The Office of Language and Culture Learning (KPBB) UAJY organized a cultural activity for participants of the Indonesian Language for Foreign Speakers (BIPA) program. The event took place on October 20, 2023. The cultural activity involved cooking traditional foods, specifically fried bananas and chopped fruits, called “lotis.” In addition to Darmasiswa students, international students currently studying at UAJY, student staff, and several teachers also participated in the traditional cooking activity.
The event began with participants going to the traditional market at 7:00 AM to buy ingredients. Darmasiswa students and others were assigned the task of independent shopping for ingredients by their teachers. Other than shopping and practicing bargaining, students had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the traditional market and interact directly with the sellers. All participants were very happy and enthusiastic. One student even said, “I am very happy to understand what the seller is saying” while showing their purchases. Happily, they also indulged in market snacks.
Before Darmasiswa students went to the market for shopping practice, they had attended several classes where they learned vocabulary, sentence structure, and expressions used in shopping. This aligns with the Indonesian language learning program initiated by KPBB, providing learning opportunities not only in the classroom but also in real-life situations to experience the actual nuances. Students also learned about cultural aspects such as how to negotiate prices while respecting the seller and maintaining politeness when talking or communicating with others.
After the market activity, at 10:30 AM, the students returned to the campus for the next activity, which was cooking. Two activities were carried out: frying bananas and preparing fruits and chilli sauce (sambal) for “lotis.” Some students learned how to fry bananas, including cutting them, preparing the flour mixed with water and seasoning, and frying the bananas. The students were delighted when they successfully fried the bananas. In the next activity, students learned how to peel and cut fruits. Additionally, they prepared “lotis” sambal. This final process sparked interest among many students. They were enthusiastic about learning how to grind the ingredients properly to achieve a smooth texture. One student, Marta, even tried multiple times until successfully making delicious sambal. Two types of sambal were made, one spicy and the other less spicy.
After completing all the cooking, all students, including student staff and professors, gathered to enjoy the food they had prepared. First, they tried the fried bananas. Many international students participating in the event had never tasted fried bananas before, and they really liked it because it was delicious and had sweet flavor. Then, they tried the “lotis.” Some students tried eating cut fruit with spicy sambal, while others tried it with non-spicy sambal.
While eating, they shared stories about how they process and enjoy fruits in their respective countries. They exchanged stories, enhancing the dining atmosphere with joy. They were happy to experience the culture practiced by Indonesians. Beside cooking and eating traditional food, the opportunity was also used to learn and practice the Indonesian language they had studied.