Showing posts from February, 2019


Water expertises of the Dutch fascinates me. It has been and it always. Netherlands is a country below the sea and all children MUST learn to swim. Taking care of dikes and dams are priority number one in this country, otherwise all population sinks into the sea. This obligation forms certain mentality that are positives: discipline and strive for the best solution. You tell the Dutch your problem with water and watery areas, they always have answers. That was my impression yesterday when I attended a symposium about water management during the Dutch Indies colonial period and post Independence Indonesia in Bronbeek. On a sunny Sunday morning and afternoon. It was worth listening.  As the Indonesian Ambassador, H.E. I Gusti A. Wesaka Puja, yesterday said that Indonesia has had its local wisdom about water management, such as Subak irigation system in Bali, far before the Europeans came to colonialize the country. It is true and Indonesians should be proud and conserve it. And


When I am in Netherlands, I like to explore villages or better to say, suburban areas. Mostly close to home around Amsterdam but often are also far away in other provinces.  Last weekend, I explored Monnickendam and Broek in Waterland in North Holland. The reason that brought me there was a presentation from Tim Voors about his walking adventure in the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. This Literature Cafe took place in a church called Sint-Nicolaas in Broek in Waterland.  First, the Broek in Waterland. Such a cute little village with expensive cars parked a long the roads. This is a village for the have's, absolutely. It is not a village like my friends in Indonesia think about. Some houses have solar energy panels on the roofs. It is not something for farmers in Kandangan, Central Java, with buffalo's and dark dirty nails. I love both types and enjoyed Broek in Waterland as much as I enjoyed Kandangan. No sin to be rich as long as you earn it honestly


Lately I visited two places that show spiritual diversity. Fascination for spiritualism brought me to these places. First, I stayed over a weekend in the Gedong Gandhi Ashram in Candidasa, Bali. This place was established by the late Ibu Gedong whom I met in my 20's in one of conferences I attended. Ibu Gedong is a spiritualist based on Hindu teachings especially Gandhi philosophy. The ashram is now run by her family and local community.  I went to the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India, some time in the early 2000 but only as a passerby. I didn't stay. This time I allocated time at least 3 days to absorb more atmosphere of an ashram.  The Gedong Gandhi Ashram lies beautifully between the famous Candidasa Temple and beaches. Everyday, there are two yoga sessions, chanting in Sanskrit language at 5 am and 8 pm, meditation and three times vegetarian meals. For me as a guest, all programs are optional.  Just being in this peaceful and well maintained ashram gave me


Shared heritage, common heritage or cross border heritage? Those are terms that mentioned a lot in a symposium on Sunday, 27 January 2019 organized by Kanazawa University, Japan. The symposium topic was " Cross-border Cultural Heritage:  Transcending Differences in Interpretation and Building a Common Future." I was one of the four speakers and my paper titled "Heritage Conservation in Indonesia: Shared Heritage from the Colonial Past?" Basically I talked about paradigm shifts of heritage development of Indonesia from colonial period until now by providing facts and figures. The audience could draw their own conslusion whether or not the colonial past influence it.  I think bilateral cooperation of Indonesia and the Netherlands in cultural heritage is relatively  constructive compared to other case studies in the symposium: Israel-Palestine, Turkey-Anatolians (Greece, Armenia) and Japan-Korea. First of all because there is no political conflict anymore. Se