The title of  this presentation is Take the Wisdom from the Past, to Understand the Present and Envisage the Future and Its Achievement Strategies


Sharing Heritage: Safeguarding Diversity

Presented in World Culture Forum, International Forum for the Advancement of Culture (IFAC), 23 October 2019

Wisdom, what we can learn from history

to understand the present,

to envisage the future,

to build the world a new (Soekarno, General Assembly, UN, 30 September 1960)

to build a happiness society? (Joko Widodo, Closing Ceremony, Congress of Indonesian Culture, 9 December 2018)

Its achievement strategies related to the objectives to be achieved.

Why muscle strength and brain power?

The biggest mistake made by the Dutch Colonial Government was allowing Indonesians the areca-climbing games that relies on muscle strength and education that relies on brain power.

Areca-climbing games, national revival movement until proclamation just to show you, muscle strengths and brain power are not enough, we need the Supernatural Power or God Almighty. At the lower level is muscle strength (knowledge), at the middle level is brain power (science and technology), and upper level or absolute power is Supernatural Power or God Almighty). Without God Almighty, human relations like a cartoon character, animated film, Tom and Jerry, sometimes become friends when facing the common enemy, sometimes become enemies when fighting over the limited resources, finally we cannot live in peace. Film is a product of culture. A film can form characters, if you really like it and watch it over and over, do you?

As we know that UNESCO has two missions, first, to build the world in peace of mind for men and women; and second, sustainable development goals (SDGs).

If everyone runs his religion properly, the world will be peaceful, otherwise will be destroyed.

After Indonesian independence, do we still have mental obstacles with regard to economic development?

The mentality attitude (social stigma) of Indonesians since World War II (1939-1945), that is the attitude of underestimating the quality (for example, the performing art at the opening ceremony yesterday showed that the quality has not been a concern yet, for example the lightings on the front stage are dark, dancers are not practicing enough, de-contextualisation of music and dance, and lack of appreciation from the audience), the attitude of ignoring the process (eager to reach the goal as quickly as possible without much willingness to follow step by step), the attitude of irresponsibility, the attitude of unconfident, and the attitude of apathy and lethargy.

Source: Koentjaraningrat, Mental obstacles in Indonesia’s economic development, 1969

In 1901, the Nederland Colonial Government changed its colonial policy as a criticism of the politics of forced cultivation (Tanam Paksa) by Daendels with ethical politics.

Although Dutch ethical policies regarding irrigation, transmigration and education have been distorted, the opportunity to obtain education and teaching has changed the perspective of the importance of independence for the colonised nation.

The establishment of the STOVIA Medical School / Boedi Oetomo Association which was followed by a national revival movement and the proclamation of independence showed that brain power had changed the perspective of the Indonesian people about the meaning of a nation-state.

Three related UNESCO’s Conventions

The core of culture is expressive values that should be protected by copyright. If we found in the world cultural and/or natural heritage, which was related to living heritage or intangible cultural heritage such as cultural landscape in Bali province, the outstanding universal values is an important part of the 1972 Convention, but when there are skills, practices, expressions and knowledges that are transmitted from generation to generation, at least one generation, it is part of the 2003 Conventions. Meanwhile, cultural activities, goods and services; cultural expression often new, individual creations and focused on cultural industries, it is related to the 2005 Convention.

Cultural Cycle used in 2005 Convention concerning the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression

This diagram show us the cultural cycle from creation to consumption/participation and interrelation between all the element, actually related to economic system. But, without DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) of culture, that is identity, value and meaning, you are not differ from others, that was globalisation, transform people lifestyles around the world look like similar. By saying that, we have to think locally, but act globally.

Human Identity according to Koentjaraningrat

  • Human identity becomes strong when there is a reference to which he can be proud.
  • Therefore, the Indonesian national culture needs to highlight the special characteristics and great works that can give pride to all Indonesians, as a reference object for self-identification.
  • For example, Indonesian Batik, which is an Indonesian identity, a dynamic intangible cultural heritage, makes sense of identity, continuity, happy, proud and respected by other nations in the world.

Indicators of Happiness Index

In addition to indicators of life satisfaction, affect and meaning of life, other indicators that affect happiness namely work / business / main activities / household income, and so on.

Indonesia is ranked 92nd out of 156 countries released in the latest World Happiness Report 2019 with 5,192 points. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is below Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, and is above Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

The Gallup World Poll questionnaire measures 14 areas within its core questions: (1) business & economic, (2) citizen engagement, (3) communications & technology, (4) diversity (social issues), (5) education & families, (6) emotions (well-being), (7) environment & energy, (8) food & shelter, (9) government and politics, (10) law & order (safety), (11) health, (12) religion & ethics, (13) transportation, and (14) work.

The Diversity of Batik Designs and Motifs

  • The diversity of batik culture is caused by the natural environment, history, and human creativity, which can be seen in batik designs and motifs.
  • In addition, local batik is influenced by Hinduism (the “Gurda” motif (Garuda is a vehicle of Dewa Wishnu) and “Meru / Mahameru” in Solo, Yogya and other areas in Java), Buddhism (“Banji” / swastika motif in Cirebon, Indramayu, Pekalongan, Batang, Lasem, Tuban), Islam (Arabic calligraphy in Bengkulu, disguising animal motifs into plants in Java, “Pelo Ati” motives / decapitated animals in Batang); Javanese (Parang, Sidomukti, Semen Rante motifs, etc.), China (phoenix, dragon, wadasan, megamendung, lok tjan, seruni flower and botan) on the north coast of Java; Indian (“Jlamprang” / patola motif, Tree of Life motif in Pekalongan, Batang, Semarang, Lampung); Indo-European (“buketan” motif / bouquet of flowers, children’s fairytale, Europe in Pekalongan, Tegal, Kudus, Demak, Batang, Lasem etc.), Japan (Hokokai motif in Pekalongan) and others (resource person: William Kwan, researcher).

Go Tik Swan (KPA. Hardjonagoro)

While talking with President Sukarno in the State Palace at dinner,

“Djo, nickname Hardjonagoro, you are from a family of batik entrepreneurs, you may try to make Indonesian Batik for this nation, not Solo batik, Yogyakarta batik, Pekalongan batik, Cirebon batik, Lasem batik, etc., but Indonesian Batik,”  Soekarno said as told Rustopo in the book the Truly Java, Autobiography of Go Tik Swan Hardjonagoro.

Since then, Hardjonagoro traveled to batik centers in Java, even to Bali, and finally he was inspired to create Indonesian batik designs and motifs.

The idea is to make batik with new designs and motifs, but it remains rooted in local culture, which can be accepted by all Indonesians, by combining batik culture from the Solo and Yogyakarta palaces with coastal culture, such as Lasem and Pekalongan batik.

The same thing happened in the advancement of Indonesian language, not only rooted in local languages, but also absorbing foreign languages, which have been adapted into Indonesian, such as TABIK, greetings for multi-religious and multicultural.

The development of Indonesian batik, as happened in Indonesian language, can be a model for the advancement of Indonesian national culture.

Closing Remarks

  • Education is a necessity, which is believed to be able to break the chains of ignorance, poverty and dependence.
  • A Nation that wants to advance are (i) highly appreciate material; (ii) highly value of technology; (iii) future oriented; (iv) dare to take risks; (v) persevering in trying: (vi)  ability to cooperate with one another in a disciplined and responsible manner; and (vii) historia vitae magistra (history as a master of life).
  • To achieve a happy Indonesian society in the future, the element of social system and economic system are very important, with regard to reach social and economic benefits.
  • If there is no balance life between human relations with the Supernatural Power (God Almighty), nature and the universe, and humans, a happy Indonesian society is just wishful thinking.
  • Culture, if ignored, will easily damage or lost, for example Indonesian Batik, without batik hand drawn and / or hand stamped, we will loss traditional craftsmanship, sooner or later.

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