Two Vietnamese recipients of the 2018 Indonesia Arts and Culture Scholarship (BSBI) (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia launched the 2018 Arts and Culture Scholarship (BSBI) on March 28, with 72 people from 44 countries and territories honoured.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister of Indonesia Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir said the three-month course on arts and cultural research will provide knowledge for students, enhancing their mutual understanding.

The BSBI is an annual activity of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, aiming to introduce the country’s cultural characteristics and people to youngsters across the world.

It was launched in 2003 with the participation members of the Southwest Pacific Dialogue - SwPD (Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Indonesia). To date, the scholarship has been awarded to a total 776 alumni from 69 countries.

During the three months of the programme, awardees from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN 3, SwPD and some countries in Europe and Africa will learn the Indonesian language, arts, culture and religions, join social activities and visit the country’s cultural heritage sites.

They will study in arts centres in Bali, West Sumatra, East Kalimantan, East Java, South Sulawesi and Yogyakarta provinces. - VNA