The past few years have seen the coming forward of circles of Indonesian sultans and kings. The Festival of Keraton Nusantara had been held in late 2010 in Palembang. However, the integrality of the festival was very different from the first exhibition in 2006 in Bali. “There has been outside intervention from nonmembers,” a source whispered.
The archipelago’s kingdoms are an extremely elaborate historical phenomenon to understand. We can talk about a lot of things out of this. Explanation from the authorities is much needed when many people claim that they are kings of the kingdoms which are difficult to trace now.
In most cases, they insist that the NKRI (Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia) stands on the territory of their former kingdom. To some extent, we can accept that. However, times change and we have a different situation now compared to the time when their ancestors were in power. Nonetheless, their contribution to national culture is undeniable indeed. The kingdoms gave birth to some of our local wisdoms. It’s unanimous that the modern circumstances still need the roles of the palace. The problem is how to manage them. It’s not easy for the government to map out its connections with each palace. Everyone of them has their own history and dynamics.
Our journalists along with the contributors have worked to collect material over this issue in several regions and then present them as the GONG of our reports. After all, our work remains a journalistic work without any intention to equal the scientific work.
We present a medley of cultural issues in other parts. Putu Wijaya took a trip around the island of Nias. On the island that has been devastated from being repeatedly hit by natural disasters, he studied the lives of Nias women. He was also interested in the island’s albino people.
This edition also present the life in Dieng plateau surrounded by many myths. From the highland, we brought stories of long-haired kids with dreadlocks an and exceptional story of the temples. Next, the emergence of Pornography Law has brought confusion to the traditional dance artists of the lengger, tayub, ronggeng, and jaipong. They are still very much alive though, despite the tension from the new values. Everyone must iinherited and maintain the values of culture and tradition. And we must start henceforth. Have a happy reading!