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AN OVERVIEW ON HOW A BIG COUNTRY LIKE INDONESIA NEEDS SOMETHING OTHER THAN POWER
In a globalized, international system, diplomacy is one of the most important things in defining one country’s position in competition with other states of the world. In the slightest view, this world has seen more diplomacy in solving problems rather than using military power in the last twenty years1. Many leaders of the world today, including Indonesia, have embraced the idea that soft diplomacy, rather than military, is the best solution. Even in Indonesian foreign policy, diplomacy is the best solution offered for solving even a serious interstate problem2. For Indonesia, diplomacy has been taken into a new level of sense: how to use diplomacy in another fields rather than political and economical matters. Proofs are everywhere. Indonesia is perhaps one of the best users of other means of diplomacy, for many reasons that will be discussed later. To say in a sentence: Indonesia has the capacity to conduct this ‘other diplomacy’. In this writing, we will focus on a major field in this ‘other diplomacy’, that is the diplomacy through music and dance.
WHY INDONESIA? Indonesia has the principle of ‘free and active’ (bebas aktif) in enacting its foreign policy3. This principle should have emphasized the old saying of “action speaks louder than words.” To make a loose translation of that sentence, actions are needed more compared to discussions on the meeting desk. However, this 21st century international system demands more of ‘soft diplomacy’ rather the usage of military power. Soft diplomacy focuses on non-military power like trade, aid, empowerment, etc. as opposed to military power4 5. War, pre-emptive measures, regional armed conflict, and other usage of aggressive military power are simply no longer 1 To say the least, this is signaled by no World Wars or regional conflicts after the end of World War II. 2 Sihaloho, M. J. (2010, September 2). Malaysia Speech Provides a Much-Needed Tonic. Retrieved
September 3, 2010, from The Jakarta Globe: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/malaysia-speechprovides-a-much-needed-tonic/394293
3 Nau, S. C. (2010, Februari 19). Sejarah Politik Luar Negeri Bebas Aktif. Retrieved September 3, 2010,
from Kompasiana: http://umum.kompasiana.com/2010/02/19/sejarah-politik-luar-negeri-bebas-aktif/ 1
musicians. Ever since the last armed conflict Indonesia has believed in diplomacy and negotiation in solving problems with another state. aid. a new part of Indonesia to unveil. and so on.the trend of the international relations today. and various other conditions that make diversity and multiculturalism integral in Indonesia. One of the most important features of Indonesia. from Human Events: http://www. Such examples 4 Kemp. multiple religions. from ABC News: http://abcnews. dubbed ‘neo-colonialist’ by Soekarno. This can be advantageous. 8 The Liberation of West Papua of 1961-1963 was the Indonesian Armed Forces against the Dutch army occupying the territory of Papua. March 13). 10 The Occupation of Timor Leste was done under the President Soeharto administration in 1975-1976. It was a close call to an interstate war. who took the free ride with the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration (NICA).php?id=19791 5 While in many instances ‘soft diplomacy’ has been translated as on trade. Across some 13. yet Presiden Soeharto called it over in 1967. the Konfrontasi with Malaysia9 (1965-1967). empowerment. As a proof. Throughout its history as a sovereign state. has almost all the potentials to enact such ‘soft diplomacy’ through the use of music. G. Believe in soft diplomacy. after the Portuguese left the area of Timor Leste.). Indonesia. readers can see the examples of art and culture envoys officially sent by the Indonesia Government through dance groups.humanevents. choirs. (see Ibid. Look how more than half of Americans disapproved the United States military invasion to Iraq in 20036. February 26). (2007.000 islands there are hundreds of languages. etc. etc.com/article.com/Politics/story?id=2905762&page=1 7 The Indonesian National Revolution of 1945-1949 was the Indonesian Armed Forces and local militias against the Dutch and the Allies. in general. 6 Langer. hundreds of ethnicity and tribes. There are some underlying factors on why this is possible: 1.go. 2 . since with such diversity. 2010. and literature. (2007. movies. dance. which other countries do not have. Disapproval on Iraq Hits Record. J. a new song to sing. 2010. the Liberation of the West Papua8 (1961-1963). and the Occupation of Timor Leste (1975-1976)10. Indonesia won the armed conflict. Retrieved September 3. in reality art holds some influence regarding diplomacy. Indonesia has only endured four major armed conflicts with another countries: the Indonesian National Revolution7 (1945-1949). Multiculturalism. Retrieved September 3. 'Soft Diplomacy' is the Best Plan. 9 The Konfrontasi was a call by President Soekarno in 1965 in regards to the establishment of the new state of Malaysia. there is always a new story to tell. 2. is the variety of cultures across Indonesia. and West Papua was integrated as one of the provinces of Indonesia through a referendum in 1963.
Some of them become ‘diplomatic 11 The issue of Sipadan-Ligitan was ultimately solved through the International Court of Justice in 2003. is not a discussion on music. and Agnes Monica. To give readers a brief insight. The recognition of Indonesian art and culture.detiknews. Let us see two interesting things about music and Indonesian diplomacy. The first is the recognition of Indonesian talents. Some music groups and art envoys have been invited to many other countries to show the diverse culture of Indonesia.are the settlement on the Sipadan-Ligitan islands issue with Malaysia11. There are some recognized Indonesian talents in music. Gamelan Jadi Materi Ujian Akhir Universitas La Sapienzia. Such recognition often makes Indonesia a very plausible host for many international culture-related events. 12 Santosa. of course. giving both islands the status of Malaysian territory. consists of seven different tones. 2010. while the pentatonic scale is a scale used mainly in traditional music (such as Sundanese music). To say the few. singers Krisdayanti. MUSIC AND DANCE Indonesia has been recognized of having some of the best music and fine arts in the World. Indonesian art and culture have been widely recognized in international fora. and even few Indonesian bands that are popular in many other countries. (2009. there are the pianist Ananda Sukarlan. This recognition is not without proof. Harvey Malaiholo. some universities across the world have taught Indonesian culture (such as gamelan) to their students12. diatonic scale is the scale that we use the most. 3 . 3. For example. Such recognition has been the underlying reason for making Indonesia host of some related events and competitions. If we believe that ‘music is a universal language’ then Indonesia has the capacity to use this universal language on its behest. The variety of music is unprecedented: the Indonesian music even recognizes two kinds of scale: the diatonic and the pentatonic13. from the United States to Malaysia. This diversity contributes to the variety of colors of Indonesian music. Retrieved September 4. E. from Detik News: http://www. December 19). with only five different tones. The above factors are just a few reasons on how relying on soft diplomacy is really possible for Indonesia. In further explanations throughout this writing readers will see some examples on how Indonesia used the above fields to help Indonesia in creating a better recognizable image of Indonesia in the international fora.com/read/2009/12/19/035810/1262564/10/gamelan-jadi-materi-ujian-akhiruniversitas-la-sapienzaf 13 This paper.
To mention some of them. the Paduan Suara Mahasiswa Universitas Tarumanegara of Jakarta. 4 . Source: Musica Mundi World Ranking List: Top 1. in recognition to Indonesia’s talent and its role in international fora: “The successes of Asian.volunteer’. the President of INTERKULTUR Foundation and the President of the Choir Olympics (the organizing committee for Asian Choir Games and many Choir Olympics). recognized not only by word of mouth. Regarded from this point of view. often with another talented musicians of the other country14. expressing the goodwill and relations between two countries. As remarked by Günter Titsch. and not least Indonesian choirs. have been enormous wherever they have performed. our idea of a worldwide choral community falls on very fertile soil indeed here in Indonesia and in Asia in general. there are the Gracioso Sonora Choir of Malang. During the past years.000 Choirs (March 2010) The quality of Indonesian choirs as ambassadors on the world stage has been recognized widely. Figure 1. The second thing is choral music. Indonesia hosted the 1st Asian Choir Games in 2007 and the 1st ITB International Choir Competition in 2010. Distribution of choirs by country on the Musica Mundi World Ranking List. but also by achievements. so wide that Indonesia has been given several opportunities to stage some of the best international choir competitions and festivals in the world. Indonesia has produced a lot of talented choirs. I would now like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to our Indonesian partners and the Indonesian government for their tremendous support. the Paduan Suara Mahasiswa Institut Teknologi Bandung. Thus our motto “Singing together brings nations together” will stand over this event as an essential aim. the Batavia Madrigal Singers of Jakarta. the events and competitions will take place in this spirit. the Paduan Suara Mahasiswa Universitas Katolik Parahyangan of Bandung. mostly to international festivals.”15 14 One of the examples would be the Indonesian singer Krisdayanti. In conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and Art. and Elfa Singers (which heads a lot of other choirs). Indonesian has sent some of its best choirs to another countries. partnered with Siti Nurhaliza of Malaysia.
Indonesia: Melsamedia. paid a visit to North Korea. (2007). Retrieved September 4. March 2). even as far as the Czech Republic. the sole remnant of the Cold War – played the Aegukka. (2010. Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also endorsed the other event.The United Nations Educational. the 1st ITB International Choir Competition. one of the most isolated countries in the world. these orchestrators from the United States – a country without any diplomatic relations with North Korea. 16 Festival Paduan Suara Institut Teknologi Bandung.vivanews. Germany. (2008. R. from The New York Times: http://www. One of the examples would be dubbed ‘the Orchestra Diplomacy’ or ‘the Symphonic Diplomacy’18. 15 INTERKULTUR. 2010. Jakarta. even more astonishing. …. (2010). 2010. The main objective … is to value the benefits of the world’s cultural diversity and help strengthen dialogue among citizens. the North Korean anthem. The Big Book of Festival Paduan Suara XXII ITB 2010 and 1st ITB International Choir Competition 2010. In an unprecedented gesture. People of various backgrounds and origins welcome the art envoys’ performances17. Japan. Bandung. In 2008. Germany. one of the most legendary orchestras of the world. R. Many of them go to Malaysia. February 27). The 1st Asian Choir Games. there are also cultural envoys on dance groups to many countries of the world. Indonesia: INTERKULTUR. THE PROOF THAT MUSIC IS A GREAT TOOL OF DIPLOMACY There is no empirical or scientific evidence whatsoever on how art can influence diplomacy directly.com/news/read/133336tari_bali_dan_kalimantan_memikat_warga_ceko 18 Wakin. on foreign soil.html?_r=2 5 . and both are hostile enemies.”16 Other than music. Hubert Gijzen. reflects the harmony to strengthen the bonds of friendship and has been specially designed to further enhance mutual interest among various countries through the artistic intermediary of songs and music. Yet there are proofs that music has been used in many instances as a tool to make thaw what was initially a hard relation of two states.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/world/asia/27symphony. J. Mr. Retrieved September 5. the New York Philharmonic. As stated by UNESCO Director and Representative for Indonesia. Exchange and dialogue between cultures are the best tools for building peace. They might be the first Americans to play the song. “This event. North Koreans Welcome Symphonic Diplomacy. Tari Bali dan Kalimantan Memikat Warga Ceko. from VivaNews: http://dunia. while standing. D. 17 Kawilarang.
from Reuters UK: http://uk. Korea. 2010. It was so long lasting that eventually the people in power found themselves out of power”24 The visit was ‘diplomatically successful’.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/272286. even allowed phone lines and internet connection.reuters.This event was unprecedented for several reasons. from The Economist: http://www. cit. 6 . 1. 2010. It was deemed ‘even more incredible that it was not played as an encore. (2008. “But what the Soviets didn’t realize was this was a two-edged sword.hani. “It showed Soviet citizens that they could have relations with foreign organizations and these organizations could come in the country freely. Retrieved September 5. and to have an influence. because by doing so they allowed people from outside the country to interact with their own people. J. Lorin Maazel. Retrieved September 5. 2010. 23 Wakin. The conductor. two states with different ideologies in the midst of the Cold War) and Philadelphia Orchestra to China in 197323. February 27). It was the first time The Star-Spangled Banner.co. a country without diplomatic ties with the United States19. which were normally banned22. Retrieved September 5. drew the parallel of the Pyongyang visit with the Soviet Union visit. 24 Ibid. February 28). It was the first time ‘a North Korean sees American flag in North Korea’21. (2008.” he said. the national anthem of the United States. Music and diplomacy are just the ticket in N. but as part of the regular program.com/node/10758160?story_id=10758160 20 The Hankyoreh. While the Orchestra had been warned not to stir political issues into the performance.economist. Cultural Diplomacy: Soft power and a rapturous ovation.html 21 Herskovitz. February 28). The above visit was done twice before. (2008. 3.’20 2.com/article/idUKSEO3031620080226 22 Ibid. both countries admired the performance as “the 19 The Economist. was played on North Korea. with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to the Soviet Union in 1956 (again. It was the moment that North Korea opened its doors to international media. Musical diplomacy as New York Phil plays Pyongyang. from The Hankyoreh: http://english. op.
25 Herskovitz. teguh dalam prinsip dan pendirian. and anticipative diplomacy. for example. “both countries had reached a range of agreements in the six-party talks and are now taking measures aimed at easing the antagonism it sees as being a major culprit in the nuclear problems on the Korean Peninsula”26. tidak sekedar rutin dan reaktif. 28 Ibid. op. and many other partners. 7 . 26 The Hankyoreh. op. and dance groups. To make things even interesting. The Government of Indonesia does this through the cooperation of many organizations and people. we can see that the law gives an open and flexible way on conducting diplomacy. In many instances. cit. 37 Year 1999 concerning Foreign Relations29. cit. yet through goodwill both countries were able to decrease tensions with music as an intermediary. various cultural. “Foreign policy is conducted through a creative. dan antisipatif. but may also through ‘nonconventional’ ways. by endorsing many cultural envoys to many countries around the world. active. Not only a rigid and routine. serta rasional dan luwes dalam pendekatan. 29 Undang-undang Nomor 37 Tahun 1999 tentang Hubungan Luar Negeri 30 Politik Luar Negeri dilaksanakan melalui diplomasi yang kreatif.”28 So there is a proof that ‘music diplomacy’ can really do something to thaw a frozen relationship between two countries. rational and flexible in approaches30. music.good feelings of the ordinary citizens of the United States toward the Korean people”25. HOW THE GOVERNMENT OF INDONESIA SUPPORTS Let us refer to Article 4 on Law No. strong in principle and standing.” In a loose interpretation. aktif. the Government of Indonesia has done many of these ‘non-conventional ways’. Art would be one of the non-conventional ways. op. cit. 27 Wakin. “an important occasion to open a chapter of mutual understanding between the two countries. routine and reactive. in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. “will be a big step toward increased bilateral cultural exchange between our two countries”27. both countries are archenemies.
from Human Events: http://www. Herskovitz. 'Soft Diplomacy' is the Best Plan. from Kompasiana: http://umum.go. Germany. Retrieved September 4.com/2010/02/19/sejarah-politik-luar-negeri-bebas-aktif/ Santosa. Retrieved September 3. The Big Book of Festival Paduan Suara XXII ITB 2010 and 1st ITB International Choir Competition 2010. (2010.vivanews. from ABC News: http://abcnews. decrease an alarming tension between to conflicting states (as proven by the visit of New York Philharmonic to North Korea in 2008). Retrieved September 3. February 26). 2010. 2010. Malaysia Speech Provides a Much-Needed Tonic. There are many examples of successful usage of art in diplomacy – at least indirectly – and usage of this kind of diplomacy may. Retrieved September 5. the above example should provide some curiosity to try art as a new mean of diplomacy. from Reuters UK: http://uk. (2010. R. at least. Februari 19). 2010.detiknews.humanevents.com/article. The 1st Asian Choir Games. December 19). March 2). While there is still no empirical or scientific evidence on how art influences diplomacy. (2010).com/read/2009/12/19/035810/1262564/10/gamelan-jadi-materiujian-akhir-universitas-la-sapienza Sihaloho. the Government of Indonesia should try using more this kind of ‘soft diplomacy’.CONCLUSION Rather than using ‘hard diplomacy’. BIBLIOGRAPHY All citations are made in APA style. (2008. 2010.kompasiana. Germany.com/Politics/story?id=2905762&page=1 Nau. J. (2007). Indonesia: INTERKULTUR. M. Festival Paduan Suara Institut Teknologi Bandung. September 2). from Detik News: http://www. (2007. Bandung. Retrieved September 4. by using art as one of the intermediaries. March 13). Retrieved September 3. (2007. from The Jakarta Globe: 8 . February 28). J. C. Indonesia: Melsamedia. R. Gamelan Jadi Materi Ujian Akhir Universitas La Sapienzia. from VivaNews: http://dunia. Jakarta. 2010. E. J. 2010.com/article/idUKSEO3031620080226 INTERKULTUR. Retrieved September 3. Disapproval on Iraq Hits Record.reuters. 2010. (2010. S.php?id=19791 Langer. Tari Bali dan Kalimantan Memikat Warga Ceko. Sejarah Politik Luar Negeri Bebas Aktif. Kawilarang. (2009.com/news/read/133336tari_bali_dan_kalimantan_memikat_warga_ceko Kemp. G. Musical diplomacy as New York Phil plays Pyongyang.
J. February 27). February 27). Music and diplomacy are just the ticket in N. (2008. from The Economist: http://www. Retrieved September 5.html Wakin. (2008. Cultural Diplomacy: Soft power and a rapturous ovation.hani.com/2008/02/27/world/asia/27symphony.com/node/10758160?story_id=10758160 The Hankyoreh. 2010. 2010. Retrieved September 5. North Koreans Welcome Symphonic Diplomacy.thejakartaglobe.nytimes.com/home/malaysia-speech-provides-a-much-neededtonic/394293 The Economist.http://www. Retrieved September 5. D.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/272286.html?_r=2 9 . (2008. February 28).economist. from The New York Times: http://www. 2010. Korea.co. from The Hankyoreh: http://english.
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