KBRI Brussels hosts ASEAN. In celebration of the 56th anniversary of ASEAN, the ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC), composed of the 10 Embassies of ASEAN member countries in Brussels, along with the Embassy of Timor-Leste, organized the ASEAN Family Day 2023 on October 7, 2023. This marks the second edition of the ASEAN Family Day.
A Cultural Extravaganza
The event was hosted at the consular service office of KBRI Brussels, situated on Avenue de Tervuren 294. The ASEAN Family Day 2023 was a colorful spectacle filled with artistic performances and cultural displays, representing each of the ASEAN member countries.
Indonesian Cultural Showcase
Indonesia, for instance, graced the occasion with a performance of the Saman Dance, beautifully executed by the Dharma Wanita Persatuan of KBRI Brussels. Other participating ASEAN nations showcased their unique traditional art forms, including Myanmar’s Thingyan, the Philippines’ Tinikling, and Laos’ Fon Dok Mai.
Culinary Delights and Traditional Games
In addition to the cultural performances, the event featured a delightful array of Southeast Asian cuisines, tantalizing the taste buds of attendees with dishes like chicken satay, nasi lemak, and pad thai. Traditional games like Kuti-kuti, Micado, Chapteh, and sunda manda added a fun and interactive element to the festivities.
Participation of ASEAN Diplomats
The ASEAN Family Day is an annual collaborative effort among the embassies of ASEAN member countries in Brussels. This year’s event took on special significance with the participation of Timor-Leste for the first time. Ambassadors and diplomats from ASEAN nations enthusiastically took part in cracker-eating competitions and top-spinning races, fostering a warm and familial atmosphere.
Promoting ASEAN Unity
The ASEAN Family Day serves as more than just a celebration of culture and diversity; it also acts as a platform for the diplomatic corps and the ASEAN diaspora in Belgium to strengthen fraternity and kinship. The event embodies ASEAN’s motto, ‘One Vision, One Identity, One Community.’ It attend by representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, and other European Union institutions.
ASEAN’s Historical Background
ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, officially establish on August 8, 1967, in Bangkok, Thailand. The association was born from the aspirations of five founding members: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, who jointly signed the historic Bangkok Declaration.
Aims of ASEAN
The founding members’ strong desire to create a peaceful, safe, stable, and prosperous Southeast Asia was the driving force behind the formation of ASEAN. During the 1960s, the region was marked by a tumultuous environment, fraught with the risk of conflicts arising from ideological rivalries of major powers and inter-state conflicts within ASEAN. The founders were acutely aware that addressing these conflicts was essential to maintaining regional stability and enabling sustainable economic development.
After its formation, ASEAN has continued to evolve, and its first-ever ASEAN Summit took place on February 23-24, 1976, in Bali. Since then, ASEAN has played a pivotal role in promoting regional stability, economic cooperation, and community building, fostering unity among its member nations.
Towards a Brighter Future
The ASEAN Family Day symbolizes the unity, diversity, and shared cultural heritage of ASEAN member countries and signifies their commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Southeast Asia. The event reflects their shared vision of a better future and the importance of celebrating their rich cultural tapestry.