Indonesia aspiring to become world`s cultural center : minister

Indonesia is to host a World Culture Forum in Bali in 2012 to realize its dream of becoming the world`s cultural center, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said.

"Our plan to host the World Cultural Forum 2012 in Bali is related to our dream to make Indonesia the world`s cultural center," the minister said here Monday.

Indonesia deserves the honor to be the world`s cultural center on account of the high degree of its cultural diversity, he said. In fact, Indonesia was the most culturally diverse nation in the Asia Pacific region, he added.

"It is very hard and takes time to achieve our dream to become a center of technology. But becoming the world`s cultural center is a more achievable goal because of our high cultural diversity," he said.

Indonesia was one of the cradles of local wisdoms that became the roots of the cultures of other nations and if this fact was discussed and studied more deeply, the results could become a contribution to the solution of global problems, Jero said.

The plan to host the World Culture Forum 2012 was one of the country`s efforts to become the world`s cultural center. The dream actually began in 2008 when a team led by the late Ali Alatas was formed to pioneer its realization, he said.

However, the World Cultural Forum was postponed due to the global crisis.
"Now we are to host the World Culture Forum in Indonesia and the best venue for it is Bali," he said.

Jero said if Davos in Switzerland had hosted the World Economic Forum (WEF), Indonesia was now planning to host the World Culture Forum which was just as important as the WEF, he said.

Meanwhile, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Rector Prof. Dr. Sudjarwadi said it was time for Asia to be the world`s cultural center.

He recalled that Europe had become the world`s cultural center in the 19th century, and America in 20th century. Now, in the 21st century, it was Asia`s turn to be the world`s cultural center, he said.

UGM was ready to support the World Cultural Forum 2012 in Bali and in this context would host a culture-related international event, Wisdom 2000, in Yogyakarta on November 8-11.

He hoped Wisdom 2000 would be Indonesia`s initial step toward hosting the World Culture Forum 2012.

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