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Cultural Immersion

At the end of Term Two, eleven students and three teachers left the chilly conditions in Melbourne for the hot and humid, tropical weather of Indonesia.

Traveling by airplanes, trains, a bullet train, motorised becaks, andongs, bicycles, and buses, the journey took them to mosques, temples, churches, bustling markets, serene rice fields, and vibrant shopping centres.

Across ten days, the group of Year 8/11 students delved into Sundanese, Javanese, and Balinese cultures, learning about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

They visited SMUN 54 Jakarta to connect with our BRIDGE partner school, forging new friendships. The Australia-Indonesia BRIDGE School Partnerships Program connects Australian and Indonesian schools in a structured school partnership to foster international connections and build intercultural understanding.

During the visit, Aitken students engaged in a vibrant cultural exchange, participating in traditional Indonesian games and introducing the Indonesian students to ‘the nutbush’ dance routine. In return, our students were taught ‘the poco-poco dance’, a staple of Indonesian festive traditions.

The trip provided students with the chance to explore the history of Dutch colonization, tried their hand at Indonesian cooking, admired shadow puppets, and created batik art. They even honed their bargaining skills and improved their understanding of Bahasa Indonesia, the official language of our vast northern neighbour.

A packed schedule made the trip exhausting but also incredibly fun, interesting, and full of learning. It’s safe to say all areas of the curriculum were covered.

The students were amazing ambassadors of the College throughout the tour and it is hoped there will be more opportunities like this for many other students.