Bapak Waleed, Founder and Director of the International Silat Federation of America, has spent much time during the last two years overseaes in Indonesia. In West Sumatra, Bapak has been working with local and government officials, as well as people from the educational and cultural sectors, to collaborate on events, programs, and classes.
Upon his return to the United States in June 2008, Bapak Waleed had several appointments with the members of the Indonesian Consulate General in New York. Bapak Waleed regularly reports on his progress, programs, and activities to the Consulate. Fuad Adriansyah and Lintang Wibawa, Consul and Vice Consul for Information and Cultural Affairs, were happy to meet with Bapak and share their enthusiasm and appreciation for his efforts in cultural outreach and education, both here in the States, and also in encouraging similar activities abroad in Indonesia.
Bapak Waleed presented the Consul and Vice Consul with a portfolio and prospectus compiled from nearly a year of activities and events, including a selection of the letters of support and invitation given to Bapak and the ISFA from both here in the States and abroad. Included in the presentation were albums of pictures taken from the most recent leg of Bapak's visits overseas, where he has been working with local and community officials on planning various initiatives, including the upcoming "Pekan Budaya Sumatera Barat" Tradisional Silat Festivale which will be held in Padang in July.
Bapak Waleed also shared some of his experiences in traveling throughout the rest of Southeast Asia during his recent trip, during which times he would take the opportunity to teach the traditional ways of Silat, and invite people to travel to Indonesia directly. He was invited to teach classes elsewhere throughout the region, from as nearby as Malaysia to as far away as Japan. Bapak Waleed emphasizes that this traditional form of Silat is found at the origin and the root in West Sumatra, and that true experiences in training must be found through visiting Indonesia itself.
Both the Consul and Vice Consul were very pleased with the ISFA's mission and Bapak's progress in carrying out that mission. The Indonesian Consulate serves the Indonesian community in the United States, with the jurisdiction of the New York Office covering New York, New England, and the surrouding areas. The Consulate endeavors to provide support and programming for the Indonesian communities in the area, as well as aiming to bring visibility of Indonesian culture to the broader American population. As such, the Consul and Vice Consul were very pleased to see that Bapak Waleed has been so successful in carrying out the very same mission, building bridges between cultures and sharing the many aspects of Indonesian culture with those who may not be familiar with it. The Consul and Vice Consul were also impressed by the variety of information and materials which Bapak makes available through the various ISFA websites, for the benefit and support of the Indonesian community and the broader community as well.
Both the Consul and Vice Consul wished Bapak safe travels as he continues his journey, and parted with the hopes of seeing him again sometime soon, and collaborating with the ISFA on cultural events and outreach as another school year approaches.
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