... Indonesia's stance is clear...
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has asked for a written explanation from Malaysia regarding its claim over the traditional Tor-Tor dance and the Gondang Sambilan musical instrument, deputy minister of education and culture Windu Nuryanti has said.

"We have communicated with the Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia, who said that it was actually not a claim but only a note. We want clarification regarding the category under which that note is. They have promised to provide an explanation tomorrow," she said here on Tuesday.

Windu added her office had referred the case to the foreign ministry, which then communicated with the Malaysian minister of information, communication and culture.

"They said because there are members of Mandailing community living in Malaysia, the Malaysian government is obliged to protect their culture with a preservation programme," she explained.

Windu said Malaysia had already confirmed that it did not claim Tor-Tor and Gondang Sambilan as its cultural heritage.

"Indonesia's stance is clear. We will ask for a written statement and, based on that, we will follow it up. It is all right if Indonesian culture is promoted anywhere, but the origins must be clearly explained," she stated.

To ensure that such cases did not happen in the future, Windu said, the ministry of culture would launch a programme to provide arts facilities in 1,500 schools or studios.

She added that priority would be given to schools in the remote regions of Indonesia and each school would receive Rp150 million through the programme.

Windu said her office would also start a national cultural heritage programme to develop an inventory of the country`s cultures, including traditional foods, and preserve them. 

Editor: Ade P Marboen
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