CONNECTING TWO COUNTRIES
I often experience a fascinating situation when I discover that some people in Indonesia and the Netherlands are busy with the same thing while they do not know each other and have no contact whatsoever about the existence of the other party.
An example is the history of the tobacco industry. The Indonesian Plantation Museums (yes, two museums!) in Medan are busy with establishing the museums and one of the content is the tobacco history in Deli, the East Coast of Sumatra. And then I visited the Nijkerk Museum, they told exactly the same thing: tobacco history, including relations with the tobacco history from Deli in the past.
Or the restoration of the Fort van den Bosch in Ngawi, East Java, by the Indonesians while I was biking regularly to the legacy of Johannes van den Bosch in the Province of Drenthe with museums, houses, and much more tangible and intangible heritage.
Historical connections are to find out later, but we have enough hints to understand that many elements connect to each other. Knowing historical relationships between Indonesia and the Netherlands, it is not too complicated to have early thoughts about them.
I want to share those fascinations with both countries. A lot of good things happen on both sides and why not sharing with each other? That is basically my motivation to initiate a heritage webinar series from the Indonesians for the public of the Netherlands. They are informal webinars, free of charge, and only once a month for two hours (every third Wednesday). I have no idea how the Dutch public will respond to this idea, but I will never find out if I didn't try. I have a good intention, and that is the most important.
I am thankful that some people and organizations are on my side, helping me out to realizing this idealism. They strengthen my confidence to move on, no matter what. I owe them all a lot.
A tiny effort to build a communication bridge between heritage professionals and practitioners of the two countries.
The first one is this month, exposing the efforts of the Indonesians to reuse the hundred Dutch forts in Indonesia. It is about the restoration of the Fort of van den Bosch.