Representatives of the Swiss Embassy in Jakarta, those who work at Bali's Swiss Consulate, numerous Swiss Nationals living in Bali and many friends gathered together twice on Sunday, August 1, 2004.
That's right. Twice.
The first gathering was at the newly opened Consulate Office at Bali's Istana Kuta Galleria, to officially inaugurate that office, a party that later reformed 15 kilometers further south at Rumah Bali at Tanjung Benoa to celebrate the official lunching of Heinz von Holzen's new Balinese Cook Book - "Bali Unveiled." Contact details for the new consulate are posted at [The Swiss and Austrian Consulate has Moved].
Additional information on Heinz's beautiful new cook book are at at [Bali Unveiled].
While on August 1 the first people in Switzerland traditionally gather to celebrate the independence of Switzerland, which dates the separation from its Austrian rulers with the GrŁtli Pact of 1291, in Bali where a single consulate serves the citizens of both Austria and Switzerland, perhaps politeness dictates that less fuss is made about the separation the day commemorates.
A highlight of both gatherings was the special appearance of a Swiss Alphorn Group flown in from Mount Blanc especially for the celebrations. A musical traditional that traces its Swiss roots back 500 years when the sound was used to herd grazing cattle, the Swiss take their Alphorn playing seriously, performing on the nearly 4 meter long horns until, quote literally until the cows come home.
Later, at the Rumah Bali, two alphorners also demonstrated their professional musicality on trumpets presenting moving renditions of the Swiss Psalm - the National hymn of Switzerland, followed by Tanah Airku Indonesia's national anthem.
Swiss beers and wines, Swiss and Balinese food, and speeches celebrating the Swiss, their country, and their love for Indonesia as demonstrated by projects such as Von Holzen's definitive cookery book on Bali Ė filled out a most memorable evening.
Shown on balidiscovery.com is a photo of the Mount Blanc Alphorn Group performing in front of the new Bali Swiss and Austrian Consulate.
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