The Jakarta Post
The majestic view of Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta. (Shutterstock/File)
Yogyakarta was named the ASEAN City of Culture for the 2018-2020 period during the eighth ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) meeting held in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the AMCA chairmanship was officially handed over from Brunei Darussalam to Indonesia.
The ASEAN City of Culture title itself was officially declared on Wednesday evening during a gala performance at the Prambanan Temple compound in Kalasan district, Sleman. It was marked with the handing over of the ASEAN City of Culture icon from the Education and Culture Ministry’s expert staff, Ananto Kusuma Seta, to head of the Yogyakarta Tourism and Culture Agency.
“This is a historical event to see Yogyakarta receive the title of ASEAN City of Culture. This is an acknowledgment from the ASEAN community,” said Ananto prior to the launch on Wednesday.
The ministry’s culture director general, Hilmar Farid, said the title was given every two years to the chair of the ASEAN ministerial meeting in the sector of culture. Yogyakarta so far is the fifth city to receive the title after Brunei Darussalam's Bandar Seri Begawan.
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“As the host we are given the right to choose a city as the ASEAN City of Culture,” said Hilmar, adding that after consulting with other members of ASEAN, Indonesia appointed Yogyakarta and it promptly got full support.
Yogyakarta is known as the heart of the Javanese culture in Indonesia. Also known as the city of tolerance and the city of students, it serves as a melting pot where people of different backgrounds meet and interact in harmony.
Hilmar said as an ASEAN City of Culture, Yogyakarta is tasked with preparing a work plan to be conveyed to the Education and Culture Ministry to be sent to the ASEAN secretariat to be further shared with other members of the regional cooperation.
“In 2019 we will have a ministerial meeting in the field of culture and it will be deliberated there,” Hilmar added.
Other than 10 Southeast Asian countries -- Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- the meeting was also joined by ASEAN's three dialogue partners, namely China, Japan and Korea. (kes)