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Song, dance and Indonesian food will be a growing trend with an increasing number of students from Indonesia studying at the Southern Institute of Technology.

Newly elected Indonesian ambassador Tantowi Yahya was in Invercargill on Sunday meeting with the city's Indonesian community.

SIT Indonesian Students Association leader Bimo Faturrahman said the key message from Yahya was that all of the Indonesian students were ambassadors as well.

When Faturrahman came to the institute two years ago he was one of seven Indonesian students, but now there were about 100 students and their family members, he said.

He put the growth down to promotion of tourism.

The institute had grown and become significantly move diverse over the time he had been there, Faturrahman said.

"Here there's more diversity, a lot of opportunities and nice, helping people," he said.

The transition was "relatively easy" with language and weather being the biggest changes, he said.

"We're pretty much happy really," he said of the feedback from fellow Indonesian students.

The students held events, including Indonesian Night, which Faturrahman hoped the new Indonesian ambassador would come down to attend.

The night celebrated Indonesian culture with song and dance and traditional clothing, Faturrahman said.

On Sunday Yahya came to SIT to speak to students about how to be diplomatic as a person, have confidence and be true to yourself, and change stereotypes of negativity about Indonesia, Faturrahman said.

There were misconceptions about Indonesia being unsafe, congested and corrupt, but the students wanted to change the stigma about their home country and represent a good image of Indonesia, he said.

- Stuff

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