24 May 2023

The ASEAN+3 Youth Cultural Forum Made a Grand Return From the Pandemic Hiatus

Patitin Lertnaikiat
AUN Programme Officer;

Students from AUN Member Universities have been waiting for what seems like 3 long years, ever since the COVID pandemic, for the ASEAN+3 Youth Cultural Forum (AYCF) to make its glorious return. The wait is over! The AUN Secretariat is proud to announce the 18th ASEAN and 8th ASEAN+3 Youth Cultural Forum has just been conducted in Universitas Indonesia, Depok with 132 delegates from 9 ASEAN+3 countries and there is much to cover on what took place from 14 to 19 May, 2023. 

For those unfamiliar, what is the ASEAN+3 Youth Cultural Forum? It is one of AUN’s premier activities under the youth platform which aims to promote better understanding and appreciation of cultures that encompasses the ASEAN+3 region. The forum captures the essence of ASEAN cultural heritages, its influences, and development; as well as providing a rich venue for the appreciation of the diversity and commonalities within the ASEAN+3 region through worthwhile dialogues of artistic and cultural demonstrations. For this year’s theme, “Think-Feel-Act: Revive Stronger!” encapsulated how the processes of thinking, feeling, and acting could lead to art and cultural production.

The forum is built upon 4 main objectives:

  1. To feature and share the diverse cultures of ASEAN+3 through music, dance, and other forms of performing arts that define their national heritages and identity.
  2. To appreciate the shared cultural connections of the member countries to help the participants realize the value of the ASEAN Community.
  3. To expose participating students to cultural diversity and commonalities in order to enhance and strengthen mutual understanding, camaraderie, and collaboration among the youth in the promotion of ASEAN+3 awareness.
  4. To provide venues for dialogue exchanges among the participating students, cultural officer and/or directors to discuss issues and concerns of cultures and the arts in their respective countries, put forth solutions for these issues, and encourage commitments for establishing the regional identity and contribution to the maintenance, preservation, and enrichment of the culture of participating countries.

14th of May, 2023, officially marked the beginning of the 18th ASEAN and 8th ASEAN+3 Youth Cultural Forum. Delegates from Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Viet Nam were all greeted the warmest of welcomes from this year’s gracious host of AYCF, Universitas Indonesia, from the national airport all the way to the university’s own managed hotel. All delegates had the opportunity to begin mingling and getting familiar with one another over the course of dinner provided by UI.

Day 1

The first day, 15 May, is when the main event of AYCF 2023 began at Balairung UI, a large stadium, where, Prof. Ari Kuncoro, S.E., M.A., Ph.D., provided a welcoming speech followed by remarks from AUN Secretariat Executive Director, Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti.

Day 1 Opening.JPG

Throughout the day, delegates were able to rehearse their performances and prepare necessary equipment for the National Collaborative Performance in the late evening, and it sure was an unforgettable sight, especially for the first timers of AYCF!











Day 2

After a great evening of performances, the second day began with a special lecture from the Director of Indonesian Dance Festival, Ratri Anindyajati, followed by the ASEAN Art and Cultural Bazaar, the favorite event among delegates!












Day 3

This day is special as delegates partook in a workshop outside of UI campus at Museum Prajurit  where throughout the day they had the opportunity to learn 3 different cultural art traditions of Indonesia, making the beautiful cloth of Batik, playing the wonderful instruments of Gamelan, or learning the intricate dance of Sekar Gandakusuma. Later throughout the evening to night, university students returned to UI campus to prepare for the closing performance of tomorrow where students were grouped for either the Minang and Betawi dance, or playing the Angklung instrument.







Day 4

For the final day of AYCF 2023, all performing students return to Balairung UI, where they have the entirety of morning to the evening for final preparations of the closing performance. Hours rolled by through the rehearsals and it was now time as all participants and UI students came to witness the final spectacular performance. Closing speeches by the Vice Rector of Academic and Student Affairs of UI Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Abdul Haris and AUN Secretariat Executive Director Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti. Afterwards, a wonderful performance by Liga Tari Mahasiswa UI Krida Budaya. Then finally, it is the delegates’ turn to give a sensational collaborative performance as a final send off to the 18th ASEAN and 8th ASEAN+3 Youth Cultural Forum.










Quite an event was it not? AYCF is back and will continue in the coming years with the next host country being Brunei. Furthermore, it is not yet over for us, the AUN Secretariat has taken the liberty to interview delegates of each country and we would like to share their sentiments with you in a follow up article soon! 

Here is an early look from one of our Malaysian delegates: 


Initial Expectations?
“Of course, since this is an event where it involves a lot of countries. So mainly I’m expecting new knowledge, learning other cultures from different countries and exchanging cultures.”

Why did you attend this event?
“Mainly because I love to dance and I’ve heard from my seniors as well who have been to this event. They shared how everything goes on here, like getting to learn new things, getting to dance a lot, and I really like to dance!”

Favorite Moment?
“My favorite moment was I think during the Bazaar. It was really fun because we got to go to each country and we got to play their games, talk to them, eat their food while playing, and dance along as well, such as during the Philippines showcase!”

Satisfied with the line-up of activities?
“Yes, but honestly still expecting more in terms of perhaps going around in Jakarta, to learn more things instead of just workshops.”

Biggest takeaway?
“I think during the Bazaar itself? Getting to meet new people and talking to new people from other countries! It was really fun to get to see other people doing the things that you have been doing in your own culture.”