cucu buyutnya untuk hidup lebih baik. Mari lanjutkan komitmen Ibu Kartini. 

Melalui kesederhanaan penampilan dan kesantunan tutur katanya, tampak kematangan karakter dan intelektualitas Ibu Kartini. Kebaya warna putih dan gading dilengkapi kain Batik tulis sogan yang menjadi trademark dress code beliau kini dikenal dengan sebutan Kebaya Kartini. Without even realizing it, Ibu Kartini was one of Indonesia's first and foremost fashion icons. Let us follow Ibu Kartini's exemplary footsteps in promoting Indonesian culture, partly through our appearance and fashion. Again, it does not have to be expensive. Most importantly our look should echo our love for Tanah Air. Bravo perempuan Indonesia, Kartini Zaman Now!

Ibuku dan Ibu Negaraku
My Mother, Mr Henny Tandjung, and my country's First Lady , Madam Iriana Joko Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Bogor.

JET in front of the charming Presidential Palace in Bogor with its golden dome. 

JET wears hand-painted Batik by Dwi Hadi Batik in Solo. 

Opung (Grandma) Valentina, a traditional weaver from Medan who is an award recipient is interviewed by First Lady. 

Sister Eustochia, a Catholic Nun from Maumere, shares her experience in addressing victims of human trafficking to Madam Mufidah Jusuf Kalla. 

The impressive show taking place at the vast courtyard of Bogor Presidential Palace. 

Batik, Tenun, Tapis, Songket and other traditional textiles are displayed splendourly by spouses of Governors and Armed Forces Officers who served as models at the show. 

With Madam Olly Dodokambey, spouse of North Sulawesi Governor 

Mom and Madam Fanny Djundjunan, spouse of Director for Legal Affairs and Regional Treaty, Foreign Ministry. 

First Lady and Mrs Kalla are accompanied by Foreign Minister H.E. Mrs Retno Marsudi, Women Empowerment Minister Mrs Yohana Yembise, Environmental Minister Mrs Siti Nurbaya. 

Beautiful morning from Bogor Presidential Palace

JET dressed to the nines in Batik handpainted shirt by Dwi Hadi, Solo.