Today Bapak Waleed was invited to lecture at Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Barat (UMSB), in the heart of Padang City. The Rector of the University, Shofwan Karim, being inspired by Bapak Waleed’s vision and efforts in maintaining, revitalizing, and spreading the culture of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia, invited him to the University in order to inspire the students there to reconnect with the beauties found within their own culture. After lunch in the VIP room of Sederhana Restaurant with Shofwan Karim and with members of the press, Singgalang, and Padang Expres, the next stop was the main campus of the University.
Shofwan Karim introduced Bapak Waleed to the students of the university, and also gave a brief introduction to the university itself. UMSB is composed of eight different faculty: Education, Health, Forestry, Islamic Studies, Law, Engineering, Agriculture, and Economics, with a total enrollment of more than 3,000 students. Also the University will be expanding into an additional faculty: Socio-Political Science. Shofwan Karim also introduced some of the distinguished UMSB faculty that were present for Bapak Waleed’s lecture. The faculties are divided between Kota Padang, Kota Bukittinggi, and Kota Payakumbuh, all in West Sumatra. The faculties in Padang include Religion and Forestry, and it was this group that Bapak Waleed spoke to in the afternoon.
By specific request, Bapak Waleed spoke about his own introduction to Silat and the Minangkabau cultures of West Sumatra. He began with the story of how he met his first teacher of Silat, who himself was from West Sumatra, and who first brought Bapak Waleed to Indonesia, the heartland of Silat, more than 28 years ago. Bapak Waleed shared his deep appreciation for the arts and culture, mixed with the adab and adat of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra. Through his narrative of his introduction to Silat, he shared how his appreciation, in time, and with exposure to the culture, grew more and more, even to include some of the deeper and esoteric spiritual aspects of the culture.
Bapak Waleed emphasized to the students in attendance that they are the future of Indonesia, and that people from outside and from the West will be looking to them in order to understand and connect with their culture. He encouraged them, therefore, to spend more time with their own culture, to learn and appreciate its subtleties, so that they could be better suited to build bridges and connect with people who have less exposure to it. The adab, adat, arts, and culture of the Minangkabau are the Pusaka, the Baraka and the blessing of the community, and must be preserved and appreciated as such, so that the understanding, appreciation, and light can be passed on to other people who may approach from outside of the culture.
Reports from major Indonesian press outlets were in attendance at Bapak Waleed's lecture. For example, the newspaper Singgalang ran a feature article about him on their Page 2 the following day. Hendri Nova of their Padang bureau reported on Bapak Waleed's lecture as well as the questions of the students, who were interested to know about the various different types of tradisional Silat taught by Bapak Waleed.
Afterward, the faculty, including Shofwan Karim and Lector Drs. Zulmardi, M. Si of the Forestry Faculty, took the opportunity to invite Bapak Waleed back into the main office to speak with him in more detail about having him facilitate collaboration with American Universities in some academic research areas, including industrial ecology and the possibilities for alternative energy sources through biogas.
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