Tuesday, 28 August 2012


The Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) was still scheming up format of fund raising for conservation of Indonesian Arts and Culture whether for corporate, individuals or communities. Participation in funding was spontaneous, especially by those who were concerned about Indonesian arts and culture. “Total EP, a French gas company, spontaneously supported the Wayang Festival. The categories were also adjusted to the capacity of donator from the lowest level to the highest” Deputy Minister of Education and Culture Wiendu Nuryanto disclosed to Business News (16/7).

The Minister claimed to have raised almost Rp 5 billion spontaneously from community group who called themselves Borobudur’s Firend. Fund raising was also in tandem with cleaning campaign of temples as national heritage including the Borobudur temple. Temples of Central Java were once covered with dust and sand when the Merapi mountain erupted in 2010. The Japan International Corporation (JICA), Garuda Indonesia, Freeport, the Embassies of the Netherlands, Germany and the USA joined company to jointly assist conservation program for culture and temples in Indonesia. “Perhaps a campaign would be necessary to stimulate interest so all initiative need not have to end here” Nuryanto remarked.

The Ministry was optimistic about fund raising plan. In the past few months, even in the past two years, role of the private sector was getting more visible in traditional art cultural performances. Besides the Ministry could feel free to coordinate educational and cultural activities. In the past, when the domain of culture was combined with tourism under the Ministry of Culture and Tourin (KemenbundPar) there was a missing link. “Now the elements are linked, we can perform better, because culture as best to be introduced to the public through education, including elementary schools” Nuryanto was quoted as saying.

Indonesia, having succeeded in propagating batik to the would, was now having another homework: to propagate wayang (puppet show) to the world. At home, the task to encourage the young generation to love wayang traditional culture was not easy. Batik, gamelan, the Saman dance from Aceh, had been acknowledged by the UNESCO cultural organizer of the UN.

Meanwhile effort to conserve wayang culture could not be done partially by the Ministry of Education and Culture alone because the interest overlapped with other institutions, especially the Ministry of External Affairs. Batik, the genuine Indonesian heritage had yielded revenues of 300 percent. The Ministry of Culture was now promoting wayang up to the same performance level of batik. “We feel sure that every staging of cultural performance had its economic impact” Nuryanto remarked.

For the short term, the Ministry of Education and Culture would recommend Government and private institutions to use more traditional items a souvenirs. For example souvenirs for Government servants on their day retirement having served for decades were usually awarded farewell souvenirs; the Ministry of Education would propose that the souvenirs would be in the form of wayang, or Kris dagger, or other specific items. The way it had been, souvenirs had always been of modern outlook. In this case the Ministry of Education and Culture would work in synergy with other ministries or institutions. “In short, we are optimistic. Recently we had been visited by young Indonesians who had stayed for a long time in Japan. They came to introduce 16 digital applications of wayang and gamelan. We highly appreciate innovative efforts of the young people, they had shown that wayang and gamelan could be developed with digital technology from Japan” Nuryanto remarked.

Meanwhile the Foundation of Total Devotion to Indonesia’s Cultural Heritage saw that cultural staging in Jakarta Old City was most appropriate. The three day festival (July 13-15) had its positive impact on lower-middle economic players especially the street hawkers. “The festival was a sudden event. Two or three days before H-Day we were proposed to stage a festival at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) but we refused, because the place was not down to earth and far from the small people, who were more found around the old town” Eddy Mulyadi, Chairman of the Bhakti Total Foundation told Business News (16/7). We learn from experience in 2011. The same festival was run again this year at the open space of Taman Fatahillah Park in old town where merry people’s party took place. Visitors and hawkers were equally happy.

The foundation built Vision of Indonesian Art of Wayang, especially for the young generation. Activities or revival and conservation of culture would be carried out all over the country. Without these endeavors, it was not impossible that Indonesian art of wayang would extinct; a wayang festival in old town depicting classical or contemporary wayang would be most appropriate in the present condition.   

 Business News - July 20, 2012

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