Jakarta (ANTARA) - Culture is the very foundation of village development, Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar has said.

"What's for certain is that the first basis of village handling is culture," he said here on Wednesday while receiving a visit from the director general of cultural affairs at the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry, Hilmar Farid.

A positive culture is necessary for development; and the revitalization of cultural aspects is important, so that it can meet the need for improvement, the minister added.

Thus, the ministry has responded positively to the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry's initiative to host the Village Culture Development program, he said.

The program seeks to identify patterns that can cater to different problems, potential, and needs of each region, Iskandar informed.

"The pattern must be determined. But it still has to be measured, and obviously, must remain consistent and sustainable," the minister added.

The program is the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry's priority program and was initiated in 2021. It aims to promote the development of culture through the empowerment of village residents.

The target is in keeping with Minister Iskandar's idea outlined in the 18th point of the Village Sustainable Development Goals, which covers the development of dynamic village institutions and an adaptive village culture so that villages can develop without letting go of their deep-rooted culture.

Minister Iskandar said that culture should not be lost to time; instead, it must become the basis of growth toward an independent village.

Meanwhile, Farid informed that the program will target at least 235 villages. Those villages will be given training on village development through a cultural approach.

"The point is, we collect data. Cultural potential is not only art, but also technology, including language. We want to address issues in villages, like stunting and such, but we are more so focused on the cultural approach," he said.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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