Presentation Contents

For the 5th KAPAL Conference, during the “Lightning Talk” session, I gave a brief presentation on some aspects of my doctoral research. Mostly, I used a selection of data from the fieldwork I conducted in the last two years. My research focuses on the Kecamatan Lasem of Kabupaten Rembang, Central Java, particularly their cultural heritage. The title of my presentation is “Uses of Heritage Objects and Artifacts by Local Community Members: Case Study of Lasem, Indonesia.” I explained how Lasem, which is renowned for its multiculturalism, has abundant heritage resources, and I specifically highlighted the old houses built around the 18th, 19th, or 20th centuries. These houses are heavily influenced by Chinese architectural style and are unique to Lasem. Regarding these old houses, I described further how local community members are protecting the cultural heritage by actively using them in their daily lives. 

Submission Process

In the beginning, I learned about the KAPAL Conference from my senior and was suggested to apply. I decided to try it out since I wanted to try a new experience, and I was hoping that I would get valuable feedback from other scholars at the conference. Fortunately, because the Lightning Talk does not require a specific topic, I could write about my ongoing research and the information I have gathered thus far from my fieldwork. Coincidentally, at the time that I wrote my application for Lightning Talk, I was actually in the middle of my fieldwork in Lasem. I was delighted to be notified that my application had been accepted, and as instructed, I created slides with images and texts to explain my research. Sometime later, I received feedback regarding my slides to be improved, including adding more details and context about my topic. Before the conference day, I attended an online practice session on Zoom with other Lightning Talk speakers. Honestly, I was slightly nervous when I discovered that most of the other presenters spoke in Japanese. At this moment, my Japanese skills are still very limited and not fluent. However, I could still present my research in English, as planned.

The Day of Presentation

On the day, I was even more nervous; the actual day was nothing like the practice session because I could see so many people in the room listening to my presentation. However, it was worth the experience. I received a question regarding the ownership of the old houses (the cultural heritage) in Lasem, specifically about the families that share the ownership, who usually pass down their properties to the next generation. The question made me think of another perspective or angle of my research that I had never really thought about before. The presentation lasted for a very short time; I talked for about five minutes and finished with a short Q&A session. It was still a truly valuable experience for me to have the opportunity to speak in front of fellow scholars and researchers whose expertise and studies are also about Indonesia. I also learned from other presenters at the Lightning Talk and general session as well. I was amazed that, even though I am an Indonesian who was born and raised in Indonesia, I discovered that many aspects and elements of Indonesia can be researched and studied deeper. Things that I thought of as ordinary or mundane might be interesting for other researchers who came from abroad.


Overall, this was a very beneficial opportunity for me, and I highly recommend other young researchers in the field to also apply for the next Lightning Talk session. Whether you are from Indonesia, Japan, or any other country, if your study is about Indonesia, this is a valuable chance to improve your research! 

I would also like to express my gratitude to Prof. Shintaro Fukutake, who organized this Lightning Talk session and gave me guidance throughout the whole process. 

Virliany Rizqia Putri (Kanazawa University)