The Tong Tong Fair, founded in 1959, in The Hague is the biggest Eurasian fair in the world. The event is a sensory stimulating blend of cultural festival, exhibition and food fest rolled into one, held in an archipelago of tents and stands. In 2016 it takes place for the 58th time 28 May – 5 June.
One of the biggest attractions is the Tong Tong Festival, with hundreds of performances spread over 9 days. The daily entry ticket for the Tong Tong Fair also includes a theatre pass for the Tong Tong Festival.
So, if you don’t have the time or money to travel all the way to Southeast Asia, come to the Tong Tong Fair in The Hague and imagine that you are in the East. The Tong Tong Fair comprises the immense Grand Pasar, the famous East-West exhibition with hundreds of stands offering Eastern merchandise and food. Many of the exhibitors come all the way from Indonesia especially for the event; a growing number come from Vietnam and Malaysia. Equally famous is the Food Court with dozens of restaurants and ‘warungs’; it is one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.
The international Tong Tong Festival takes place in four theatres on the fair site. The Tong Tong Podium is where the major music, dance and fashion artists perform. The intimate Tong-Tong-Theater presents lectures, interviews (mostly in Dutch, but increasingly in English too), acoustic and theatrical performances. In the Bengkel (studio) you are welcome to participate in all kinds of workshops: in music, dance, art, cooking and lots more. We have had the pleasure of welcoming artists, writers, lecturers and master chefs from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and the United States in recent years.
Lower image: Nading Rhapsody, world music performers from Sarawak, Borneo (performances: 4 & 5 June 2016)