Competition in singing duet dangdut


In March there was a competition for foreigner students in singing dangdut duet which tooked place in Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember in Surabaya. In previous years ITS already held competitions in cooking and other activities but not yet in singing, so this year they got the idea of making contest for Darmasiswa and other foreigner students in singing.

Because we like to try new things and want to get some new experience, we decided to take part in this contest. Our teacher, pak Dede, offered us his guiding and help. Ania and Vero were first duet pair and Martyna with Akash from University Negeri Malang were second pair. Pak Dede chose for us dangdut songs and we started to practice. We had exactly one week to prepare for it.

But first of all..what exactly dangdut is? Dangdut is traditional genre of indonesian popular music. Among Indonesian people is very popular. Dangdut music mixes western pop and rock with traditional indonesian, melayu, arabic and hindi musical indstruments. Maybe if you hear it for the first time, you may not like it, but for sure you’ll not be able to get off the music out of your head..

Nella Kharisma – Jaran goyang

And dangdut music is connected with dancing. So the singers dance and the audience also. It’s must see in Indonesia go to the dangdut concert.

Ania and Vero were singing song Wulan Merindu from Cici Paramida, this song is faster and it’s about woman who miss her love. Song of Martyna and Akash is called Kandas from Evie Tamala and Imron Sadewo, it’s very slow romantic duet, about love of course..

On Thursday 22nd March, day of competition, we went by car from VEDC campus to Surabaya at 5 am with pak Dede and ibu Citra. In Surabaya we first stopped for breakfast and then continued to campus ITS, to Department of languages. There were 11 couples registred to the competition. Ania and Vero drawed out number 7 and Martyna and Akash were the last pair singing in this competition.

Committee consist of three person. Two men and one woman. At beginning of competition they explained their requirements. They were judging quality of singing, knowledge of lyrics as well as the performance – artistic impression.

The atmosphere in there was very relaxed, pleasant and very friendly. Participants along with audience was having fun during the performing and supported each other. After all duets were singed, participants received lunch and committee took a break to make a decision about winners.

After break committee announced results. First they announced three best couples from “small finale” and afterwards they announced three best duets from “big finale”.

Ania dan Vero

Martyna dan Akash

It turned out that VEDC have really talented students, because Martyna with Akash won the first place in whole competition and Ania with Vero were ranked as third best duet. Winners received trophy, money reward and certificate as all participants received. After announcment followed taking photos with winners, all participants, committee and teacheMrs. Everyone looked happy and satisfied. We came with our great results back to Malang.


Creative ceramics week


For one whole week, the Darmasiswa VEDC students went back to SMK5 highscool for another creative task! The Global Team has learned how to make ceramic objects, leaving their imagination run wild. They had hundreds of objects to get inspired from and the teacher’s help and guidance along the way. This experience was a first for all!
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For 5 days, 4 hours each, this was the work space of creativity and fun!
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The first 2 days, students tried to work with clay my molding it with their hands and the tools at their disposal.
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The next 2 days, students tried a different method. The spinning wheel, molding shapes and sizes with wet hands, and pushing a pedal under the table to keep it moving.
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Some where done with the teacher’s help, some where done alone…
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But all were very proud of their result!
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In the last day, all the objects came to life with color. Carefully painting the details…
A candy bowl with a sweet message… THE BEST MOM!
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Tojo’s shopping bag!

Mariam’s vaze…

…and mask

GG’s king’s cup with an “awwww” message: Only a king can treat his woman like a queen.
king's cup

The other objects 🙂 all colourful and nice


And one last cup for the Darmasiswa coordinator, Citra

FYI for the girls


Since the start of the Darmasiswa 2014/2015 is near, we’ve figured to add some ideas to packing and about the lifestyle here, concerning girls especially 🙂 since 90% of Indonesia is Muslim, some things are quite different. But life in bigger cities is not as strict, yet for smaller cities, some things must be taken into consideration. For Malang we can give some solutions too, as for other cities, locals or former students can help.

1. Clothing
While at school or any institution, public or religious building, proper clothes are a must. Yet, in your free time you can wear what you like, but bear in mind the politeness towards the new culture. Nobody will do or say anything about your style, but don’t feel harassed when you get stares. You will be under public attention all the time, don’t let clothes make it worse. Also, as an advice, traveling by angkot (the mini public bus) or by motorcycle short pants, short skirts, short tshirts are uncomfortable for you, for the other passengers and might burn your skin… A wavy blouse, baggy pants, comfy shoes, sunglasses and a sun hat will give you the liberty to move around much better. Our highly recommended purchase as you come here is a “sarung”, a local scarf, soft and big enough for all occasions, either at the beach, as night wear, to cover your head from the sun, etc

1.a Swimming suit
Most public pools require decent clothing for ladies. Indonesian girls usually bathe with their short pants and tshirt, but it is so uncomfortable. Pack a whole body suit extra for these situations. For the beaches or more modern pools, 2 pieces swim suits are not a problem. But be aware that you will be under attention all the time, and will be asked for photos a lot, and many photos without your approval will be taken anyway, the Western way of going to the beach it is still strange here.

a normal day at the beach…

1.b Underwear
For the girls with more curvy hips, you must know that most underwear is not available in your size, except for the international, expensive brands. But local bargain stores don’t have them in stock, ever, although XL or XXL might be written on them. Sometimes you might get lucky, but it is not easy. With pants and jeans, that hasn’t been a problem, but maybe a certain style you like might is not available.

2. Beauty
Bath & beauty products. A lot of the local products, even international brands like Garnier have whitening properties, as it is in high demand here. You have to check all the time if they are for this purpose or not. There are some, local brands, very good. And scrubbing is very popular here, so you can find extremely affordable such creams. A very close attention you should give to shampoos. Most girls in Indonesia experience hair fall, lack of shine and less smoothness. A reason for this is the low quality of tap water. It is highly treated with chemicals (absolutely not drink it) but it also affects the skin and hair. Going to the SPA and buying professional products helps.

2.a SPA
Here is SPA heaven! Every 5m there is another SPA with facial treatment, body massage, body scrub, hair masks, anything you can imagine, so many types, very good quality, very affordable price! On this aspect, there is nothing to be worried about, you will be happy and feel like a queen.

2.b Waxing
This Western beauty technique is NOT available here. In Malang, there is one place, but only does legs length for almost $20. If you love this technique, it will be tricky. Yet, our girls found an Indonesian local that makes home made wax with honey and sugar, reusable and provides the strips too, also good for facial purposes. Having an electric depilatory machine would be a good idea.

2.c SPV
On the local market, there is just 1 SPV cream, maximum 30 SPV. As you would imagine, this product is not on profit here. This particular cream from the brand Vaseline is quite good, but if you have more sensitive skin confider bringing your own bottles, or when traveling to Bali you can refill your stock. Maybe stronger SPV protection creams can be found in branded shops, but no need to pay the extra taxes when you can pack it in advance 😉

3. That special time of the month…
This subject is on the list, to make it clear that for those who prefer internal tampons, these are not accessible. There are many brands of normal pads, night pads, day pads, etc, but they are considerably more thick than European ones for example. You can bring your own supply of tampons for the whole period, or travel to Bali or Jakarta in search for them.

Closing Ceremony in Bandung


Between the 23rd and 25th of May 2014, in Bandung, took place the Closing Ceremony of the Darmasiswa program. VEDC was present of course, and more than that, they had dancing performance 2 nights in a row

Here we are in Jakarta airport waiting for our connection to Bandung

The hotel was great! What a nice view!

In the lobby there was an impressive collection of wayang – traditional Indonesian puppets


This particular “guy” had an interesting face :)))
wayan creepy

Later that night, the girls performed their dance routine. Some exclusive backstage photos:


Our makeup and dress up took almost 2h! Everyone gave a hand, but the final result was all worth it.

A close up to see the detailed makeup and hairstyle
mariam face

The before going on stage group photo!

Speaking of the stage, it was quite scary and we were nervous to be in front of hundreds of people!

Here are the girls, complete dance 🙂 The quality is not the best, bare with us!

We were proud of ourselves and our teacher too! You can tell by the smiles on our faces!

The next day of the Closing Ceremony all the Darmasiswa students participated in many activites.

Planting orchids with each countries name. Was a wonderful experience to make a multicultural park 🙂

Then we all had a Bahasa Indonesia test but it went well 🙂
And continued with an artistic workshop.

Later that night, it was the boy’s turn to dance. They had funny masks!

And did a great job on stage!

After a successful event in Bandung, we enjoyed dinner together

and spend the last night by the pool, thinking of the wonderful 10 months in Incredible Indonesia

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What can you buy with $1?


If you want to have an idea of the living expenses in Indonesia, here is an interesting list 🙂

All these items are 12.000 rp ($1) give or take 3.000 rp (25 cents)

Please note that the prices sometimes varies, especially for fruits or vegetables, depending on season. We’ve compelled this list with the prices from Malang, in other areas there can be variations.


What can you buy with $1 in YOUR country? Let us know in the comments

Burger Buto


A very cool place in Malang is Burger Buto = Giant Burger 🙂
The Global Team and their coordinator, Citra, celebrated the end of the final presentation at this unique place. Here are some of their products:

BUTO LONG, “only” 25 cm


BUTO IJO – 27 cm diameter!!! Check out the 500rp coin for perspective

We ordered a sample of all of them, but the BUTO simple was eaten before we got the chance to take a picture :))) It was maybe 15 cm in diameter :)))

Malang is full of great places to hang out, eating or having a drink with affordable student prices. Here’s the menu for example from Burger BUTO

Did I mention that the drinks are GIANTS too? 🙂
AND giant cotton candy for those with a big sweet tooth 😉

Final presentation


On July 10th, the Darmasiswa students from VEDC had their final presentation to mark the end of the program. Each student chose a theme related to the Indonesian culture to present in front of their teachers, the directors and their coordinator. With a lot of emotion they managed to present 10 minutes in Indonesian.

Waiting their turn to go to the front…

One last check of the power points…


Nia from China chose to speak about the informal language that especially teenagers use when texting or on social media. It takes practice and patience to master this form of communication as well.

Harue from Japan spoke about the specific food from 33 regions of Indonesia. We all go a little bit hungry!

The girls did a great job!
nia and harue

Wan from China chose to speak about the art of making a batik. He practiced along with his classmates during the culture week at VEDC (post here:

Tojo from Madagascar made a complete presenation about many aspects of the culture:


Georgiana from Romania presented her observations and experience teaching English in Indonesia and her input how to do it better.

Mariam from Venezuela is big fan od dancing, so she presented this wonderful art:


Those two were clearly happy with their work and their feedback from the audience

Now from Uzbekistan, Markhabo presented the specific body language in Indonesia:


And Khulkar spoke about the superstitions in Indonesia finding similarities with her native country


The teachers and everyone present in the room were clearly happy about our performace:


And they had only nice things to say at the end of the 2013/2014 Darmasiswa program:)

All endings are nostalgic, 1 year together brings a lot of memories and friends!