Misunderstandings between Indonesia and Malaysia were resolved through a recently held Cultural Dialogue. This conclusion was reached through a Cultural Dialogue between Indonesia and Malaysia held in Jakarta on Wednesday, 5th. March
Dr. Mukhlis PaEni, Director General for Cultural Values, the Arts and Film,also in his capacity as Chairman of the Indonesian Society of Historians (Masyarakat Sejarah Indonesia) informed the meeting that bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Malaysia has through the years improved considerably, however, on the other hand, cooperation in the field of Culture has been lagging. The recent misunderstandings that evolved between Indonesia and Malaysia were caused by a lack of knowledge and understanding on both sides of each others cultures, he said.
Prof. Madya Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan from Malaysia said that misunderstandings between both countries were caused by a lack of knowledge and understanding on both sides, especially since the Malay language is the mother tongue for both Indonesians and Malaysians.
For example, the term "indon", which is popularly used to mean Indonesian nationals in Malaysia, is, in fact, only an acronym, similar to the word Bangli for Bangladeshi or the term Tei for Thais. Nonetheless, if the use of "Indon" is felt as an intention to debase the Indonesian people, then the government of Malaysia must ask the people of Malaysia not to use this term any longer.
According to Mukhlis PaEni, relations between Indonesia and Malaysia were noted to have begun in the 14th century when small groups traveled from the Indonesian islands to Malaysia, bringing along with them their cultural traits.
The Cultural Dialogue was attended by experts on culture and history from both countries including Prof.Dr. Taufik Abdullahm who submitted his paper entitled Memori Kolektif Dalam Kesadaran Sejarah Berbangsa Serumpun (The Collective Memory of Historical and National Awareness between Indonesia and Malaysia), Prof. Datuk Dr. Abdul Latif Bakar, Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dato, Dr. Ismail Hussein, DatoHaji. Aziz Derawan, and also Prof.Datuk Dr. Zainal Kling.
The Dialogue was opened by the Director-General for Cultural Values, the Arts and Film, of the Department of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia,Dr. Mukhlis PaEni, representing Minister Jero Wacik. The Dialogue was attended by experts on culture and history from both countries
(Public Relations, Department of Culture and Tourism of Indonesia)