Semarang – Central Java (3/11). The Master of History Study Program, Faculty of Humanities, Diponegoro University is holding a Summer Course on November 1-4, 2022 with the theme “Austronesian Today: Origins, Cultures, and Diaspora” via the Zoom meeting platform. This program is also designed to realize Undip’s vision to be a World Class University and to support the global agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in point 4.7, namely appreciating the differences that exist in world cultures.

Discourses on Austronesia are always relevant today. As a nation, we have a tendency to trace “communal identity” that is attached to physical characteristics, say eye color, nose shape, even the curve of the chin. Apart from that, also in culture, which is manifested in the types of rites and the variety of languages one has. To what extent are the similarities as well as the differences that characterize most of the nations in Southeast Asia, Madagascar, New Zealand and Hawaii who are believed to have Austronesian ancestors?

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Diponegoro University, Dr. Nurhayati, M. Hum., who from the beginning has provided support for organizing this event, hoped that this Summer Course will become a medium for broadening insights regarding national identity and establishing networks with various colleagues from various foreign universities.

Furthermore, in his speech (1/11/22), Ahmad Ni’matullah Al-Baarri, Ph.D, as the Coordinator of the Summer Course Program at the Diponegoro University revealed that the 1st Summer Course organized by the History Masters Study Program was the most spectacular Summer Course throughout its implementation at Undip. This is reflected in the interesting theme with speakers from various backgrounds, and the number of participants that was successfully gathered, namely 130 participants, consisting of 80 participants from abroad (Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, China, India, and Bangladesh) and 40 from Indonesia. The participants came from various universities, such as National Dong Hwa University-Taiwan, Marinduque State College-Philippines, Universiti Malaysia Sabah-Malaysia, Ningxia University-China, BRAC University-Bangladesh, and others.

Prof. Dr. Singgih Tri Sulistiyono, M. Hum. as the Head of the History Masters Study Program conveyed the urgency of the study program to play an active role in studying migration and diaspora of Southeast Asian nations to explore the values of cultural, genetic, and historical similarities as well as provide solutions to the identity problems currently being faced by Asian nations, especially Indonesia in raising awareness of identity.

The migration process that occurred seemed to be the turning point of human civilization in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia because the culture it brought quickly spread and became a culture that is still surviving. “How is the process of spreading Austronesian speakers and their influence on culture in Southeast Asia. How is the development of culture and society speaking Austronesian languages in the period 4500-1500 years ago, as well as stories about Austronesian explorations across the Indian Ocean. We will find the answers to these questions in this Summer Course,” said Noor Naelil Masruroh, M. Hum. as the coordinator of the Summer Course Program of the Masters Program.

The Summer Course presented 9 speakers with their respective expertise. On the first day, Adhi Agus Oktaviana, Ph.D. (Cand) from the Center for Prehistoric and Austronesian Studies, Indonesia and Griffith University, Australia explained about “Austronesian Painting Traditional in Indonesian Rock Arts”.

On the second day, Prof. Dr. James T. Collins, who is known as a language expert from the Institute of Ethnic Studies National University of Malaysia explained about “Austronesian Language Family Diaspora”, followed by a presentation from Gazi Mizanur Rahman, Ph.D. BRAC University, Bangladesh on “The Austric People in the Bengal Delta: Migration and Discontents of the Santal Community”, and Dr. Phil. Stefan Danerek Lund University, Sweden who discussed “Austronesian Rituals: Construction Sacrifice in Eastern Indonesia”.

Furthermore, on the third day, Dr. Dan Bendrups from La Trobe University, Australia delivered a material entitled “Austronesian Music in Southeast Asia”. The discussion about Austronesian songs was delivered by Tim Cole Co-founder of ‘Small Island Big Song’, a music producer, Australian filmmaker with the title “Connecting Songs among the Austronesian, Descents”. In addition, the seminar was also discussed the cultural traces of the Austronesian nomads by Prof. Dr. Ismail Ali, from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia with the title “Tracing The Civilization of Austronesian Seafarers in Archipelagic of Southeast Asia: A Preliminary Study”.

The presentation that was also eagerly awaited was entitled “Genetics Identification of Austronesian DNA in Indonesia” by Prof. Herawati Sudoyo, MD., Ph.D from Mochtar Riadi Institute for Nanotechnology, Pelita Harapan University, Indonesia. The last material is a presentation from Prof. Dr. Pierre-Yves Manguin of the E cole française d’Extre me-Orient France on “Austronesian Shipping in the Indian Ocean: Outrigger Boats to Trading Ships”. (Fanada Sholihah/ History)

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