As part of its international cultural diplomacy, Indonesia will open cultural centers abroad, with Japan and the Netherlands already on the list.
“There are many foreign cultural centers in Indonesia such as Germany’s Goethe Institute, France’s Culturel Francais or the Dutch Erasmus Huis, so Indonesia must also have similar centers abroad to promote Indonesian and its culture,” Deputy National Education and Culture Minister Wiendu Nuryanti, said last week.
Wiendu told reporters recently that the centers would be set up in countries with which Indonesia had relations. However, the deputy minister has yet to detail the plan, saying it was still being discussed.
Wiendu explained that opening such centers was one of the many plans the National Education and Culture Ministry would execute as the government had reunited the Directorate General of Culture and the Directorate General of Education after 11 years of separation.
“We will also certify our artists such as dalang [puppeteers], sinden [gamelan orchestra singers] and movie censorship agencies to help give them the opportunity to improve their creative efforts,” she said.
Cultural diplomacy is one of the five principles included in a blueprint for cultural development that is now being prepared by the ministry, along with different stakeholders such as sociologists and artists.
The other principles are character building; history, heritage and cultural innovation; human resources and institutional building in culture; and cultural infrastructure.
“The blueprint will basically contain policies, strategies and programs for cultural development that will be based on the five principles,” Wiendu said, adding that the blueprint should be ready by the end of this year.
She said that the first cultural dialogue to prepare the blueprint, involving different stakeholders, would take place in Jakarta and other places, including Yogyakarta, in two weeks.
The Education and Culture Ministry invited the public to give input for the blueprint via email to [email protected]
The ministry’s culture directorate announced to the press recently that Indonesia had submitted the saman dance of Gayo Lues from Aceh to UNESCO for its list of intangible cultural heritages in urgent need of safeguarding, which would be announced during a meeting in November.
The meeting, the sixth session of the UNESCO intergovernmental committee for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritages, will take place in Bali on Nov. 22–29.
Aman Wirakartakusumah, head of the meeting committee, said that some 600 delegates from 137 countries would participate in the meeting.
Other Indonesian cultural heritages such as wayang, krises, batik and angklung have been inscribed on the prestigious representatives list of intangible cultural heritages of humanity under UNESCO’s 2003 convention. “The inscription of our cultural heritage is the beginning of efforts to preserve them. It hopefully will nurture the people’s love for the heritage, and thus Indonesians will be willing to participate in protecting, preserving and developing them,” Aman said. (msa)