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Kingdom as the Cultural Center

July 23, 2011 13:27

Kutai Kartanegara Sultanate Palace

The following is a summary of cultural seminar entitled "Kutai Culture as the Red String of History Interlace Nations Towards a Civilized Society" held in Kutai Kartanegara Sultanate Palace on Saturday, July 9, 2011. The seminar featuring two speakers, the Secretary of Kutai Kartanegara Regency as well as Secretary of Kutai Kartanegara Palace, HAPM Haryanto Bachroel and the Professor of Indonesian Cultural Community, Edi Sedyawati.


The progress of civilization which can be translated into two-sided, positive and negative, will inevitably impact on the transition of cultural order. The transition has two meanings, innovative culture or increasingly eroded. Of these two possibilities, seems the progress of civilization is more likely effect on second meaning, in this case are local cultures.

Customs and cultures which are considered as the product of the past are now beginning to be unpopular. The exodus of cultural values of the Western seems to be new trend central embedded in Indonesian archipelago. If this is allowed to move on, it would be sure that the original values of local cultures manifested through customs and cultural institutions, slowly but surely will be going to extinct.

The Kingdom as one of cultural keepers should have been performed to complete the mission. This could be an obligation when we see that basically these cultures originated from within the wall of Palace which then spread to the community. People, who were very loyal to his boss (the king) at that time, will follow all the rules - including customs and cultures - applied in the Palace. Palace is a reflection of its people. This is where the actual function of a kingdom is located, as the cultural center.

Cultural center on the Kingdom should be always on alert as it is basically a cultural identity of the nation. Maintaining the cultures as well as its keeper (the Palace) from cultural advances and changes of civilization will directly participate in maintaining its identity itself. This combination will make the culture to be more intense as well as make a salable commodity for sale.

The sale value of cultures is not simply as commerciality, but further than that, as a medium of publication to introduce the community in the form of cultural preservation. The various appearances of cultural agendas in East Kalimantan, especially in Kunai Kartanegara, are one effort of the community to be always aware of their identity. Erau Festival which held every year in Kutai Kartanegara is an obvious example of how the Kingdom acts as cultural keeper.

Packaging Erau ceremony as the cultural calendar in East Kalimantan has proven to be one of the attractions of cultural tourism. The combination of preserving culture centered from the Palace and the place of creativity of various elements, such as Dayak Tribes and Malays, in Erau ceremony was proven to have made that local cultures are now increasingly exist.

Erau is one example of how different cultures can be combined and shown to produce something that is quite popular in the eyes of society. The ability to make something interesting is the homework for some parties, especially the Palace and the government, so the culture does not disappear quickly eroded by the progress of civilization. And the ultimate goal of these efforts, as a major theme of this seminar is, towards a civilized society.    

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