Frankly, I am sick and tired of the ravings and rantings of some Indonesians whenever Malaysia makes "claims" over a dance, or a song or whatever that originated from Indonesia. It doesn't help that their politicians including ministers, academicians and people of some standing, are leading the chants.
What part of our shared history do you not understand?
We share a cultural heritage. Get over it. Deal with it.
We do not claim that "batik", "rasa sayang" and "reyog" originated in Malaysia. But they've been in Malaysia a mighty long time. courtesy of those who came from Indonesia.
So, we want to claim them as our cultural heritage. Why not? They belong to the people who came from Java and Sumatra during a time when neither Indonesia nor Malaysia was a sovereign nation.
Don't you know that the Malay community in Malaysia comprise ethnic groups from Java, Sumatra, and Bawean, among others.
Everytime this sort of thing happens. the Indonesians will ungkit balik the "pendet" (Balinese origin) issue. Everytime they forget to say that Malaysia never claimed that "pendet" was Malaysian. The producers of the programme on the Discovery channel made that mistake. When this became an issue, the producers explained and apologized and took out that part from the segment.
The latest, of course, is the Tor Tor dance. I bet you guys didn't even know what it is before the issue exploded. Maybe some of you still do not know what it is.
It is a Batak/Mendailing (ethnic group from Northern Sumatra) dance. There is a large Mendailing community in Malaysia who came to these shores more than a century ago. They are proud of their heritage. Isn't that a good thing?
Indonesia should be happy that Malaysians of Mendailing descent have been able to preserve their culture.
Here's why I so agree with Farish Noor when he tells Indonesia and Malaysia to celebrate our shared history.
I also like Pangeran Siaahan's take on the issue where he is so bemused by the antics of his countrymen and women.