Indonesian DAAD Alumni Workshop On “Mangkunegaran and Sustainable Social Transformation”

© Dr. K.R.M.H. Tatas Brotosudarmo

The Alumni Meeting of DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), or German Academic Exchange Service, was held at Puro Mangkunegaran Palace in Surakarta on the 4th and 5th of March. The meeting, which was organized with funding support from DAAD, was initiated by Ciputra University Surabaya and Puro Mangkunegaran, in collaboration with researchers from Goethe University of Frankfurt, University of Cologne, University of Passau, University of Hamburg, University of Indonesia, State University of Malang, and Sebelas Maret University. The organizing committee was chaired by K.R.M.H. Tatas Hardo Panintingjati Brotosudarmo, Ph.D., the Vice-Chair of the Institute for Research and Community Development (LPPM) at Ciputra University.

The meeting brought together 60 researchers from Germany and Indonesia, including 35 DAAD Alumni, 15 non-alumni, and 10 researchers from the National Research Center for Manuscript, Literature, and Oral Tradition, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). The theme of the meeting, “Mangkunegaran and Sustainable Social Transformation,” was centered around exploring various socio-political and cultural aspects of Javanese society. The researchers discussed various perspectives and resolutions, particularly regarding the ongoing social transformation characteristic of Indonesian society over the past few decades.

The primary objective of the meeting was to generate new insights on how our country can shape the future through sustainable social transformation. The event was held at Puro Mangkunegaran palace, which is located in the heart of Javanese culture and has historically had close academic ties with German scholars. One such example is the work of Johann Friedrich Carl Gericke (1798-1857), who established the Javanese Language Institute in Surakarta and collaborated with Sri Paduka Mangkunegara IV, the King of Mangkunegaran.

The interaction between Mangkunegaran and the West during the 19th to early 20th centuries marked significant transformations in Javanese society, including the emergence of agricultural industries and new enterprises, the expansion of education beyond the Palace, the development of inter-regional connectivity through railways, and the establishment of a radio transmitter in 1933, pioneering local community-owned radio broadcasting.

During the opening of the DAAD Alumni meeting, His Royal Highness K.G.P.A.A. Mangkoenagoro X, emphasized that Mangkunegaran currently plays an important role in the dynamics of democratic and pluralistic Indonesian society. Since 2022, Mangkunegaran has implemented a new open-door policy and shown a new vision to become a center of accessibility for scholars and a broader audience to explore the dynamic cultural life and traditions of Java.

Mangkoenagoro X’s vision is for Puro Mangkunegaran to be one of the cultural centers promoting dynamic Javanese culture and traditions within the context of contemporary Indonesian culture. The aim is to ensure that the traces of Java’s historical heritage become a source of knowledge for future generations and inspire sustainable development within communities in Indonesia.

Mr. Ir. Yohannes Somawiharja, Rector of Ciputra University Surabaya, highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship, which has become the essence of Mangkunegaran rulers accustomed to facing complex situations that can only be resolved by taking risks and making every effort, even if it may not be the ideal solution. This entrepreneurial spirit is what the younger generation needs to build a sustainable society, moving towards a society that is independent, happy, and prosperous.

On the last day of the meeting, the 60 scientists agreed to sign an international consortium declaration. The consortium was initiated by Edwin Wieringa, Martina Padmanabhan, Jerome Samuel, Elsa Clave, Kristina Grossman, Manneke Budiman, Nurenzia Yanuar, and Insiwi Febriary Setiasih, and led by K.R.M.H. Tatas Brotosudarmo and Arndt Graf. The Consortium Declaration reaffirms the support of scientists to nurture and enhance the role of scholars in the study of Mangkunegaran from a multidisciplinary perspective, preserving the dynamic Javanese culture and traditions upheld in Mangkunegaran and disseminating them in the context of contemporary culture, and developing a community based on local wisdom to face global challenges.

Puro Mangkunegaran Palace Surakarta

6 Maret 2024

Contact Person:

Dr. K.R.M.H. Tatas Brotosudarmo

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