Jayapura, (26/11)—The acting governor of the province of Papua, Constan Karma has stressed the importance of culture for the Papuan people because it is only by means of culture that the Papuan people and indeed the Indonesian people can secure their respective aspirations for a better future.
‘Culture is strategic because it is the result of the process of continuous dialogue between people and their creator, between people among themselves and between people and their environment Culture secures the identity and self-esteem of a people, it represents the very essence of our existence as a nation,’ said Karma, addressing the opening session of a seminar on the establishment of ISBI, the Indonesian Institute of the Arts and Culture in the land of Papua on Friday, 23 November.
He expressed strong support for ISBI, which is in accordance with the stipulations of the special autonomy law, 21/2001. The law states that the indigenous Papua people are one of the ethnic people who make up the Melanesia race, and one of the many ethnic groups of Indonesia, with its great variety of cultures, history, traditional ways of living and languages.
‘Papua is not isolated,’ he said, ‘but is part of an ever changing world and we need to show our commitment to the humanisation of Papuan men and women, for the creation of a new Papua which is just, peaceful and prosperous’.
With regard to the curriculum of ISBI, the acting governor said he hoped that it would teach the theory and practise of culture in Papua, in the same way that these subjects are taught in similar places of study elsewhere in the world. He was very proud that here in the most easterly part of the country, ISBI would make a contribution to the advancement of culture and identity in the country.
The theme of the seminar is ‘ Promoting Local Uniqueness through the Establishment of ISBI’.*