Jakarta (ANTARA) - Optimizing the use of digital technology is one way to attract youngsters' interest in Indonesian culture, Director General of Culture at the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry Hilmar Farid has said.

Indonesia does not lack smart individuals and people with cultural art skills, he noted during a discussion, which was streamed online on Thursday.

What the country currently needs is a healthy ecosystem that utilizes digital technology in an optimal manner for collective purposes, he added.

The biggest challenge to cultivating the value of Indonesian culture is technology that is not led by national interest, he said.

The perception that the younger generation is not interested in Indonesia's history and culture is not fully true. However, the forums or platforms available to cultivate this interest are not yet optimal, he opined.

"Our biggest challenge in developing an ecosystem that can implement all of that requires the participation of all parties," he said.

"What can be optimized by the government is facilitating the entire process," he added.

The government cannot fully push youngsters to understand the value of culture through regulations since that would put an end to creativity, he informed.

However, the government also cannot fully let culture grow on its own since it has to be optimized through support from the government.

"The key is inclusion, we have to make them have a sense of belonging, making them feel they are a part of something," Farid said.

"This is more fundamental from skills that they possess to participate, a sense of belonging or being a part of something bigger," he added.

In addition, he said that the younger generation's lack of interest in the national culture is because art has been reduced to entertainment on the screen.

As a result, when Indonesian culture has to compete with cultures from other countries that invest heavily in promoting their culture, it loses out.

Art is part of a lifestyle and ritual. If it is separated, if only the surface is shown, it would lose to other cultures with heavy investment, he explained.

To this end, all related parties should use digital technology in an optimal manner to maintain social relations, which is a condition for the growth of culture and art, he added.

"The key is ensuring cultural expression, artistic expression to still have a place without reducing developing values in society," he remarked.

"We cannot promote them and then place these cultural expressions on the screen only to be sold as commodities," he added.

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Translator: Kuntum Khaira R, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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