Treasures of Sumatra opens in Jakarta

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An exhibition showcasing the ancient history and heritage of Sumatra is on show at the National Museum in Jakarta, before going to the Netherlands and the Asian Civilisations Museum next year. It looks like something I’m definitely going to catch at the ACM!

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photo credit: Marc Veraart

Nat’l Museum displays ancient Sumatran heritages
Jakarta Post, 8 June 2009
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PhD Research scholarships for Sumatran heritage and archaeology

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The Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore is offering PhD research scholarships for anyone interested in researching Sumatran archaeology.

PhD Research Scholarships, NUS

The Asia Research Institute is pleased to offer Ph.D. research scholarships from August 2008 in the following interdisciplinary areas:

– ASIAN MIGRATION

– RELIGION & GLOBALISATION IN ASIAN CONTEXTS

– CULTURAL STUDIES IN ASIA

– COLD WAR IN ASIA

– SUMATRA HERITAGE, ARCHAEOLOGY AND RECONSTRUCTION

The PhD scholarship is to be taken up jointly with the appropriate discipline-based department. This would normally be with a department of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, but where appropriate could also be with the Faculty of Law, School of Business or School of Design & Environment at the National University of Singapore.

The following interdisciplinary areas or “clusters” are offering scholarships:
1) The Migration Cluster (Research Leader: Professor Brenda Yeoh) explores the issues arising from increased levels of human mobility in the region, both within and across national borders. Mobility of high-level professional and managerial personnel, labour migration, both documented and undocumented, and human trafficking all raise theoretical and methodological questions and major policy issues, as does the role of migration in urban change.

2) The Religion and Globalisation Cluster (Research Leader: Professor Bryan Turner) explores the changing patterns of religious practice, belief and identity in recent times, particularly in Southeast Asia, China and South Asia. The title implies a particular interest in transnational and diasporic interactions, the engagement with modern technologies and values, and new global or ‘glocal’ forms of identity.

3) The Cultural Studies Cluster (Research Leader: Professor Chua Beng Huat) consciously challenges disciplinary boundaries to address new topics, issues and concerns thrown up by the rapid globalization of contemporary cultures. ARI is interested in new understandings of the everyday life cultural practices of contemporary Asia, as in adaptations of older patterns in literature, and the performing and graphic arts, in rapidly changing contemporary conditions.

4) The Southeast Asia-China Interactions Cluster (Research Leader: Professor Anthony Reid) will welcome students in two project areas: The Cold War in Asia, relating particularly to relations between the two Chinas (CCP and KMT) and the parties, movements and governments of Southeast Asia; and issues of heritage recovery and archaeology in Aceh and Sumatra more generally.

For more details, please visit the ARI website.

Nias island to be recommended for World Heritage status

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26 May 2007 (The Jakarta Post) – The island of Nias in Sumatra, Indonesia is to be recommended for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage site list. Nias is noted archaeologically for its megaliths.

Nias touted for world heritage designation

The central government will support a bid to include Nias Island, in North Sumatra, as a world heritage site.

Representatives from various organizations, academics, researchers, the government and members of the general public attended a meeting Friday in Medan, North Sumatra, to discuss the bid.

The meeting was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in cooperation with the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and North Sumatra University.

Head of the World Heritage Center’s working committee, Risman Musa, said Nias had a good chance of being listed as a world heritage site, due to its unique cultural heritage.

The island boasts traditional houses which date back hundreds of years, megalithic sites and artifacts, traditional villages, a variety of local languages, special handicrafts and traditional architecture.

Read more about the bid to name Nias Island as a World Heritage site.

Related Books:
Forgotten Kingdoms in Sumatra (Oxford Paperback Reference) by F. M. Schnitger

Museum of Nias Heritage blog

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You might have heard of Nias Island from the 2004 tsunami, where it was hit hard because of its location near North Sumatra. The Museum Pusaka Nias, or the Museum of Nias Heritage has a blog. Although last updated in Feb 07, it still has quite a few articles dating back to 1986 (although concentrated over the last two years). The site is in Bahasa Indonesia, though, and from what I can gather it has updates about its collections as well as the reconstruction of the museum. Nias Island is particularly known for its megaliths.

Museum of Nias Heritage


Related Books:
Forgotten Kingdoms in Sumatra (Oxford Paperback Reference) by F. M. Schnitger