Country focus |

Erasmus Huis: Preserving Dutch and Indonesian Culture

Country Focus | 7 May 2020

Art and culture centre, Erasmuis Huis, is undeterred as the world faces global pandemic, and it continues to showcase the best of Dutch and Indonesian heritage through new and interesting avenues.

As the cultural centre of the Netherlands in Jakarta, focusing on musical programmes and exhibition, the Erasmus Huis is home to fascinating Dutch and Indonesian art and culture. What started as two countries sharing a deep historical relationship has now turned into an ever positive bond between the Netherlands and Indonesia, and this is the basis upon which the Erasmus Huis was built upon. It is a place of cultural sanctuary that welcomes the exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas and where age, gender, religion, skin colour or sexual preference does not define who you are. All are welcome and all of the events in the Erasmus Huis are free of charge.

Even in the face of a global pandemic, Erasmus Huis remain lit as a beacon of art and culture celebrating many things that the Netherlands and Indonesia has achieved together on that front. All is welcome to keep enjoying its untold riches. The following is an encouraging letter from Yolande Melsert, Director of Erasmus Huis, regarding the undeterred state of the house as it stands side-by-side with the rest of the world against Covid-19.

Dear all,

What strange times we are living in right now. For the Erasmus Huis last month was like a real rollercoaster... Immediately after we had the honourable and successful visit of the Dutch King and Queen to Indonesia from 10-13 March -where they visited the Erasmus Huis photo exhibition ‘Innovation’, met with the photographers in the expo hall and with the Dutch community in our Library and Auditorium!- we had to close our venue because of the COVID-19 virus.

And now we are facing a period of non-live-performances or -exhibitions, of non-lending-books and non-meeting-each-other-live. We celebrated the day of our 50th (!) anniversary in a virtual way on 27 March. We will keep on celebrating this memorable ‘Erasmus Huis 50 Years Young’ in different ways throughout this year. Check our social media regularly, the special hashtag is #EH50YY. We will keep you posted with this newsletter every month on the developments and creativities of the Dutch and Indonesian artists and cultural VC-venues and VC-events. Nice to keep in contact! If you have ideas or suggestions for the newsletter, please send them to [email protected].

Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy, take care of yourself and your loved ones!

Yolande Melsert,
Director Erasmus Huis

A virtual celebration was recently held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Erasmus Huis. The momentous occasion was celebrated by the creation of a special playlist on Spotify to in honour of all the great performances at the Erasmus Huis in the last 50 years. For those who haven’t, please feel free to search “Erasmus Huis 50 Years Young” on Spotify.

Following the message from the Director, the newsletter went on to inform audience that films from the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which was held near the end of 2019, is now available for screening. The largest film festival in the world, with nearly 800 films, all of IDFA’s 2019 collection can now be seen online for free or a small amount of fee at idfa.nl.

Those missing Dutch books can now read e-books from the collection of the Dutch National Library (Nationale Bibliotheek) by downloading their official app, ThuisBieb, available in Android’s Google Play and Apple App Store.

The social distancing cannot stop Dutch musicians from playing music. The boys from Dewolff and their friends had gathered online to record “Queen of Hearts”, all from their own home. One of the musicians of Pynarelly also initiated the Javaplein Passion Project – a group of young musicians who play music from their neighbourhood in Javaplein, Amsterdam. Check out this creative Dutch project at Javaplein Passion Project YouTube Channel.

While we do indeed live in a very challenging time, place like the Erasmus Huis keeps our identity clear and our hope strong. As we pray for better days to be upon us soon, do tune in to what they have in store to keep us going in the ways of art and culture, presented by the beautiful relationship of the Netherlands and Indonesia.

Erasmus Huis

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said Kav S-3
T: +62 21 524 8252
IG: @erasmushuis_jakarta
FB: @ErasmusHuisJakarta
netherlandsandyou.nl/erasmushuis