“The Indonesian Heritage Society and Rumah-Ku is giving me a very meaningful way of learning more about Indonesia, its rich culture, fascinating history and contemporary political and social issues. The warmth and friendliness of the people of Indonesia is a joy and makes Jakarta a fabulous place to live. My co-chair Lilis Sulis and I along with our committee members are consequently prioritizing our time to organize the Rumah-Ku morning lecture series and  taking advantage of the chance to learn more while at the same time contributing to the organization.” 

Arti Gidwani, co-chair of Rumah-Ku

Photo courtesy of The Indonesian Heritage Society (IHS)

The Indonesian Heritage Society (IHS) is a non-profit organization offering a wide variety of programs to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia. The varied activities of the society include explorers, lectures, study groups and tours, all of these provide a stepping stone to discovering the culture, life, history and art of this vast archipelago. 

Rumah-Ku is one of the faces of Indonesian Heritage Society. It literally means “My Home” and was created as a morning lecture series in the intimate setting of beautiful homes around Jakarta. Every month, we invite experts from various fields to talk about the culture, lifestyle and various aspects of daily life in Indonesia.

It began very informally – an event for members of IHS who would invite other members to their homes and share their expertise and experiences. The topics usually ranged from art and textiles to food and other facets of daily life in Indonesia.  

Very quickly, the popularity of Rumah-Ku events increased, leading the way for new ideas and a wider variety of topics. The event finally converted into a monthly event, where the members of IHS and potential members meet and exchange experiences, adding to their knowledge. 

The need for a regular monthly Rumah-ku session required a structure. Therefore, a committee was formed to develop and explore ideas and present them to the members. Rumah-ku has two co-chairs and a committee of committed members who work round the year with various speakers. We also work closely with the hostesses who graciously  provide us the opportunity to have the talks in their beautiful homes and give us a very generous glimpse into their cuisines. 

The topics discussed at Rumah-Ku are very varied: our speakers are mostly  Indonesian, but we have been very fortunate to have heard scholars from all over the world who are experts in their various fields, such as traditional architecture, the art of dance in Javanese Palaces, jamu (traditional herb drink), book discussions, economy, environment, textile, social entrepreneurship, art and art restoration etc.

All this has made Rumah-Ku one of the most popular activities enjoyed by IHS members. Moreover, Rumah-Ku is always held in beautiful private homes that are normally not accessible by the public. In order to maintain the security of these private homes, Rumah-Ku is available to IHS members or IHS member candidates (with members’ recommendation).

Upcoming Rumah-Ku events will discuss:

  1. The influence of Pernanakan culture in Indonesian cuisine and textiles
  2. Hinduism in India and Indonesia
  3. Discussing Indonesian cuisine with a famous Indonesian Chef
  4. The importance of startups and social media in today’s Indonesia

The requirement to participate in Rumah-Ku event is simple: sign up as a member of Indonesian Heritage Society on its website. We hope to see you at one of our events soon!

NOW! Jakarta

NOW! Jakarta

The article is produced by editorial team of NOW!Jakarta