I am very grateful that Indonesian students abroad have their community, we call it association, in every country of the world. This is the case in Hungary, Szeged, too. We have around 25 Indonesian students here. From time to time we gather to take a picture together, to see the city, or to have a food together. The students collect some money and take turns to cook and host a party on a monthly basis. This time it was my turn to host a gathering. We prepared Mie Ayam with Bakso with two of my Indonesian friends, which is a chicken broth soup with noodles and meatballs. Every food must be halal since the majority of Indonesian students are Muslims. I started the preparation the previous night, bought the ingredients. We have a shop in Szeged called Kohinoor Bazaar, which specializes in Indian and Pakistani food. We got the Halal chicken from there as usual. Even the owner already knows us pretty well. It was a difficult task since I had to carry three full bags of food, and then from eight in the morning the next day, we cooked until three in the afternoon. Before we agreed on what meal we served, we had a discussion regarding the budget and available halal ingredients. The guests are coming from all parts of Indonesia, so it is quite a difficult task to choose what meal suits all.
In the afternoon, the guests started coming. While we waited for everyone to reach, we served Bakwan as a side dish, which means fried vegetables. Everyone loved it. We chatted about things such as how people were doing, how were their studies, and laughed a lot. Most of the students in Szeged are PhD students. They shared their experiences with the Master students, many of whom want to continue their studies in Hungary, including myself.
We soon served the main meal, everyone liked it, it was a big success. All were surprised by the quantity of it- soon people were full. It was a fun time; we laughed a lot. By around 7 in the evening, most of the guests left, but a small group stayed to clean up the dishes. We continued talking until 10 at night. It was such an amazing experience.
We, as young people living far from home, feel like gathering with people from our country, it make us feel at home for a while. Speaking Indonesian, or even regional languages, feels really great. But to be honest, we all cannot wait to eat the food, as we miss our cuisine. Nonetheless, we have the word silaturahmi, derived from Arabic, which means to keep a good connection with each other, and it is very much present in our souls as Indonesians. It is part of our customs to keep up the brotherhood and sisterhood. I cannot wait to taste other Indonesian dishes next month and to meet up again!