Friday, September 09, 2011

on Indonesian history: how many wars and conflict documented?

A country without a memory is a country of madmen ~ George Santayana

I love Indonesian history class back in my junior and senior high school. Although I really hate to realised that history lessons in Indonesia mostly focus with date and year of event, but lack of excitement, curiosity and understanding of context, background and implication of such event. Those handicap, hence implicate on lack of interpretation and comparison on how we really care or view our own country history. One possible reason of this problem due to lack of well-established method for recording history or lack of comparable notes for one historical event. It happened mostly because the truth about any historical event was modified and subject to government purposes.

Despite of those unforeseen yet not so important (probably) issue on how to keep history record properly, it is very important for any generation to have a very basic references about their beloved country's history. That is why I was so happy when my wife share her finding about quite detail record of "Sejarah Indonesia". It shown almost every historical event that happened in relation to Indonesia from the beginning 1500 to current decade. I hardly able to describe you how good it shows the record and story and notes of any particular events. So, you must take a look by your self.

On the other hand, I recently found and learn about history from another website called Conflict History. Again, this tools gives us another way to learn history by utilizing Google map and pointing out each and every event gathered from Wikipedia on each and every particular location where those history occurred. This website only focus with conflict and wars event, but it is still very useful and informative. My silly instinct told me to compare both Sejarah Indonesia and Conflict History then see how it goes. But, I found something bother me.

I started to use the search engine and type Indonesia and what I found was quite strange (see picture below). From the list, you should be curious why there were only six wars or conflicts related with Indonesia? And, if you think this is even more serious, why three of six wars/conflicts listed was about Indonesia occupation in East Timor, Aceh and Malaysia (confrontation)?

The next question should be where are the rest of the wars and conflict ever happened in Indonesia? Where are all the records on wars against Dutch and Japan? If you check on the Sejarah Indonesia, you will find a lot of wars and fighting during Dutch and Japan occupation happened. It all complete with documentation especially old photos. How come all of those recorded wars did not appear in Conflict History?

One possible answer is because all of those wars and conflict in Indonesia never been published in Wikipedia or other online tools. But, another possible answer is because all of those wars or conflict in Indonesia was never been recognised by international community, either intentionally or unintentionally. So, it should raise our general concern, I presumed. If and only if that international community ever recognised our history (in terms of identified wars and conflict), do we – the Indonesian – ever recognised and concern with our own history? Does anyone have an idea or answer for this?

No comments: