Back in 2009 in one of my blog entries I made a reference to how impressed I was that cities in Indonesia had appeared to have taken on an attitude of restoration and remembrance. There was an abundance of evidence, at least to me, that a shift in thinking had taken place and the history of Indonesia was about to be recognised in its own country; good, bad, and ugly…before 1945 and after.
I witnessed throughout Java a new understanding, or acceptance, of the countries history. An understanding that did not shy away from the fact that it was not all uplifting; that it did not always look positive in the text books of school children but it was none-the-less the truth. University students were holding heritage walks through the streets of Jakarta and adorning themselves in the attire of the Dutch colonialists while listening to lectures of what life was really like. A push to lay claim to their heritage was afoot.
This notion of Indonesia embracing its heritage was further solidified by the restoration and reconstruction of historic buildings around the island. It looked to me like the country was going to take advantage of its history and make it a destination for tourists. For sure Indonesia was an Asian powerhouse now and didn’t have to look back with timid glances of disdain on its colonial past. They could take charge of it, make money from it, improve their country, and garner world recognition all at the same time.
For these observations though I received a couple of comments that bordered on mocking, kind of like those comments that are spoken just loud enough to be heard but soft enough to be denied if needed. Anyway, my point is simply to shine some light on this article published in the Jakarta Post in February and thank my friend Bianca Halpert for sending it to me. Please click on the link below and enjoy the read and its possibilities.
Heritage Sites of Indonesia an article in the Jakarta Post.
© Written by Tim O’Callaghan, Indo Discovery Travel