The US Consulate General Independence Day Roadshow, a multi-city, seven day tour around East Java, came to a stop June 24, 2014 in Surabaya, when the Roadshow bus pulled into the Consulate General parking lot after logging nearly 900 Kilometers. The Roadshow team, led by Consul General Joaquin F. Monserrate, promoted shared values between the US and Indonesia, visited historically and culturally important sites, tried new foods, and met with hundreds of citizens along the way.
From June 14-20 the Roadshow team visited Malang, Batu, Blitar, Ponorogo, Madiun, Ngawi, Jombang, Mojokerto and Bangkalan, before finishing the adventure in Surabaya. Each city visited had a specific theme that was highlighted; community service in Malang, higher education in Blitar, business investment in Madiun, women’s empowerment in Ngawi, and English skills in Bangkalan where a Madura Idol singing contest took place. The Independence Day Roadshow ended its journey with the celebration of the 238th anniversary of American Independence in Surabaya the afternoon of June 24th.
Ambassador Robert O. Blake, the US Ambassador to Indonesia, made the trip out from Jakarta to participate in the festivities. Ambassador Blake said: “I am pleased the U.S. Consulate is making good progress to expand America’ engagement in cities all over East Java. Expanding people to people ties is a key priority for our diplomacy. I am delighted to be here in Surabaya for the culminating Roadshow party and look forward to hearing about the adventures the Roadshow team experienced.” He added, “Direct connections, through travel, education, scientific partnerships, business partnerships, and cultural exchanges are all important to continuing to expand our Comprehensive Partnership, all aspects that were highlighted during this week long outreach program.”
Guests at the Surabaya event included local and regional government officials, university and business contacts, as well as representatives from each of the cities visited, including the winner of the Madura Idol who entertained the crowd by singing her winning song. Artwork produced by children in Blitar, themed around Independence, was also on display for all the guests to see as well as the bus itself. Guests were able to go on board the bus and experience a bit of the roadshow by viewing the many souvenirs collected along the way. CG Joaquin F. Monserrate concluded, “The Roadshow was so much fun it is hard to see it end, but this party was a great way to celebrate the new friendships built along the way and American Independence.”