The Opening Speech of Dr. Weichart on the Opening Ceremony of the Indonesian Language Online Course.

Due to connection problems parts of the Zoom-Speech held by Dr. Gabriela Weichart was not transmitted during the opening ceremony of the Indonesian Language Online Course today. Therefore, we would like to share the full-text of the speech is as follows:

Dr. Gabriele Weichart

Terima kasih, Pak Ricky Ichsan, dan selamat sore semuanya!

I would like to start my short speech by thanking everybody who has contributed to the continuation and success of the Indonesian language courses at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna.

First and foremost our sincere gratitude goes to the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency Dr. Darmansyah Djumala who has been the driving force behind this programme. In the past few years much of the work in terms of coordination and organisation has been done by the then Minister Counselor Palupi Mustajab and Ms Hadasa Geiger who have immensely supported us in all kinds of affairs and situations. My thanks also go to other staff of the Embassy who have been involved in this work.

But I am also grateful to my institution, the University of Vienna, and especially to my colleagues at the Dept. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, to Prof. Peter Schweitzer who served as Head of Department for a number of years, to my colleagues Prof. Wolfgang Kraus, Director of Studies, and his assistant Ms Kerstin Pölz, and last but certainly not least to our librarian Ms Birgit Kramreither who helped us advertising the courses by promoting the Indonesian books we have received from the Indonesian government via the Embassy.

I therefore would not only like to thank the Ambassador and his staff to organise the delivery of these books but I would like to draw the attention of all course participants and others who are interested in Indonesia and perhaps even have some knowledge of the Indonesian language, to the fairly new books in our library. Many of them are either course materials or story books specifically designed to practise the language, but they also inform about everyday life in Indonesia and Indonesian fairy tales should be valuable for anyone interested in local cultures and traditions.

As this ceremony is not only meant to be the official opening of the summer semester 2021, but also the closing of the course in the winter semester 2020, let me say a few words about last semester. As you may be aware, we had to continue with the online course which started in the previous summer semester 2020 already. A disadvantage certainly was that we could not get to together and meet in person, but it also had an advantage, namely that it was easier for a larger number of participants to join. In total we counted 56 applicants, even from abroad, like Palácky University in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, the Univ. of Tübingen in Germany and even a participant from Bangkok. This situation will continue throughout this summer semester. Despite the restrictions of online teaching when it comes to communication, the course was very successful with students’ satisfaction being extremely high. The credits for this go mainly to our teachers, Ms Ardhana Reswari Diyah Putri and Ms Hilda Septriani who did a fabulous job. As you could see in the video, the students not only learned a lot but had a lot of fun too, which is important for successful learning.

Last semester it was the first time that the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture assigned two teachers due to the fairly large number of applicants. We are fortunate that we also have two teachers this semester, namely Ms Cynthia Vientiani and Ms Robita Ika Annisa, who just had her first classes this morning and I heard that they went well. Up to now 35 students have registered for our course. I am also happy that we now can offer 5 levels of language teaching: A1 to C1.

We now have a new Head of Department, Prof. Ayse Caglar and I am happy that she could join us today and pass the word back to Pak Ricky.


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