“The Papua Seminar” by Febriansyah Daffa Binapraja

On November 18, 2019, Me along with my friends went to Plaza Sarinah Thamrin, Central Jakarta to attend the Papuan Culture Seminar held by the Indonesian Education Ministry. We gathered at The First Campus’ bus stop at 07.30.

Our trip plan at that time was to use a Transjakarta bus heading into Tosari, that bus was S21 (Ciputat-Tosari) and we stopped at Bendungan Hilir. Afterwards, we ride another bus into Sarinah bus stop.

There are some details worth knowing regarding our arrival; There are 10 students representing UIN Syarif Hidayatullah at that time, with one of us went to Plaza Sarinah alone for a reason. The seminar itself is held on the Upper Ground (UG) floor of the Plaza and started at 9 AM. Let us not forget that we are wearing Indonesian Batik as a part of our dresscode.

We reached our destination 7 minutes earlier from the seminar’s starting time. After we waited for some time, we went into the UG floor and started signing up for the seminar.

Although the show seems to be late, we can say that the seminar itself is interesting. One of the most interesting part of the seminar is the discussion about noken, a Papuan bag that is more than just a bag worn on one’s head.

The noken itself is the heart and livelihood of the Papuans. To tear these noken would mean tearing away their hearts, the bag contains everything a Papuan needs to live, such as foodstocks and other things. In other words, these bags are important and vital to their lives.

Oh, there is another thing to note: the dance. Yes, the Papuan traditional dance really is funny and energizing at the same time.

There are also several things discussed there, such as how voices of women on the Papuan society are always being heard in every communal decision-making, the way Papuans deal with social conflicts and end them, and so on.

The seminar itself ends at 15.30, we claim our certificates of participation as well as compensation money for participants. After the seminar, there is a facepainting event that is optional. Most of us went home, but I stayed to join the facepainting only to find out that the paint ran out after few minutes of the event.

Then, everyone went home safely.

Now, here are some photos of the event:

Author