In Nijmegen-the Netherlands in 2015, Fuji initiated the research center of which focus on Javanese diaspora studies later names as Golong Gilig in association with the Cultural Board of Yogyakarta Government. Therefore to the date, he becomes a Director of Golong Gilig Institute of Javanese Diaspora Studies.
Golong Gilig Institute of Javanese Diaspora Studies is a research-based organization to elevate interdisciplinary research and link that research with community engagement, cultural heritage preservation, and education. Initiated in the Nijmegen-the Netherlands in 2015, thus officially established in the following year of 2016 in Yogyakarta-Indonesia, we collaborate with researchers, historian, bureaucrats, artists, and young people with diverse academic backgrounds.
Ours is the only one diaspora studies center in the Indonesian hemisphere for research on people of Javanese descendants either living within the archipelago of Indonesia or around the globe such as mainly dwelling in the Netherlands, Suriname, French-New Caledonia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Saudi Arabian, USA, Hong Kong and little is known living in Cocos Island, Madagascar, South Africa, Caribbean and many more. To say that diaspora studies is an academic field raised in the late twentieth century to learn scattered ethnic groups for some reasons, which are often termed diaspora peoples; ergo literally associates with a dispersed people. To put in the nutshell, diaspora studies is a new interdisciplinary area that has emerged in humanities and cultural sciences dealing with the study of migration and its social, political, economic impact.
The usage of the term diaspora in the context of Javanese people carries the meaning of post-colonialism discourse after hundred years being colonialized by the Dutch. In contemporary thought, the concept of diaspora involves an understanding of the shifting relations between homelands and host nation form. Apropos of this following issue, the Institute’s working understanding of the concept includes individuals and groups of diaspora, with a history of migration, whose attachment to host countries is expressed through hybrid-culture in nurturing the ancestral culture.
To support an exciting plan for the exploration and dissemination of these and other issues at various levels of diaspora, the Golong Gilig collaborates, mainly, with the Cultural Board of Yogyakarta Government supported by the Yogyakarta Sultanate. Along with the governmental and royal palace, the Golong Gilig is inching closer to putting a main agenda of embracing Javanese diaspora from all over the world to ‘the home’.
In general, the institute’s core vision is to combine leading interdisciplinary scholarly research on Javanese diaspora and engage in innovative programming and collaborative dialogue in terms of partnership with the wider global community. In academic stage, the institute seeks to stimulate and encourage knowledge exchange and production that reflects the diversity of and intercourse among diverse areas, and contributes critically to the field of knowledge. The work of the institute is qualitative, comparative and historically driven as well as providing policy insights on pertinent issues in the world today. At the top of our agenda, we also aim to provide a facilitating forum of a hub of excellence for diverse cooperation between Javanese diaspora communities and Indonesia.
The Philosophy of Golong Gilig
As Javanese culture has a large metaphor to point major wisdom for the living, Golong Gilig is the philosophical pillar delivered by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the first King of Yogyakarta Sultanate, to buttress the foundation of Yogyakarta city symbolizing the spirit of unity with the people, where the original design signifies the unity of King with his people and the unity of human with the God, Sangkan Paraning Dumadiand Manunggaling Kawula Gusti. Apropos of that manifestation, the monument of Golong Gilig was built in 1755 to comply with Prince Mangkubumi when he was enthroned as the first Sultan of Yogyakarta.
Located in the north of Yogyakarta Palace, the existing monument that until now is the most popular landmark of the city called Tugu Yogyakarta was actually built by the Dutch in 1889 to replace the original one that was collapsed due to a giant earthquake in 1867. Historically, the Yogyakarta city was planned based on Javanese cosmology on the nature of human destiny as manifested in its imaginary straight line from the Merapi Volcano to the South Sea or Indian Ocean, the royal palace as the symbol of city center situated between Code river and Winongo river in which the north and south borders were marked by Tugu Yogyakarta (originally known as Golong Gilig) and Panggung Krapyak.
In line with the spirit of Golong Gilig preached by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the symbol of Golong Gilig monument was deliberately adopted as the logo of the institution of Javanese Diaspora Studies in favour of embracing the spirit of unity and solidarity, gotong royong, among Javanese descendants from all over the world. Referring to the logo designed by Agit Primaswara, the blue stripe represents the sky and the double orange stripes represent the land where Javanese people either living in the ancestral land of Java or outside the Java Island including those living within the archipelago of Indonesia or overseas called Javanese diaspora.