Today in History over RRI World Service -Voice of Indonesia. We start from an event on December 13, 1945 when blood tragedy occurred in Tebing Tinggi city.

On December 13, 1945, massive massacre on Tebing Tinggi civilians occurred. This was conducted by Japanese military. The massacre killed around 2.000 people. Until now, Tebing Tinggi civilians commemorate the tragedy as Massacre Day.

The next event is that in 1937, Antara was established.

Public company of Antara News Agency is State-owned Entreprise that is given duty by the government to disseminate information and carry out coverage which is fast, accurate and important throughout Indonesia and international world. Antara News Agency was established on December 13, 1937 by A.M. Sipahoetar, Mr. Soemanang, Adam Malik and Pandoe Kartawigoena, when spirit of national independence was motivated by the Indonesian youths. As executive director at that time was Mr. Soemanang and Adam Malik was as editor concurrently vice director; Pandoe Kartawigoena was as administrator and also assisted by journalist A.M. Sipahutar. Since 1962, Antara has officially become National News Agency that is directly under president of republic of Indonesia.

And the last event is that in 2003, Saddam Hussein was arrested.

Saddam Hussein was Iraqi president in period July 16, 1979 until April 9, 2003. As leader of Iraq and chairman of Ba'ath party, he took policy of secular pan-Arabism, economic modernization and Arabic socialism. Saddam Hussein was overthrown in invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was led by the United States of America, and arrested by the US forces on December 13, 2003. On November 5, 2006, Chief Judge, Rauf Rasheed Abdel Rahman sentenced him to death on his crimes to humanity. On December 30, 2006, Saddam was executed in the age of 69 years.



Indonesia is a country that consists of more than 13,000 islands, 250 ethnicities and various kinds of cultures that are a source of national strength and potential. Thus, the 2018 Indonesian Culture Congress held on December 5-9 becomes very important for the influences of foreign cultures that enter without limits through various media. Moreover, the domestic political situation ahead of the 2019 Election currently tends to heat up and potentially lead to nation’s split. It takes thoughts and willingness to accept and respect differences, both related to the culture of the Indonesian nation and other nations.

At the closing of the 2018 Indonesian Culture Congress, last Sunday (9/12), President Joko Widodo emphasizedthe importance of the spirit of tolerance in interacting amid the complexity of today's culture. He argued that interaction in various matters, including word contestation and politics would result in utterances of jealousy and hatred if not accompanied by tolerance.Therefore, President Joko Widodo took for example that at present,Indonesia needs a stage of tolerant interaction.

Meanwhile, Director General of Culture at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid said that facing other differences and influences, Indonesian people have to position culture as inclusive one. Because, the characteristics of inclusive culture are mutual learning, knowing each other, knowing each other's views, understanding each other, and empathizing. So, tolerance will arise from understanding, instead of doctrine.

The 2018 Indonesian Culture Congress is expected to be a significant event to work and produce various ideas for the progress of the Indonesian nation in the future. Naturally, the discussion of cultural strategies that have been going on for 10 years, often leads to delays due to various interests. Fortunately, there are points in the Cultural Strategic Agenda that have been successfully formulated at the 2018 Cultural Congress. These points are to provide space for the diversity of cultural expressions and encourage cultural interaction to strengthen the inclusive culture. This is expected to be a reference in handling and maintaining the sustainability of national culture.

Then, the results of the congress become recommendation to be immediately followed up by the government as the regulator of the Indonesian nation. However, the effectiveness of the Cultural Strategic Agenda does not have to depend on the government alone. The Indonesian people must love and feel proud as part of the Indonesian nation. Thus, all stakeholders have to maintain and respect each other and agree on the values of the diversity of the Indonesian nation in a culture.



Indonesian Wonder, a daily segment featuring information about arts, tourism, culinary, and culture. In today's edition, we would introduce you about Topeng Ireng Dance. 

Magelang is one of cities in Central Java Province. Talking about Magelang's tourism, we view that Magelang City is famous for some destinations, such as Mt. Andong and Borobudur Temple. Besides, the city has rich and enchanting local cultures. One of them is Topeng Ireng Dance. Topeng Ireng or also known as Dayakan is a traditional art that grows in Magelang Regency, Central Java. Topeng Ireng or Dayakan Dance is a new creation of folk dance.

The name ‘Topeng Ireng’ is derived from the words Toto, Lempeng, Irama, and Kenceng. The word Totomeans organizing. Lempeng means straight. Irama means rhythm. Meanwhile, Kenceng means hard. Therefore, when performing Topeng Ireng Dance, the dancers line up straightly and the dance is accompanied by music with hard and energetic rhythm. Topeng Ireng dance is a form of traditional art that integrates Islamic teachings with Indonesian martial art called Pencak Silat. No wonder that Topeng Ireng Dance is accompanied by dynamic music and Islamic songs. The Topeng Ireng dance not only disseminates Islamic teachings, but also portrays the life of rural community on the slope of Mt. Merbabu. The rigid movements of the dance symbolize the physical strength of the villagers when fighting against their enemies and adapting with nature in a bid to survive.

Topeng Ireng Dance is believed to have developed in the community surrounding the area of Mt. Merbabu since the Dutch occupation in Indonesia. During the Dutch occupation, people were prohibited from practicing Pencak Silat by the Dutch government so that the people created innovation of folk dance based on the movements of Pencak Silat. The dance was accompanied by Javanese musical instrument called Gamelan and Javanese songs. The Javanese songs contained lessons about life and Islamic values. Since then, Topeng Ireng Dance has expanded more. If Muslims build a mosque or prayer room, the dome of the mosque will be paraded by people before being placed. Local people will participate in the parade and it is enlivened by a dance which is accompanied by tambourine and Islamic songs. The art is later known as Topeng Ireng.

Topeng Ireng Dance has simple movements. Because the most important aspect of this dance is harmony. The more dancers participate in, the more beautiful the collaboration is. The movements of the dance are also adapted from pencak silat martial art which has been modified. From time to time, innovation has been carried out in every Topeng Ireng Show. The costumes of the dancers are the most attractive thing from the dance. Colorful feather ornaments that look like the throne of Indian chief tribe embellish the heads of the dancers. Their make-up and costumes also resemble to Indian tribe. Their costumes are featured with tassels and they have bright colors. Meanwhile for the bottom part, the dancers wear skirts decorated with tassels. In Topeng Ireng show, there are some musical instruments which enliven the dance such as Gamelan, Kendang or a drum-like instrument, Bendeor a gong-like instrument, flute, and tambourine. The flow of the rhythmic music which harmonizes with the movements and the chants of the dancers make Topeng Ireng dance become more attractive and dynamic.



Published in Feature


Here are the Headlines of several national newspapers published today, December 11 2018.


We begin with Media Indonesia which wrote, “Underdeveloped Villages Keep Decreasing.”


Slowly but surely, Indonesia will say goodbye to underdeveloped villages. Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded, Village Development Index 2018 increased compared to 2014. That was indicated based on five dimensions of Village Development Index. They are basic services, infrastructure condition, transportation, public service, and village administration. The underdeveloped village reduction also passed beyond government’s target in the 2015-2019 National Medium Term Development Plan, which are 5000 villages. While the target for independent village increase also went beyond the target of 2000 villages.


Moving on to Republika with, “Investigate e-KTP Case.”


Home Affairs Ministry asked for assistance from National Police to investigate the electronic ID card (e-KTP) cases. There are four cases being coordinated by the Ministry to the Police. Some perpetrators have been revealed and arrested, but the Ministry want deeper investigation to prevent it from repeating.


We end the Headlines with Sindo which wrote, “Millennials got Mortage Loan Subsidy.”


The government through Public Works and People’s Housing Ministry is preparing special mortgage loans for the millennials, including those who work in state-owned companies. This policy aims to give the millennials’ opportunity to have houses. Currently, the plan is under study by the Ministry, Financial Services Authority, and Finance Ministry. Minister of Public Works and People’s Housing, Basuki said, the mortgage loan scheme for the millennials is similar to the scheme for state civil apparatus, national army, and national police. The new scheme is expected to be launched next year.