The Ministry of Education and Culture organizes the ASEAN Panji Festival, commemorating 6 years of Panji’s history becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site

TIME.CO, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology is collaborating with nine countries, including Indonesia, to organize an international-scale activity titled ASEAN Panji Festival 2023. This event is in commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the designation of the Panji Story manuscript as a world heritage site UNESCO.

The festival will take place in different cities, namely Yogyakarta, Kediri, Surabaya, Malang and Surakarta from 7 to 28 October 2023. This event will feature representatives from ASEAN member countries, namely Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines , Laos, Vietnam and Singapore.

“This is the opening performance, the result of a long collaboration between different countries, who spent two weeks together processing and then created this work,” said the Director General of Culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture , Hilmar Farid, on the sidelines of the performance. in Yogyakarta, Friday evening, October 13, 2023.

The city of Yogyakarta, or to be precise, the Laboratory Building of the Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta, was the first location for the collaborative performance of nine countries. After that, it is scheduled for October 16 in Kediri, October 21 in Malang, October 22 in Surabaya and October 25 in Solo.

Hilmar said that the background of this festival is quite long. After long discussions lasting several years with the government, including ASEAN member countries, this event was finally organized to develop the characteristics of the story of Panji originating from Indonesia.

“Although it originates from Indonesia, the history of Panji has spread to several Southeast Asian countries, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia in various forms. And this is our opportunity to bring together various forms of expression of this Panji in various countries in a festival format,” he said.

He said the format of the Panji Festival, which is on an international scale, is still classic, but with a more modern and contemporary touch because the story develops over time.

“The age of this Panji is very ancient, and of course perhaps it is no longer possible to trace its initial forms, even the records are different from what we see now. So there is a possibility that in the future there will be new developments using new elements,” he said.


However, he said, another thing that should be considered important in this festival is to spread the history and stories of the rich culture of Panji in various forms of work.

“For example, comics, movies and then modern literature are also very possible to increase Panji,” he said.

Director of Cultural Development and Utilization of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Research and Technology, Irini Dewi Wanti, said that the history of Panji is an Indonesian cultural heritage that has been recognized as Memory of the World (MoW ) by UNESCO on 31 October 2017.

The story of Panji is a cultural product of East Java which basically tells the love story between Raden Panji Asmarabangun or Panji Inukertapati of Jenggala Kingdom and Dewi Sekartaji or Dewi Candrakirana of Panjalu or Kadiri Kingdom.

The story is carved in relief on dozens of temples in East Java, told in many fairy tales, written in ancient manuscripts, presented in various performing arts, displayed as wayang works, depicted in batik patterns as an ethical and aesthetic presentation at the same time. .

Now, the story of Panji has spread to various regions of the Malay Peninsula and is even more popular in Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand. With it, Panji effectively became the common property of Southeast Asian nations.

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