December, 2023, Darmasiswa students from STMIK IKMI Cirebon organized a cultural exploration activity at Goa Sunyaragi, Cirebon. One of the students involved in this activity was Nomen, a Darmasiswa from Madagascar who was currently participating in a cultural exchange program in Indonesia.
The event commenced at 9:00 AM with an opening speech by the supervising Lecture, Mrs Riri Narasati, who provided guidance to the students regarding the purpose and benefits of the activity. Goa Sunyaragi, located in the city of Cirebon, was chosen as the venue due to its rich historical and cultural significance.
Nomen, filled with enthusiasm to understand Indonesian culture, participated with great zeal. “I am very excited to be part of this activity and learn more about the history and traditions of Cirebon,” he said with a smile.
They began the activity by exploring the historical site of Goa Sunyaragi, guided by student mentors. The cave is renowned for its unique stone architecture and served as a hiding place for Sunan Gunung Jati, one of the nine saints who played a crucial role in spreading Islam in Java.
After exploring the historical site, the students were directed to an area prepared for a cultural performance. They were treated to an enchanting Cirebonese mask dance. With vibrant costumes and meaningful movements, the dance introduced students to the rich traditional art of Cirebon.
Soon after, the stage was filled with the mesmerizing performance of the sintren dance. The students had an unforgettable experience witnessing the energetic movements and traditional music accompanying the dance. Nomen, initially unfamiliar with Javanese culture, seemed captivated by the beauty of the performance.
Cultural performances not only provided entertainment but also served as a window for international students to understand and appreciate the diversity of Indonesian culture. Mrs. Riri and student mentors gave in-depth explanations about the meaning and history of each dance, ensuring that every moment was an opportunity for learning.
After the performances, the activity continued with a group discussion and reflection session. Students shared their experiences and talked about how this activity had provided new insights into understanding Indonesian culture. Nomen expressed his gratitude and admiration for the cultural diversity in Indonesia.
The activity at Goa Sunyaragi not only imparted new knowledge to Darmasiswa students but also fostered bonds between local and international students. Mrs Riri Narasati hopes that such activities will continue to support the development of cross-cultural understanding among STMIK IKMI Cirebon students.