Rasa this!

This (clip below) looks like another cultural time bomb for Malaysia.Perhaps the Malaysian government should just step aside, shut up and let Indonesia and and Malaysian bloggers set the relationship right.

Malaysian Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan, on the off chance that you even even get debriefed on blogs, please see the posting Now to Rasa Some Sayang (and here too) to see how much Indonesians and Malaysians admire about each others’ countries and peoples. And how much potential goodwill there can be between serumpun countries if only the politicians would take a reality check, get off their high horses, park their egos somewhere the sun don’t shine and stop living in denial.

Also read Bleu, an Indonesian expat living in Indonesia for perspective on serumpun sentiments here.

clipped from www.kaskus.us

“Bw putih Bw merah” cerita Malay?

Terserah mau dianggap nge-flame apa engga, tp gw mau tarik perhatian ke sini lagi:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bawang_Putih_Bawang_MerahBenarkah cerita itu dari malay (melayu)? Setahu gw versi Jawanya adalah “brambang bawang” dan ini udah dikenal dari jaman duluuuu banget (nyokap gw ceritain pas masih kecil). Kenapa gw rada nyolot? Karena ini mulai diaku2 lagi sebagai cerita Malaysia, lihat:

“I think the minister should also look into their recent Sinetron called Bawang Merah Bawang Putih which is a copycat of our folklore as well. Their TV series was produced in 2004-2005 while we make a film titled Bawang Putih Bawang Merah way back during the Cathay Keris era in 1959 starring the late Latifah Omar and Umi Kalthom.

Diambil dari salah satu komentar di weblog ini:

By: kersani on October 6th, 2007
at 4:53 am.

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A tale of two rumpuns

Interesting to see the different reactions to the Rasa Sayang(e) controversy both in Malaysia (see comments here) and in Indonesia (see comments here). On both sides of the Straits we have nationalism come to the fore, good sense go out the window, fear and loathing of the other.

But what should the real issue be in the Rasa Sayang(e) issue where different countries have many things in common like food, culture and sometimes even history?

Is the issue one of rights or of marketing savvy?

If it is one of rights then Indonesia wins hands down. Rasa Sayang(e), Unspun is willing to bet, almost certainly originated from Maluku, Negara Ku is probably a spinoff from Terang Bulan, Batik was probably developed and refined in Pekalongan long before Malaysia got its hands on it, Orang Utans are more plentiful in Indonesia, Sate Padang was probably being fanned on the fire longer than the satay in Kajang.

If, however, the issue is one of marketing savvy, then Indonesia losses big time to Malaysia. It falls flat in packaging its cultural icons so that they come to be associated with the country. This is nothing new.

Continue reading “A tale of two rumpuns”

Beyonce Malaysia Boleh

What can one say? Invite Beyonce and ask her to wear conservative clothing? Does one ask the Pope to wear spandex? Malaysia Boleh lagi!

clipped from indcoup.blogspot.com

Another victory for Indonesia over Malaysia!!

It’s good to see people standing up for what they believe in. So I was real glad to see that the bootylicious singer Beyonce has cancelled her Malaysian show after the authorities there had ordered her to cover up and wear “conservative clothing”. Fuck that for a laugh. Bloody Nazis. As if a woman in the 21st century can’t wear what she wants!
And anyway, what’s the point of going to a Beyonce concert in the first place if you can’t see her perform her outrageous onstage antics? What are the Malaysians actually thinking? That people would go along merely to hear her sing? Hahaha!
But Malaysia’s loss is Indonesia’s gain. Cos to make up for the Malaysian show Beyonce’s announced she’ll do a show in Jakarta on 1 November instead!
Bootylicious!! Long live Beyonce!!!!!

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Rasa not so sayang?


(Update: Unspun, uncharacteristically, did not go through the papers this morning. It appears that the problem is even more serious as the matter has been brought before parliament. This is an excerpt of a report from The Jakarta Post:

The House on Monday urged an immediate response from the government to Malaysia’s use of the traditional Indonesian song Rasa Sayange in its “Truly Asia” tourism campaign.

House of Representatives member Hakam Naja of the National Mandate Party (PAN) said if the government could prove the song belonged to Indonesia, Indonesia should sue the Malaysian government.

“The government needs to check on its origins, whether it’s from Indonesia or not,” the deputy chairman of House Commission X overseeing education and tourism was quoted as saying by detik.com newsportal.

Rasa Sayange is believed to have originated in Maluku, where it has been sung for generations by people to express their love for the environment. (rst of story here)


Is a cultural flap between serumpun countries Malaysia and Indonesia in the works?

Unspun‘s business partner today told me of a radio broadcast talking about the Rasa Sayang Malaysia site, which is Malaysia’s answer to e-marketing itself to the world.

According to the radio program, the site’s comments section has been closed down because many Indonesians have been writing in to complain of Malaysia’s appropriation of the Rasa Sayang tune to boost its own image.

Ever the skeptic Unspun went to the site and clicked on the “comments” hyperlinked. Nothing happened! This suggests that the radio announcer may be right.

This all set Unspun‘s head spinning about Malaysian culture and how sometimes Malaysia goes so hard to create a culture of its own that the results become ersatz. Consider, for instance, what sometimes happens when Malaysians get an invitation to attend a formal Malaysian occasion: The dress code is usually specified as “Malaysian Batik.” Not just any batik but “Malaysian Batik.

This may work well in other countries but not in Indonesia, home of the batik. The batik here, from Solo, and Pekalongan are exquisite, beautiful and full of history (for more information on Indonesian batik try my friend’s blogsite here. Compare it to the Malaysian batik, and you’d see the difference. Wavy lines that a five year old could have drawn over satiny fabric that’s good for showing off the spare tyres of middle aged men. Amoeba would have more culture.

And it is always an embarrassment when Malaysia culture shows are staged here. What can we show them that they do not have? Wayang Kulit? Satay? (OK, ganted Unspun likes Malaysian satay a lot over Indonesian ones but its hardly a Malaysian invention is it?) A Malaysian minister scolding bloggers goblok? Unspun’s written about it here and here.

But the point here is not to trash Malaysia; rather it is to suggest that it should perhaps find more creative ways of expressing its multi-racial culture that befits a nation 50 years in the making with lots of creative and smart people.

Back to the possible flap on Rasa Sayang. Is the tune Indonesian? Unspun is no authority on musicology and would like to hear from any authoritative persons out there.

This has the hallmarks of an issue that may escalate. If the radio announcer was right then the Malaysian authorities have a task on their hands to manage this issue before it snowballs into a public flap with nationalistic sentiments inflamed on both sides of the straits. Perhaps the Malaysian Tourist Board’s new PR consultant has good advice on how to handle the issue?

(Readers please note: This may shape up to be a emotive issue so let’s all work toward making this a discussion rather than a catfight. It’s OK to express opinions but try to refrain from name calling and emotive language. If you feel someone should o should not do something, say it and say why. Other than that, debate all you want!)