UNESCO recognizes autobiographical chronicle ‘Babad Diponegoro’

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REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA – Indonesia is proud that Babad Diponegoro has been included in the Memory of the World Register by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) because the heritage documentary truly deserves the honor.

dipo capturediponegoro7Babad Diponegoro (Autobiographical Chronicle of Prince Diponegoro) is a beautifully written poetic masterpiece by Prince Diponegoro, who was not just a national hero but also a genius, Javanese mystic, pious Muslim, and leader of the “Holy War” against the Dutch in Java between 1825 and 1830.

Last year, the proposal was submitted to UNESCO by Indonesian National Library and the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-Land-en Volkenkunde (KITLV) or Royal Institute of Linguistics, State, and Anthropology of the Netherlands.

The 1,151-folio chronicle was jointly proposed by the two countries as the original manuscripts are kept in Holland, and a copy in Indonesia, according to the KITLV Jakarta Director Roger Tol.

Roger Tol

Roger Tol

“This is a self-memoir by one of the key figures in Indonesias modern history. This is also the first ever autobiography in modern Javanese literature and shows extraordinary sensitivity towards local conditions and experiences,” UNESCO stated.

Prince Diponegoro

Prince Diponegoro

Prince Diponegoro was born as Raden Mas Ontowiryo in Yogyakarta, Central Java, on November 11, 1785. He was the eldest son of Sultan Hamengkubuwono III, the King of Mataram Kingdom.

The Javanese nobleman and devout Muslim had opposed the Dutch during their colonial rule. He had given up his throne and decided to fight against colonialism.

Painting in 'Babad Diponegoro'

Painting in ‘Babad Diponegoro’

The leader of the five-year struggle against the Dutch, also known as the Java War (1825-30), had rallied a uniquely broad cross-section of Javanese society against the colonial state. The Java War had inflicted the greatest loss to the Dutch on Java, with the colonial rulers losing an estimated 15 thousand soldiers and 20 million gulden.

Prince Diponegoro was captured by the Dutch during a ceasefire negotiation, after which he was exiled to Sulawesi Island. He was first sent to North Sulawesi and then moved to Makassar, South Sulawesi, where he died on January 8, 1855.

Prince Diponegoro's grave in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Prince Diponegoro’s grave in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

The Prince wrote the autobiographical chronicle during his exile in North Sulawesi between May 1831 and February 1832. Among other things, it features the princes points of view on national and religious leadership.

Statue of Prince Diponegoro in Monas, Jakarta

Statue of Prince Diponegoro in Monas, Jakarta

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