Bishops overthrowing Queens, balls flying over nets, and tensed muscles. ACLO was the best place where all of this could happen and that is the reason why last weekend, May 18 and 19, the Indonesian Students Association in Groningen (PPI-G) celebrated the GroensCup 2013 there, a sports event which endorses the values of fair-play and solidarity among Indonesian students in The Netherlands.
Every Indonesian person with energy to shake hips, move muscles and show their skills in sports were more than invited. Even all those Dutch people who know how to speak the Indonesian language were welcome to an event where competitors could win the Habibie trophy, awarded since 2009 by the former Indonesian Ambassador in The Netherlands, Jonah Effendi Habibie. However, the goal is not to win a trophy. ‘GroensCup intents to strengthen the togetherness, friendship and brotherhood which are expected to unite all Indonesian community in the Netherlands in particular and in Europe as well. Moreover this activity is also expected to provide guidance in fighting spirit and relentlessness’, says Dini Takola, the 20-year-old Head of Public Relations Division of GroensCup 2013.
This year, the sports offered were basketball, badminton, chess, poker (capsa), arm wrestling, futsal, and table tennis; all of them very popular in Indonesia. It was easy: signing up before going to the event, paying the registration fee and attending to ACLO to enjoy with the rest of the people. The participants were not only from Groningen; other PPI associations from other Dutch cities took part as well in this event. ‘In my division, we contacted all the contingents and got in touch with people from all the regions in The Netherlands to make sure they knew about this event. Actually we started with the organization in February’, explains Dini, who is studying a double degree program between ITS Indonesia and Hanze University Groningen in International Civil Engineering Management.
GroensCup is really a tradition for PPI-G. In May of 2002, some Indonesian people who were staying here had an idea to create an event related to sport activity and they were supported by PPI-G. After twelve years of history, GroensCup continues to be a success and this edition gathered more than 250 participants throughout the whole weekend. With more than 200 Indonesian students in Groningen, the PPI-G is one of the most active associations and they also organize other activities like the Lovely Sunday, the Indonesian Day or the Indonesia Science Café.
The Indonesian community in Groningen is one of the largest ones in Holland. Closely linked to the Dutch history, there is a common past between Indonesia and The Netherlands. However, this is not a problem for the relationships between both countries. ‘I personally feel attracted by Dutch society and what I think about the colonialism (Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands from 1800 until 1949, ed.) is that we both, Indonesia and The Netherlands, should learn something from that to work for a better future’, says Dini, who is just an example of the amount of Indonesian students who come every year to The Netherlands to start a higher education. The satisfaction is there and the GroensCup demonstrates that Indonesian students are eager to be a community, but also to be part of this society. ‘Overall it’s such an extraordinary experience!’