Universitas Gadjah Mada conferred the title of Doctor Honoris Causa on Drs. H. Solichin, on Friday (18/12). This title is a token of appreciation for Solichin's contribution in developing wayang philosophy and advancing Indonesian puppetry.
“This title is for his notable contribution in making Indonesian wayang recognized as a world heritage by UNESCO, and ensuring that Indonesian culture is noble and deserves international recognition,” said UGM Rector, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., D.Eng., IPU, ASEAN Eng.
Panut revealed, UGM always strives to contribute to the Indonesian culture. UGM also provides space for cultural development and preservation as well as appreciates the cultural fighters who have contributed to the nation's culture.
Previously, UGM had also given awards to several figures for their work in culture, including Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Goenawan Mohamad, and W. S. Rendra.
Panut hopes that Solichin's figure can be an inspiration for people and specifically for the UGM community to be able to fight for various other indigenous Indonesian cultures’ development and preservation.
“There are still many indigenous Indonesian cultures that we should strive for international recognition,” he said.
In the scientific oration read at the award ceremony, Solichin revealed that the systematic wayang philosophy functions as a system that fundamentally strengthens the foundation for implementing Pancasila, both in the sense of Pancasila as a way of life and Pancasila as a way of thinking.
“In other words, the systematic wayang philosophy aims to encourage the realization of the welfare of the Indonesian people,” he explained.
The man who served as Chairman of the Honorary Council of the Indonesian Wayang National Secretariat (SENAWANGI) explained that he had long struggled to find an authentic Indonesian philosophy, which is a philosophical system extracted from the archipelago.
The effort became even more urgent when he realized that in the development of science, the influence of Western and Eastern philosophies has become increasingly extensive in accompanying changes in civilization in various parts of the world.
The formulation of a systematic wayang philosophy originating from the original Indonesian philosophy, namely Pancasila, is a concrete manifestation to strengthen the honor of Indonesian wayang in the world, as has been recognized by UNESCO to be
“A Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
Through a long and in-depth discussion process, he has arranged the knowledge contained in wayang into a correlative arrangement in the form of “Puppet Science Tree” and “Knowledge in Wayang”. This arrangement later academically gave birth to Wayang Philosophy.
“I believe that wayang is a never-ending source of knowledge to be explored and developed,” said Solichin.
Wayang philosophy is expected to be a solution to humanitarian problems. According to him, moral values in wayang are very important for character education. Through wayang performances, the audience is invited to think critically to choose their action decisions through examples of behavior in the puppets.
“The world of puppetry in any play emphasizes the endeavor of a peaceful life, achieving a sense of peace and serenity in the personal, state, and world level, known as memayu hayuning diri, memayu hayuning negari, memayu hayuning bumi,” he explained.