We need more storytellers

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"Ku Yakin Sampai di Sana" Art Work that becomes an icon for Museum Nasional
"Ku Yakin Sampai di Sana" Art Work that becomes an icon for Museum Nasional

A not long time ago, my mom, my friend and I visited the Museum Nasional Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia. It’s the biggest museum in South East Asia. Ain’t no doubt it’s a national treasure, a precious place to visit. They have so many marvelous exhibitions. There are many historical artifacts in enormous size, preserved animal, gold, and much more. Looking at those display's will 'wow' you. But there’s a significant factor that made my trip amazing. I owe my amazing time to the museum tour guide.

On the museum complex, there are 3 buildings. When I arrived, we were directed to a colonial architectural building as it’s the place to buy tickets. On that building, I saw many details and a big statue. I was in awe because I know it’s hard to create those kind of details, especially in ancient times. However, I didn’t know the significance of the display because there’s no story about it. Once I walked around the building, I didn’t know where to go next. Luckily, there was a museum guide available.

We came one hour before the museum closed. So the guide said, “Do you have something in particular you would like to look at?” We said that we just wanted to be 'wowed' by the museum. He surprised us with his story. First, he took us to a giant statue that we just passed by. At first, we were amazed by the size, but what made us more astonished was the story of how it was found. The statue was found because of an accident. Part of the statue was used to sharpen knives and prepare rice. As a result, there’s a hole in one side and a part of the statue that shines more than other parts.

Next, we chose to visit the gold and diamond exhibition. The gold and diamonds that are displayed came from a specific area. I’m so glad the tour guide pointed out the astonishing details of the goods. At first, I was only blinded by the amount of gold with such finesse. Once I heard the tour guides story, I learned how beautiful and rich Indonesia is. He told me that the people in the area who found the treasure were given a reward. Not just in the form of money, but also a scholarship. It means that the government values it’s own history and gives appreciation to people who give national treasures to the government, instead of selling it for the sake of their own good.

We can’t believe that one hour passed so fast. He said that one hour isn’t enough time to explore the museum. In fact, the gold and diamond exhibition itself should be explored for 2 hours if you want to know the complete story. Please be aware that in that exhibition, you can’t take a picture. However, I’m sure that the lesson you receive is worth it.

When the tour came to an end, I reached the conclusion that visiting a museum with a guide is a must. They become your storyteller. In this museum, there’s no charge to get a guide. However, if there’s a museum that offered a paid guide, I suggest you have them. Trust me, you don’t just get cool pictures of the museum, but you also will get more knowledge and a story that makes your visit in the museum more fun. Without them, you can only see the cool items, but thanks to our storyteller, we can connect the dots. In fact, with the knowledge you have, you can create a one of a kind caption for your social media account. So, in order to deliver the value of museums, we need more storytellers.   

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Some of the ancient statue that is displayed at the museum
Some of the ancient statue that is displayed at the museum
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Ancient Map of Indonesia with pictures of tribes that live in Indonesia
Ancient Map of Indonesia with pictures of tribes that live in Indonesia
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Indonesia