JAKARTA: The Education and Culture Ministry plans to set up a massive database on local cultures starting next year.
Education and Culture Minister Muhammad Nuh said that the project would catalogue all traditional cultures in the country, including some that had been overlooked by the majority population in the country.
Anthropologist Jean Couteau recently criticized the Indonesian political and cultural establishment for only focusing on the Islamic and Malay traditions.
Deputy Minister for Culture Wiendu Nurhayati said that the first step in the project would be the appointment of a contact person in every regency in the country who would document local traditions and heritages. The contact would also be assigned to assist locals in preserving their traditions.
“We have found some locals who sold artifacts they accidentally found to foreign researchers. We can prevent this through education,” she said.
Wiendu said that those eligible to take up the positions should be individuals who were well-versed in local culture and preferably with degrees in anthropology and fine arts.
The ministry also plans to document the country’s cultural diversity by making a documentary on local cultures and folklore. The project will start in February next year.