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Home » Arts & Culture

What Belongs to Whom  

by on Saturday, 1 December 2007One Comment | 2,030 views

During the time we are not really concern about our cultural assets. Ironically we start to concern on it just when someone has taken it and partly claim it is belong to them, such as Malaysia claims the Indonesian folk song “Rasa Sayange”, the traditional food “Rendang”, traditional art “Batik” until the traditional game of Indonesia “Congklak”.

But from those conditions I still thank God (part of East Culture) because it has awakened us for being unconcern to our great culture. Maybe we should send a gratitude card to Malaysia. In fact, have we ever thought whether Rendang, Congklak, and etc. are really come from Indonesia?

A friend sends me a National Journal Newspaper to my email which is asking what if China claims for its culinary culture like capcay (consist of mix vegetables and mushroom), soto (meatsoup), bakso, and satay? Oh my God! What will happen to us without those kinds of food?


It is estimated that Soto was brought by the Chinese who came to Indonesia but nobody found the exact year yet. But “laksa”, a similar food like soto is estimated has been eaten by the people in Nusantara since the time of Majapahit Kingdom. The Biluluk Charter year 1391 mentioned “hanglaksa” which means the maker of laksa which also shows people had known laksa on that year. So what about rendang? What about the folk song “Rasa Sayange”? Where does it come from?


It is so pity that we haven’t realized the importance of our culture yet. Or will it be better if some of our cultural assets are preserved by other country due to the weaknesses of our government to protect and to keep our cultural assets. Let’s see our Balinese lontars, a palm leaf manuscript which is full of ancient knowledge, stories and histories, which was taken away to Netherlands. They have a good and better treatment than the ones in Indonesia.


We have to learn how to appreciate our own culture from this incident or another country takes our culture assets more and more. It is not only the government but also all the stratum in the society.

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