Ida Ayu Astari Prada: A journey to discover the meaning and importance of cultural preservation

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Jakarta, IO – Ida Ayu Astari Prada, Director of Brand and Communication at Nuanu, grew up in a family deeply rooted in Balinese traditions and culture. Being part of a Brahmin family, she was immersed in these practices from a young age, understanding their importance beyond mere rituals. “I realized that what my family instilled in me were values and meanings that needed to be preserved and maintained,” Prada shared in a recent conversation with the Independent Observer.

Her family’s role in Balinese Hindu society includes responsibilities as religious leaders, teaching Hindu scriptures, and ensuring the preservation of traditions. This background deeply influenced her perspective on cultural preservation.

Educational and Cultural Exposure

One of the pivotal decisions in Prada’s life was her parents’ choice to send her to an international school. “This experience exposed me to diverse cultural backgrounds and taught me to balance my own cultural identity with new environments,” she said. After high school, she moved to Melbourne, Australia, for further studies. Despite the city’s livability, she felt a void being away from her family and traditions. “No matter where I am, my Balinese roots remain an integral part of my identity,” she reflected, often returning home to participate in traditional practices.

Ida Ayu
(Source: Special)

Joining Nuanu and Embracing Cultural Preservation

Concerned about the potential loss of her ancestors’ traditions, Prada sought ways to contribute to their preservation. She found her calling at Nuanu, a 44-hectare creative city in Bali. “Nuanu’s vision, inspired by the Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana, is to create a community that thrives in harmony,” she explained. This philosophy emphasizes the interconnectedness of life, aligning perfectly with Nuanu’s mission to integrate education, art & culture, wellness, and nature-inspired living which stands as the five core pillars. For instance, its school focuses on integrated learning to foster respect for nature and culture. Additionally, Nuanu supports local children in learning arts, culture, and life skills free of cost. Through programs providing space, resources, and funds for local artists, Nuanu plays a significant role in Indonesia’s arts and cultural landscape.

Environmental and Cultural Initiatives

Nuanu prioritizes environmental sustainability with stringent policies on land use and reforestation efforts. “Our landscaping concept builds habitats for wildlife and preserves native ecosystems,” Prada noted. Projects like butterfly breeding and dragonfly programs aim to enhance local biodiversity. One notable project involved releasing 2,500 endemic Balinese butterflies, achieving a 21% survival rate to metamorphosis. Nuanu also recycles 75% of its municipal waste and transforms wooden waste into artistic creations through its “art village” initiative.

Ida Ayu
(Source: Special)

Her belief in the power of fate led to a significant collaboration with Wayan Pon and Evi, who were struggling to find financial assistance for a museum of traditional Indonesian musical instruments. This partnership birthed the Semara Gita Bhuana Foundation, with initial funding from Nuanu, aimed at revitalizing the ancient 14th Gambang instrument from the Majapahit era along with activating a program to educate the youth ensuring its legacy for future generations.

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The Role of Education in Cultural Preservation

Prada emphasizes that cultural preservation is an intergenerational effort. “Education is essential for maintaining a nation’s culture and traditions. We must make cultural traditions engaging and interactive for the current generation, who often have shorter attention spans due to technology,” she explained. Finding a balance between preserving cultural traditions and utilizing modern technology is crucial.

“It’s never too late to contribute to the sustainability of a nation’s identity. Education plays a pivotal role in introducing traditions and culture to the next generation. Understanding the importance of preserving culture can be challenging, but finding value and meaning in it makes the effort worthwhile,” she concluded. (des)