TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies,
Volume 6(2) April 2015.
Prof. Dr. Dwia Aries Tina Pulubuhu
Honorable Patron of the TAWARIKH Journal in Bandung, West Java; and Rector of UNHAS (Hasanuddin University) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The history of historical writing, or historiography, seems to have a long journey. At the first, the writing of history has been many centered on political issues. Then, it was born the genre of historiography with discoursing “story of great men”, such as the King, Commander of the War, and the Figure of Religion. In this context, there is a historian who said that the discipline of history is pertaining to political events in the past; and political events of today will become history in the future. I think that statement is true, for the most part, if the discipline of history only studied the political events, and do not try to study it from another perspectives.
Is enough historical events studied and seen from a political perspective alone? I think it is not, due to many other interesting perspectives and generate the different discourses about historical events. In this case, there is something true if there was a historian who expressed boredom with political history. He said, what is interesting if the history is only the story revolves around the “king’s birth, marriage king, the royal power, and the death of the king”? The story of “great men” were his/her birth, marriage, power, and died – and just like that the story – it was clearly unattractive and boring; and if taught to students at school, it’s just around: when he/she was born, with whom he/she was married, when he/she was in power, as well as when and where he/she is buried?
Accordingly, the historians try to study the history from various fields and perspectives. Thus, it was born, in the Indonesian context, what is called the study of history multidimensionally and interdisciplinary. If the first is pertaining to the importance of historical study in various fields, not only in politics but also in other fields such as: social, economic, cultural, educational, labor, farmers, women, and so on; then the second relates to the historical disciplines need to borrow – for analytical purposes – other scientific disciplines in order to produce the conclusions and generalizations about patterns and trends of historical events that are relatively constant and steady. In other words, there is also a new paradigm in the study of history, which was originally to be “history from above” (because it only studies the story of great men or elite group) then turned into “history from below” (because it studies the story of the ordinary people or grassroots level).
In France, for example, the historians who pioneered this new paradigm, in the 1920s to the 1970s, were calling it the “total history”. And in Indonesia, the best historical work which is a representation of the “total history” – and it has been translated into Indonesian language – is “Nusa Jawa Silang Budaya: Kajian Sejarah Terpadu [Le Carrefour Javanais: Essai d’Histoire Globale]”, three volumes, by the French historian who expert on Indonesia and Southeast Asia, the late Professor Dr. Denys Lombard (1996). What is more interesting from Denys Lombard’s total historical study is his mode of discourse with discipline and approaches borrowed from geology, so the story of the history has been presented in a way “from the outer layer to the inner layer, or from the contemporary period to the past”. Currently, historians of Indonesia, in general, when studying the history is trying to show the face of totality history multidimensionally and interdisciplinary, although not many who study the history using a approach of “flash-back” or backward, as exemplified by Denys Lombard.
The articles published by the TAWARIKH journal, issue of April 2015 currently, it does not specifically to study the total history as exemplified by the French historian above. However, there is a spirit and a desire to write a history that is not only the range of political issues, but also began to study other areas, such as literature, art, music, forest exploitation, bureaucracy, copra economy, diplomacy, and transportation. It seems like the articles entitled: “Syair Perang Mengkassar: A Historiography Through Sufistic Poetry” by Bambang Sulistyo; “A Romantic Spirit in Priangan” by H.W. Setiawan & Setiawan Sabana; “Forest Resources Exploitation and its Impact in the Extreme Salient of Java, 1870-1970” by Nawiyanto; “Twilite Orchestra: An Indonesian Pops Orchestra” by Ranti Rahmawanti; “The End of the Feudal System in Banyumas, Central Java: Studies on the Impact of Colonial Intervention in the Sectors of Bureaucracy and Socio-Economic, 1830-1930” by Tanto Sukardi; “The Transformations of Tarawangsa Traditional Music in the Ritual Ceremony of Bubur Syura in Sukaluyu Village, Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia” by Nanang Supriatna; “Makassar Copra as a Trigger of Struggling for Power between Central and Local Government: A Historical Study of Regional Political Economy in Indonesia” by Abdul Rasyid Asba; “The Aesthetical Relationship between Digital Music and History of Modernism” by Agus Santoso; “Restoring Trusts without Losing Face: An Episode in the History of China – Indonesia Relationship” by Tuty Enoch Muas; and “Modernization of Transportation Means and its Shift in Worldview of Traditional Community: A Case Study of Sundanese Culture in Bandung” by Yannes Martinus Pasaribu.
For me, what is interesting from the articles mentioned above are not all written by the historians or lecturers who were educated and brought up in the discipline of history. It is only fair, because the discipline of history is an open, friendly, and welcoming to anyone who is interested in issues of history to present his/her ideas and research that can be read and disseminated to the general public. With this will appear the discourse healthy and rich with a variety of perspectives. I think a healthy nation is also a nation that wants to be constantly thinking, researching, writing, and discussion to seek and find the truth objectively. Without this, we will be a nation that is forgetful, senile, subjective, narrow-minded, and perhaps half crazy, because it does not know the origin and history of our nation, which is very diverse and rich.
Finally, as Rector of UNHAS (Hasanuddin University) in Makassar, I would like to thank to Minda Masagi Press, a publishing house owned by ASPENSI (Association of Indonesian Scholars of History Education) in Bandung, who has helped and cooperated in issuing this TAWARIKH journal. Publishing the scientific journals and disseminate it to the public – either through a printed journal and an online journal – is also a historic deeds and events. Do enjoy to reading the articles presented in the TAWARIKH journal, may be useful.
Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia: April 28, 2015.
TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies,
Volume 6(2) April 2015.
Syair Perang Mengkassar: A Historiography Through Sufistic Poetry.
H.W. SETIAWAN & SETIAWAN SABANA,
A Romantic Spirit in Priangan.
Forest Resources Exploitation and its Impact in the Extreme Salient of Java, 1870-1970.
Twilite Orchestra: An Indonesian Pops Orchestra.
The End of the Feudal System in Banyumas, Central Java: Studies on the Impact of Colonial Intervention in the Sectors of Bureaucracy and Socio-Economic, 1830-1930.
The Transformations of Tarawangsa Traditional Music in the Ritual Ceremony of Bubur Syura in Sukaluyu Village, Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia.
ABDUL RASYID ASBA,
Makassar Copra as a Trigger of Struggling for Power between Central and Local Government: A Historical Study of Regional Political Economy in Indonesia.
The Aesthetical Relationship between Digital Music and History of Modernism.
TUTY ENOCH MUAS,
Restoring Trusts without Losing Face: An Episode in the History of China – Indonesia Relationship.
YANNES MARTINUS PASARIBU,
Modernization of Transportation Means and its Shift in Worldview of Traditional Community: A Case Study of Sundanese Culture in Bandung.