‘A symbolic link that connects us’: Indonesia gifts traditional garden to East-West Center

‘A symbolic link that connects us’: Indonesia gifts traditional garden to East-West Center
Musicians from the Toba Batak people of North Sumatra island performed at the groundbreaking. (Image: East-West Center) (Source: East-West Center)

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Serving as a symbol of growth in the bond between Indonesia and the U.S., the East-West Center will soon be home to an Indonesian garden.

At Friday’s groundbreaking, a carved ritual stick was stuck in the ground at the future site of the garden, which will front Dole Street.

The garden is a gift from Budi Bowoleksono, Indonesia’s ambassador to the United States, who says the garden is not just for the center, but also for the people of Hawaii and the United States.

“Considering that Indonesia and the state of Hawai‘i have a long history that has grown over the years, we feel the need to have a symbolic link that connects us," Bowoleksono said. “We hope that the Indonesian garden to be established here at the East-West Center will remind of us of our longstanding friendship, collaborations and connections as a fellow Pacific neighbor.”

Attendees were treated to performances from musicians and dancers from the Toba Batak people of the North Sumatra island.

Also, three symbolic stones were placed at the site of the ground-breaking to mark the occasion.

“What’s important about a garden is that it grows, and I think that’s symbolic of the growth in our two countries’ relationship and connectivity going forward,” said Richard R. Vuylsteke, president of the East-West center. “So I can’t think of a better gift and collaborative effort than for us to put this garden in place.”

The garden will join several other structures and artworks gifted to the East-West Center by Asian nations and groups.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.