News | Monday, 19 December 2011 | sundanesecorner.org
The Second International Conference on Sundanese Culture (KIBS) was opened today at the historic building Gedung Merdeka in Bandung, West Java. It will take place up to Thursday, December 22nd. Deputy Minister of Education and Culture Windu Nuryanti officially opened the event in a ceremony attended by writer and KIBS initiator Ajip Rosidi, Rector of Padjadjaran University Ganjar Kurnia, Bandung Mayor Dada Rosada, former West Java Governor Danny Setiawan, and many others.
Rancage Cultural Foundation, a small non-governmental institution based in Jakarta, organizes KIBS as one of its main programmes. Since the end of 1980s it also presents literary awards to those who write and publish books in local languages and those who have contributed to the preservation and development of local languages and cultures in the country. Current Indonesian literacy is developed not only through the ‘bahasa Indonesia’ as its national language, but also through local languages, namely Sundanese, Javanese, and Balinese.
It has been a decade since the first KIBS was held at the same building where in 1955 Sukarno’s Indonesia hosted the well-known Asian-African Conference. The first KIBS, which was held in 2001, presented some 68 papers including the ones written by foreign scholars. Dr. Chaedar Alwasilah, Chairman of the Steering Committee of 2nd KIBS, said current conference invites both local and foreign scholars to present their papers just as the previous conference under the general theme that is formulated as ‘Revitalization of Sundanese Culture: Chances and Challenges in the Global World.’
‘After ten years, KIBS needs to be revisited. How far the cultural map resulted [from the forst KIBS] has been going in providing a guidance for cultural development,’ said Dr. Alwasilah, a linguist who teaches at Indonesian University of Education (UPI).
At the opening session of the conference this morning, Dr. Burhanuddin Abdullah, former Governor of Bank of Indonesia who was recently elected Rector of Indonesia Institute of Cooperative (IKOPIN), delivered his keynote speech before hundreds of conference participants.