Pictures on pillows – Indonesia’s storytelling festival

Festival Cerita Jakarta (the Jakarta Storytelling Festival) had its debut event at the National Library of Indonesia in December, and the Jakarta Post reports it was a great success.

Organised by the children’s literacy group Rumah Cerita (House of Stories), the two-day festival included such fun events as pillow painting.

From the JakPost (as it is affectionately known):

On a Sunday afternoon, a group of children, whose ages ranged from 6 to 15, joined a workshop in a room at the National Library of Indonesia. They concentrated on drawing their fantasies on top of a pillow, as adult facilitators and parents looked on.

One participant named Fika, 10, who lives in East Jakarta, was drawing a female figure on top of her pillow.

“I draw who I want to be when I grow up; I dream of becoming a [medical] doctor.

Jakarta’s Storytelling Festival Image: The Jakarta Post

The festival’s keynote speech was by Nirwan Ahmad Arsuka, the brains behind the Pustaka Bergerak (Mobile Books) program that spreads books across the country.

But the festival’s aims were perhaps best summarized by the event’s director, Aqmarina Andira:

This festival responds to flourishing literacy promotion programs across Indonesia, which involves mobile library establishment and book distribution. We want to take it further by promoting self-confidence in coming up with original ideas among children as well as the skill to articulate it.

The JakPost shares more of the festival and more pictures, so do pop along to read the rest, but I’ll end this short summary with the words of JakPost’s correspondent, Sebastian Partogi.

The children’s enthusiasm shows that they are inherently imaginative and curious; it is often us adults who lack the imagination to nurture and stimulate their minds properly.

The regular Indonesian school curriculum, meanwhile, focuses more on memorizing facts and not on inquisitive learning.

Sadly that’s not something unique to Indonesia.

But the fix is quite simple. Bring on the books!

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