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Book Review Event: Aryo Blitar, Myth or Fact?

Blitar City Library and Archives Service hosted a book review event for "Arya Blitar, Myth or Fact?" written by Ki Purwanto, a renowned writer and cultural enthusiast from Blitar. 

The event featured two distinguished reviewers: Mashuri from the National Research Agency (BRIN) and Hery Setyobudi from the Blitar City Tourism Office.

Ki Purwanto, in his presentation, explained that the book juxtaposes research by Ki Kartowibowo and KH. Agus Sunyoto, while also referencing several versions written by Prof. Dr. Slamet Mulyana.

The event, held at Kusumo Wicitro Hall on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, was attended by invitees from relevant departments, the arts council, and writing communities.

Attendees were provided with copies of the book and papers from the author and the reviewers. 

The event kicked off with an opening speech by the Mayor of Blitar, Drs. Santoso, M.Pd., and concluded with a group photo session at exactly 12:00 PM WIB.

Mashuri's presentation captivated the audience with an archaeological perspective on Blitar. 

He highlighted that often, the names of places predate the names of people, responding to a question posed by the editor of Insight Blitar. 

Mashuri emphasized, "Usually, the name of a place exists before the name of a person."

Hery Setyobudi provided a chronological overview of Blitar, distinguishing between Blitar as a location and Blitar as a political entity. 

He critiqued the repetitive nature of discussions about Arya Blitar, questioning why debates about who is buried at the site persist from the beginning.

Ki Purwanto’s book does not seek to assert definitive answers but rather presents a comparative analysis of various research findings.

The discussion brought to light different perspectives on the historical and cultural significance of Arya Blitar, sparking a rich dialogue among the attendees.

The presence of notable figures like Mashuri and Hery Setyobudi added depth to the conversation.

Mashuri, with his expertise in archaeological findings, provided insights into how historical sites in Blitar have been interpreted over time. He drew connections between archaeological discoveries and historical narratives, suggesting that physical evidence often predates documented stories and myths.

Hery Setyobudi, on the other hand, offered a detailed chronological account of Blitar’s history. He pointed out the importance of differentiating between Blitar as a geographic location and its evolution into a political and cultural entity. 

Hery’s critique of the cyclical nature of debates about Arya Blitar’s identity and burial site invited attendees to consider new ways of approaching historical inquiries.

The book review event was not just a scholarly discussion but also a community gathering that fostered a deeper appreciation for Blitar’s cultural heritage. 

The inclusion of various stakeholders, from government officials to cultural practitioners, underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in preserving and understanding history.

Drs. Santoso, M.Pd., in his opening remarks, highlighted the significance of such events in promoting cultural literacy and historical awareness among the public. 

He praised Ki Purwanto for his dedication to cultural research and encouraged the community to engage with historical narratives critically and thoughtfully.

The distribution of books and papers ensured that attendees left with tangible resources to continue their exploration of Blitar’s history. 

The collaborative efforts of the Library and Archives Service and the Tourism Office demonstrated a commitment to cultural education and public engagement.

The event concluded on a high note, with participants expressing their appreciation for the insightful presentations and discussions. 

The group photo session captured the spirit of unity and shared purpose among those dedicated to uncovering and preserving Blitar’s rich history.

Overall, the book review event for "Arya Blitar, Myth or Fact?" was a resounding success, providing a platform for meaningful dialogue and fostering a deeper understanding of Blitar’s cultural and historical identity. 

As the city continues to explore its past, such events play a crucial role in shaping a well-informed and culturally enriched community.