Monday, May 9, 2011

Villagers Give Back 2.150 Majapahit Ancient Bricks

Mojokerto, East Java - Klinterejo villagers in Mojokerto yesterday returned at least 2.150 bricks originating from the ancient Majapahit Kingdom. The bricks were put back to where they were initially found.

According to Klinterejo village chief, Zainal Abidin, the villagers found the 20 x 35 centimetre bricks four years ago when they dug the village land. Since then, the land has been rented out for brick production.

Besides preserving the ancient bricks, around 20 Klinterejo villagers yesterday dug out more bricks in two locations just 150 meters away. In the three-hectare area where the Majapahit site is located, delicately sculptured old bricks forming a one-meter gate were found.

Besides the bricks, the villagers recently found at least eight ancient stone statues in the village bordering the Trowulan sub district. Zainal said there are still 7.000 more bricks that have not been returned by the villagers, 6.000 of which belong to the Roudlotul Ulum Islamic Boarding School.

While awaiting the arrival of the Yogyakarta National Archeological Research and Development Center experts to conduct a research, the ancient stones are stored at the Bre Kahuripan Site, locating only 100 meter from where the bricks were found.

An official from East Java Antiquities and Relics Conservation Agency (BP3), Aris Sovyani, said the government, through the BP3, will lease the land required for the research at Klinterejo. “Based on the recommendations of State Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, we will lease the area so the findings can be preserved,” Aris said, contacted by Tempo.

Aris also said that BP3 officials will start measuring the land area tomorrow.


National Heritage Board Revamps Heritage Website

Singapore - The National Heritage Board (NHB) has revamped its heritage site,, to widen its appeal online among Singaporeans through social media.

Developed by local interactive shop Convertium, the revamped is designed like a time machine with visual elements to signify a convergence of the past, present and future.

Convertium also customised the WordPress publishing platform of the site to enable various interactive and collaborative features for a more compelling user experience.

Originally started in March 2006 as the city-state‘s first heritage and museum blog, currently attracts 15,000 unique visitors per month and touts itself as a dynamic social media portal that encapsulates Singapore‘s unique heritage and culture while functioning as a one-stop platform for citizen-centric heritage and museum content.

Michael Koh, CEO of NHB, explained: “As a pioneer in social media, has achieved success in engaging the web-savvy young. Heritage and museums are no longer viewed as old and fuddy-duddy.”

“The repositioning of into a social media platform creates fresh opportunities for Singaporeans to participate in heritage by sharing stories, photos, videos and other content with us. With its enhanced interactive features, will also serve as a launch pad for our other social media initiatives. Through this, we hope to reach an even wider segment of the population.”


Batak Concert To Fuse The Tribal And The Modern

Medan, North Sumatra - With current Indonesian music venues and stages mostly dominated by similar forms of pop culture, whether Indonesian or Western, it is always a pleasant surprise to have a traditional form of music performed live by one of the country’s best-known tribes.

Mixing different music genres in a contemporary concept, the Batak Music for the World foundation has organized “Batak Music in Harmony,” an event scheduled for Thursday, which aims to remind Indonesian listeners about their rich traditional music.

Batak is a collective term used to describe an indigenous people, language and culture found in the northern part of Sumatra Island.

The Batak, one of hundreds of Indonesian tribes, are easily recognized from such family names as Siregar, Siahaan and Sembiring, and are often described as firm and expressive.

“We want Indonesians to be proud of their own cultures, and expats to know more about Indonesian music,” said Indra Jaya Sihombing, the event organizer and creator of the foundation.

“Indonesian traditional music is fighting for existence these days. It is usually only performed and consumed in their local areas,” he said.

“Even Batak young generations who are born and raised in Jakarta are not familiar with their own music these days.”

Batak are well-known for their ability to play the guitar and sing, not just in cultural ceremonies but also in public performances.

“The capability to sing and play various kinds of instruments is in our bloodline, that is why it’s a shame if the music is only played locally,” Indra said. “We want the world to know what Batak music is, just like they recognize Latin music.”

Indra is optimistic that this is already beginning to happen, adding that Batak singers have been taking their music to the world since the 1960s.

The specific rhythm of Batak music, called tor-tor, comes from a group of traditional musical instruments consisting of gongs, zithers and flutes.

On Thursday, they feature alongside more modern instruments and performances by international artists, including Mauro Goia, a keyboard player from Italy. “I have toured around the world and come across various kinds of traditional music, and I have been fascinated with Batak music since I was introduced to it six years ago,” Goia said at a press conference after performing a classic piece with singer Mega Sihombing.

“I am amazed by it’s rhythm, vitality and melody. Music is a universal language and it’s just fascinating when you combine a European style of music with a traditional kind like Batak,” he said.

The three hour–long concert will include Batak music of various kinds, ranging from the more classic styles to jazz.

Prominent musicians, such as Idang Rasjidi, one of Indonesia’s jazz legends, will accompany a young generation of Batak singers, including Mega Sihombing and Lea Simanjuntak.

“To all music lovers out there, we welcome you all,” Indra said.

“Please come to enjoy a concert that you might not even imagine before and be surprised.”

Concert Details
“Batak Music in Harmony”: A Contemporary Batak Music Concert
Thursday, Feb. 12, starts at 7 p.m.
The Sanctuary Function Hall, Menara Kuningan UNIT F3, Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Blok X-7 Kav.5, South Jakarta
Who's performing?
Musicians: Idang Rasjidi, Harry Anggoman, Mauro Goia [Italian keyboardist], Yeppy “Romero” Pangaribuan, Korem Sihombing, Tribiswara A’capella
Singers: Victor Hutabarat, Jack Marpaung, Mega Sihombing, Lea Simanjuntak, Dewi Marpaung, Tongam Sirait.
VIP = Rp 850,000 ($73)
Regular = Between Rp 150,000 and
Rp 500,000
Brief Communications: Tel 021 799 0180
DetikCom: Tel 021 794 1177


Tales On Local Heroes Sought

Kuantan- Tales of local warriors and great personalities should be written or produced in a more youth-friendly manner to appeal to the younger generation.

“There is a lot to learn from the exploits of people who fought to uphold their rights and free the country from colonial clutches but most of the books currently available are too heavy-going and academic.

“There is a need for lighter reading material on these personalities so that young Malaysians are able to appreciate and understand their struggles,” said Sultan Abu Bakar Museum director Ahmad Farid Abdul Jalal.

“This is important as it gives them an introduction to the country’s history,” he said after the opening of a forum on local warrior Mat Kilau, organised by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia here recently.

He said such tales could also be told using modern technology such as audio visual equipment and other high-tech communication tools since the youngsters were well-versed with information technology.

“It comes at no better time than now with the latest development unravelling in the country today.”

In his speech earlier, Ahmad Farid said the stories and adventures of many local warriors were slowly being replaced by cartoon characters such as Doraemon.

It was high time a new and refreshing approach be introduced so the young could learn from the contributions of these warriors, he said.

Ahmad Farid added that Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar had expressed her support for projects such as research work on Mat Kilau.

Source: (February 10th, 2009)

Thai FM To Visit Philippines, Indonesia

Bangkok- Thailand‘s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kasit Piromya will officially visit the Philippines and Indonesia next week to strengthen bilateral relations, his first visit since assuming his post in December.

The Rohingya migrant issue is high on the agenda for his talks in Jakarta, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of East Asian Affairs deputy director-general Medha Promthep, who said both trips would be introductory visits to reinforce bilateral relations as the three countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional grouping.

Mr. Mehta said the foreign minister was scheduled to visit Indonesia February 10-12.

During the visit, he expected to discuss various issues including insurgent problems in Thailand‘s southern border provinces, fisheries in Indonesian waters and the Rohingya migrant issue.

The director-general said Indonesian government well understands the Thai government‘s stance to use peaceful means to resolve the violence in the predominantly Malay Muslim southern provinces.

Mr. Kasit is expected to exchange views with senior Indonesian officials, and will meet the leaders of the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population.

Fisheries were also on the table for talks as Indonesia had recently applied more strict measures against Thai trawlers fishing in its waters.

Mr. Kasit will carry back the results of the talks, when he returns to Bangkok, to discuss with government and the private sector involved in fisheries to explore ways to adjust the industry.

The Rohingya migrant problems are high on the agenda during the minister‘s visit to Indonesia, he said.

Foreign media earlier quoted Indonesian navy officials as saying that about 200 men from the minority Muslim Rohingya group were found in a boat off northern Sumatra on Monday, saying they had spent three weeks at sea after the Thai armed forces cast them adrift.

However, the Thai government on Wednesday denied the new allegations of mistreatment towards the boat people from Myanmar.

Mr. Medha said the problem was not that of any one country alone, but was regional and required cooperation from all the countries affected to resolve.

Before the Indonesia trip, Mr. Kasit was scheduled to visit the Philippines Sunday and Monday when he would discuss bilateral cooperation on tourism.

Thailand and the Philippines mark the 60th year anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, and the ministers will discuss joint activities to celebrate the special occasion.

However, Thailand‘s insurgent problem in the southern provincse and possible rice sales will also included in the agenda, he said.

Source : (February 9th, 2009)

Giant Flag Hoisted To Mark Celebrations National Day

Bandar Seri Begwan - The giant flag was hoisted yesterday to mark the Brunei Darussalam Silver Jubilee National Day 2009 celebrations held in the vicinity of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah business complex.

The guest of honour was Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Awg Ahmad bin Hj Jumat, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, who also handed over the national flags and posters to four district officers.

In his speech Pehin Dato Dr Hj Ahmad said, "We are already independent for 25 years, and the nation and citizens are already mature. This is in accordance to the Silver Jubilee National Day 2009 theme "Kedewasaan Bernegara". The theme is the manifestation of our maturity on every aspect.

"As usual the National Day Celebration will begin with the giant flag hoisting as a message to the nation on the history of the National Day. The Brunei National Flag is a matter of pride and honour as it symbolises our dignity and instils the spirit of patriotism.

"All residents and people of Brunei Darussalam should have a positive attitude, high spirit of patriotism in hoisting our National Flag either in kampong or mukim, housing or business establishments nationwide," the guest of honour added.

The gigantic flag, which measures 24 by 12 feet, was hoisted by 30 navy personnel led by Major Bahrin accompanied by 30 army cadets.

The event was also highlighted by the patriotic song performed by the choir group comprising 50 students from SOAS College and STPRI and 60 personnel from the Royal Brunei Police Band.

Some 500 youth from the youth associations under the National Youth Council and Women`s Council also participated in the event.

Also present were Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Penggawa Laila Bentara Istiadat Diraja Dalam istana Pg Hj Alauddin bin Pg Paduka Tuan. Pg Hj Abu Bakar, Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Hj Awg Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri bin Begawan Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Hj Awg Umar, and Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pg Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman, as well as members of the Royal and State Legislative Council, permanent secretaries, district officers, penghulu-penghulu and ketua-ketua kampong and other senior officers.


Sepang Gold Coast A Gold Mine For Tourism

Sepang, Malaysia - Given its strategic location, the Sepang Gold Coast has all the advantages to become an iconic landmark of resort living that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said it was just a fishing village fronting the Straits of Malacca but its developer saw its potential to be a tourist attraction.

“I must commend the foresight of the developer for choosing this location.

“I believe the Sepang Gold Coast will eventually become a renowned tourist destination,” he said at the media appreciation night organised by Sepang Gold Coast and Malaysia Airlines in Sepang on Wednesday.

In his speech, Sepang Gold Coast Sdn Bhd president Ho Hock Seng said Sepang Gold Coast was designated by the Selangor government as a key and strategic component of a new Klang Valley.

“In response to the growing congestion in the Klang Valley, the Selangor government has drawn up plans to transform this southern area into the second Klang Valley,” Ho said.

He said the company`s vision was to transform the coastal region into an eco-friendly international destination embracing the rich culture of a global village.

Also present at the event were Malaysia Airlines managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala and The Star group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.