by Abu Hanifah
SERANG, Indonesia, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Both Chinese and local workers at a coal-fired power plant project in Indonesia's Banten province have been spending the days leading to the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, by carrying out seasonal celebration activities.
The workers produced Chinese calligraphy and cut red paper to create wall decorations for the festival that falls later this weekend.
"We cooked food together there. The manager, lower-ranking employees and us, local employees, gathered together to make delicious dumplings and other Chinese food," 25-year-old local female employee Astuti Samiarjo Diningrum ("Tuti"), who works as a translator, told Xinhua at the project site, located in Banten province's Serang regency, 106 km west from the capital city of Jakarta on Tuesday.
"This is my first time to take part in such activities and I am so excited. I could learn so much about Chinese culture as I was taught everything about the calligraphy and cutting the decorative paper as we did them together," said Tuti, who has been working in the project office for the last seven months.
Working in a Chinese firm was what Tuti had yearned for after she completed her Mandarin language course.
Upon seeing the sense of unity between the Chinese and local employees in the activities to celebrate Spring Festival, she said it encouraged her to further learn about Chinese culture and tradition.
"Chinese people have their own tradition which is uniquely different from ours. Our Chinese colleagues are very respectful and very kind to the local employees here. They patiently teach us without hesitation everything we need to know to do our jobs here. That is what I like about our Chinese guests," she added.
Another local female employee who took part in cutting the decorative paper and calligraphy in the hall, Sinta Lesmana, said that the activities opened her mind to Chinese cultural values that cherish togetherness in all walks of life.
"In addition, the calligraphy and meticulous decoration cutting processes have given us more creativity and skills to make some artful things," she said.
Along with sharing cultural insights, she said that her Chinese colleagues are highly disciplined when it comes to work and job targets on site.
"That inspires me deeply and makes me feel comfortable to work here," she added.
A senior official at the project site told Xinhua that the activities were intentionally introduced to enhance cultural exchanges between China and Indonesia, and mostly to develop the Spring Festival atmosphere at the project site.
"This is the first time for us to do this. We plan to do this again in the future. So far the results have been good and many local employees were interested in Chinese cultural traditions like calligraphy," Safety Director Zhou Junzhong said.
The coal-fired power plant project was part of the Indonesian government's larger power project to provide 35,000 megawatts (MW) of power across the nation.
The construction of the power plant facility, that uses new ultra super critical boilers, began in 2016 on an Independent Power Producer (IPP) scheme base and is expected to commence its operation with a capacity of 2 x 1,000 MW in 2019.
After it begins commercial operation, the facility has the potential to employ more than 600 local workers to run the plant.
The electricity produced by the China-Indonesia jointly-operated facility, with a total investment of 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, will be for Indonesia state power utility firm PLN who has signed a 25-year contract.