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Negeri Rempah Foundation and cultural-diplomacy for Spice Route nomination to UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

Source | 27 September 2020

In cultural route category, UNESCO has suggested a join proposal among related countries. Initiated by Indonesia, in order to get support from other countries, there are also needs to establish good relations among them. One is through cultural ambassadors exchange. To make the cultural diplomacy agenda a success, the Directorate General of Culture, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology hand-in-hand with the Negeri Rempah Foundation composed guidelines in a book entitled 'Cultural Diplomacy Guidebook'.

At the workshop for the preparation of the Guidebook, (28-30/09), the Chair of the Negeri Rempah Foundation, Dewi Kumoratih Kushardjanto, explained, “The cultural diplomacy guidebook was composed to equipped the appointed cultural ambassadors with Indonesian set of values, intercultural insights, understanding of the Spice Route concept, and the reasonings for the Spice Route proposal as a world cultural heritage". She also added, cultural ambassadors who will be appointed by the state are people who are adaptive, skilled in diplomacy, and are able to project indonesia's values and to represent Indonesia in the world.

Ratih also explained that the cultural diplomacy should also reflect giving-hands gesture among the countries. This was also conveyed by Dr. Hassan Wirajuda, Indonesia's 2001-2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs who is currently Chair the Board of Trustees for the Negeri Rempah Foundation. This giving-hands gesture is a diplomacy that refers to the relationship between Sriwijaya and Nalanda eras. In their time, Sriwijaya and Nalanda built mutually beneficial cultural diplomatic relations. Sriwijaya for example, initiate a monastery in Nalanda. Through student exchanges, Sriwijaya and Nalanda's relationship has reached its peak.

The cultural diplomacy model that occurred in the Sriwijaya era will be an important reference for the Spice Route cultural diplomacy, namely a contribution-based culture by giving more through farmer exchanges, exchanges of scientists, writers, chefs, and so on. This will also be discussed later in the 'Cultural Diplomacy Guidebook'.


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