Indonesia’s Heritage Corner in South Africa
Written By Heni Puspita on Sunday, May 1, 2011 | 8:32 AM
Last week, precisely on April 22, 2011, the Consulate General of Republic of Indonesia (Konsul Jenderal RI or KJRI) in Cape Town, South Africa, Mrs. Sugie Harijadi inaugurated the opening of the Indonesian Cultural Heritage Corner called Indonesia’s Heritage Corner (IHC). IHC is located in Port Elizabeth city, Easter Cape Province, South Africa. IHC inauguration was also accompanied by the inauguration of the Easter Cape Muslim Heritage Museum (ECMHM). This museum illustrates the life of Malay descent South African people who joined the Eastern Cape Malay Cultural Society (ECMCS).
“IHC located in ECMHM museum is the result of cooperation between KJRI and ECMCS. IHC was formed with the aim of helping the community of Indonesian desecnt in South Africa to trace their ancestral root,” explain Mrs. Sugie Harijadi. IHC is also expected to help promote Indonesian culture, art, and economic, as well as the history of relationship between Indonesia and South Africa.
In IHC there are various kinds of information, such as maps that tell the origins of the Indonesian people became the ancestors of Cape Malay community in South Africa. There’s also a picture of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Makasari Al-Bantani, an Indonesia who is highly respected and recognized as a National Hero in South Africa. This picture comes with a history about him, from his birth until the moment he was exiled by the Dutch to Tanjung Harapan or Cape of Goof Hope (now Cape Town), until he passed away and buried in Kramat Macasar Cape Town. From this information, it’s expected that the Cape Malay community understand that their ancestors came from Indonesia, not from Malaysia since the word ‘Malay’ is always associated with Malaysia.
To the right is the organiser, Yusuf Agherdien.
In other parts of IHC, there’s a part displays the history of Jakarta formely known as Batavia, which became the center of VOC in controlling their colonies on the East Indies (now Indonesia), including controlling the Cape of Good Hope (now Cape Town). In IHC, there’s also information about Wali Songo and several famous mosques in Indonesia. IHC is also equipped with a display of Al-Qur’an and mannequiens dressed with Muslim clothes, books about Indonesia, calligraphies, and miniature of Phinisi ship which is the pride of Bugis/Makasar, Sheikh Yusuf’s homeland.
Inauguration of IHC and ECMHM in Port Elizabeth attended by hundreds of resident who joined in ECMCS. The opening of the museum located next to Sabireen Mosque begun with a prayer by Imam of Sabireen Mosque. KJRI plans to build some Indonesia’s Heritage Corners in other places. Furthermore, KJRI will promote Indonesia through Splash Festival 2011, also held in Port Elizabeth.
Post – kemlu.go.id, April 28, 2011.