Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on the Opening Ceremony of the 2021 National Culture Week Livestreamed from Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province 19 November 2021
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue,
The tough challenge that we are facing today is not the first time in the history of our life as a nation and a state. The pandemic that we are facing currently and the natural disasters that occurred recently are not the first time happening. The Indonesian people have encountered so many challenges, even before this republic existed.
I would like to reiterate that there are many things that can be learned from and referred from the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors. The knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors may not be written in literatures or modern scientific articles by our modern standards. However, our ancestors’ knowledge was inherited to us in the forms of oral narratives, drama scripts and shadow puppets plays, and various local traditions, all of which are cultural heritage which is rich in wisdom and knowledge.
The inherited wisdom and knowledge may not be explained in modern methodology. Indeed, it is our responsibility to wisely research all of the cultural heritage in a modern reason and methodology developed by ourselves.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our ancestors faced so many challenges. They endured numerous volcanic eruptions and earthquakes since this archipelago existed. Tropical diseases, such as malaria and other diseases, as well as pandemic had occurred long before. Diverse ethnics, traditions, and religions have formed the characters of our ancestors.
Each challenge faced by our ancestors should came up with solutions and ways to manage and find a good solution. It is the culture of Indonesian people which is inherited through art and tradition, in the form of jamu (Indonesian traditional herbal drink), for example, and other knowledge.
Our culture came up from many difficulties that had been faced by our ancestors.
Our culture is a way of life developed in our civilization.
Our culture was developed from the interactions between our ancestors themselves and between our ancestors and natural environments.
Besides preserving and learning from our ancestors’ culture, I also call on the nation to have a better understanding of Indonesian rich and complex natural environment. Our marine biodiversity is the richest one in the world and our land biodiversity is the second richest one in the world after Brazil.
We must also preserve this rich biodiversity. We should protect Indonesian natural germ plasma and utilize it for inclusive and sustainable development. Therefore, I would like reiterate that from the richness of our culture and biodiversity, Indonesia has huge potentials to develop knowledge based on Indonesian civilization. For example, Indonesia has potentials to promote jamu as modern medicine that can be proven scientifically.
Our knowledge methodology must wisely appreciate our culture and civilization. Do not jump into a conclusion that a local custom or tradition is not correct or is not good. Maybe we do not know yet how to explain it scientifically. Therefore, preservation is an important thing to do, other than the improvement and utilization for the development of Indonesia.
I think that concludes my remarks in this good opportunity.
By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I hereby declare the 2021 National Culture Week open.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Om santi santi santi om,
Namo buddhaya. (AW/EP)