We are strongly committed to introducing a broader public to Indonesia and helping them learn about this land and people through special events, most of which are free of charge. The 2019 From Bali to Bala Show featured: a fun opening night party with Indonesian Dancers, a slideshow on Borneo and its orangutans and rainforest, a documentary about palm oil plantations and their impact on Indonesia’s natural beauty, an Indonesian cooking demonstration and feast, a show of Laura’s own slides reflecting her years of travel to Indonesia, and many other events as well.
As always, visitors help support several very worthwhile nonprofit causes. Each year we choose new causes: In 2019 it was particularly timely and important that a special Indonesian dinner helped raise funds for dear friends of hers, a Philadelphia family whose lives have been devastated by an ICE raid. Also, a portion of the proceeds went go to the Orangutan Tree Project, a nonprofit that works with other NGOs in Kalimantan (Borneo) to support the orangutans and their habitat, help offset the effect of fires in that rainforest, and engage young men and women in those communities to replant native trees. “Each year”, as Laura notes, “In our small way, through our show’s fundraisers, outreach, and sales, we all can join together and help those in desperate need, both in our country and in Indonesia, to rebuild their lives.”
Opening Night Party with the Modero Dance Company
Indonesian Cooking Class with Pecel Ndeso Catering
Gamelan Concert with Tom Whitman from Swarthmore College
Holiday time in Chestnut Hill
A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION DANCES FROM INDONESIA: Enjoy, Learn, Dance, & Party! Saturday, November 12 @ 7 – 9 PM. Celebrate with us and our friends from Modero Dance Company as they share, and teach us, authentic ceremonial dances from everyday Indonesian life. We welcome you to participate in the evening by dancing with the Modero company, sharing a glass of spirits, noshing on local Indonesian treats, and exploring our treasures from across the seas. Meet old friends and make new ones for a special night to embrace the 26th season of From Bali to Us!
DINNER IN SURABAYA: COOKING CLASS & FEAST – Thursday, November 17 @ 7 PM. Explore the regional food & culture from the hometown of our chef and guru (teacher) Irza Hajati, who hails from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city. The owners of Pecel Ndeso Catering will teach us how to make many delicious favorites from their mothers’ kitchen, and then we will dine together on a delicious feast. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available. Pre-registration is required: $30 per person, but seating is limited and goes quickly! Sign up at the shop or on with click here on our Eventbrite.
TRUNK SHOW DaVas Batik Fashion – Saturday, November 19 @ 2 – 5 PM. We invite all lovers of Indonesian batik to welcome DaVas Batik, a fashion designer from Java, as they bring their new style of batik apparel for our very own trunk show. Their collections include unique jackets, skirts, shirts, jewelry, and more.
DANGDUT Performance at our STAG & DOE NIGHT – Wednesday, November 30 @ 7 PM. Welcome local Philadelphia resident Kristen Spangenberg to share her love of “Dangdut” singing, a popular Indonesian fusion of local musical traditions, Indian and Malaysian film music, and Western rock. Kristen has been singing her entire life, and she now performs as a “Dangdut in America” singer. If her music makes you feel like dancing, be our guest!
STAG & DOE NIGHT in Chestnut Hill – Four Wednesdays before the Holidays! November 30 & December 7, 14, 21, @ 6 – 9 PM. For four fun Wednesday evenings, experience the sights & sounds of Chestnut Hill’s many shops decked out for this special holiday tradition. From Bali to Us is the happening spot on the hill, with Indonesian treats and special visitors!
INDONESIAN DOCUMENTARY FILM NIGHT: A Lens into Our Local Indonesian Community – Saturday, December 3 @ 7 PM. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Indonesian immigrant community of South Philadelphia through two short documentaries from local filmmaker Deddy Raksawardana. “A Wall That Tells a Story” and “Living the Silent Dream” highlight the struggles of Asian immigrants in general and Indonesians in particular. Following the films, we will have an audience discussion with the filmmaker and local Indonesian leaders joining us from South Philly.
GAMELAN MUSIC FROM BALI – Sunday, December 4 @ 4 – 5 PM. Enjoy traditional Gamelan music, including Balinese drumming performed by Gamelan Gita Santi members from our South Philly Indonesian community, led by Professor Tom Whitman from Swarthmore College.
PASSPORT to INDONESIA SLIDE SHOW with Laura Cohn – Sunday, December 11 @ 5:30 PM. Travel with Laura through her over 30 years of living and working in Indonesia and loving it. Be transported to a distant, exotic land, but with no passport required and we’ll have you home in time for dinner.