In the anniversary of Jakarta this year, which always creates festive atmosphere in June and July, an addition of political heat from the election of Jakarta’ Governor on July 11 will add to the scene. Who might be the winner?
Every candidate exclaims their promise to overcome problems of flood, but no one has promised to take care of cultural matters. While the former governor of DKI Jakarta Ali Sadikin kept reminding people that “If one wants to be a good governor of Jakarta, cultural matters have to be taken care first.”
The reason is very simple. As a melting pot of many ethnicities in this Archipelago, and also a city that mirrors the civilization of the country, it has to have a humanistic and civilized face.
Bang Ali, it was how Jakarta citizens warmly called him, achieved his cultural mission by building youth halls in five municipals. He also turned Cikini Zoo into Cultural Center of Ismail Marzuki (TIM) and he also developed the Ancol Dreamland with its Art Market. Prof. Dr. Yasmine Zaki Shahab, researcher of Betawi culture, considered Bang Ali’s period as the reestablished era of Betawi (GONG Column).
We certainly have no intention to turn Bang Ali into a cult figure. The story was based on people’s longing for a leader who have a cultural sensitivity, particularly for the capital city. They do not need a leader who worship developments of malls and skyscrapers without paying any attention to public space and green open space.
Warisan Indonesia readers, another highlight we have in this edition is the interview with the former Minister of Education and Culture, who is also a painter, Dr. Daoed Joesoef.
And don’t miss out on interesting coverage from the traditional world, such as the revival of Minang songket cloth after having been forgotten for long, although its motifs contain the Minang people’s life philosophy (in Textile); the art of didong typical of Aceh that has not been exposed to music, it only relies on hand claps and beating of pillows (Literature). We have also a piece on old streets of Jakarta, such as Haji Nawi Street and Haji Jiung Streets with story behind their name (Legend).
Another thing, we are also delighted to convey that the article of “The Language that needs to be saved” in edition 16 Vol.1 written by one of our editors, Donny Iswandono, received praises from the board of the jury in the Festival of Jailolo, just recently.
Furthermore, our photo editor, Hardy Mendröfa, received a scholarship to advance his photography study at the University of Ateneo, in the Philippines. He is the only person invited from Indonesia for this year. Naturally, the study duty of our editorial crew for the sake of honing professionalism will in turn bring improvements for the magazine’s content.
Have a nice reading.
Rita Sri Hastuti/Chief Editor