Jakarta. The Treaty of Breda Seminar on Saturday (11/11) has successfully closed the Banda People Festival that has been going since Oct. 11 at the Hatta-Sjahrir Banda Neira School of Teacher Training and Education.
Maluku Governor Said Assagaff said the seminar proved that the province was once an integral part of the world’s history as the world's largest producer of spices. Geo-economically, the region has a large influence in international trade and global socio-cultural and political change.
"The spread of religion was facilitated through trade, as well as colonization in the region. It is a very interesting history to be explored while traveling," Said said.
He added that the seminar also helped restore Banda as a source of spices, whether as local or international commodities, to improve the welfare of local people and become the symbol of Maluku cultural identity.
The theme of the seminar commemorates the 350 years since the Treaty of Breda was signed. The treaty that took place in 1667 contained the Dutch and British agreement to swap the island of Manhattan, New York, with Banda Island.
Upon arriving at the venue of the seminar, hundreds of participants, who mostly consisted of diplomats, boarded the KM Pangrango passenger ship for a 14 hour journey from Ambon to Banda Neira.
Deputy for tourism development at the Ministry of Tourism Esthy Reko Astuti said the seminar invited historians who specialize in the history of Banda.
"One of the speakers is Wim Manuhutu, a lecturer from Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands. He is a historian and researcher on the history of Malay," Esthy said.
Bondan Kanumoyoso, a lecturer from the faculty of cultural sciences at the University of Indonesia, also spoke at the seminar.