Study Groups

A study group is a group of people who meet to share an interest in learning about Indonesia-related topics. Generally, each study groups consists of 10-20 participants who make a commitment to meet regularly (weekly, biweekly or monthly) to learn a topic together in a supportive and fun environment. They are a wonderful way of increasing your knowledge of this fascinating place we live in and present an opportunity to meet new friends with a common interest.

study groups are run on a “do a little, gain a lot” philosophy – over the course of the study group, each member is expected to be responsible for presenting or organising one session but can then sit back and learn from sessions presented or organised by other members. The Heritage Society Library offers great resources to aid the preparation of sessions should members choose to research and present on a topic but members can also choose to organise a field trip or an external speaker related to the topic of the study group.

Study group topics vary ranging from culture, literature, history and art so have a read of the below to see what may suit you in terms of interest and timing. Please email to register interest or for any further clarification.

Ceramics Study Group photo – 1970

Utama Study Groups

Utama Study Groups run from September through to May, with a short break for Christmas. These study groups meet twice a month during the day on weekdays. The following Study Groups have been confirmed for the next 2019/2020 IHS session but more will be added on so check back on this page before we kick off in September.

Textiles are one of Indonesia’s most powerful and rich art forms and the Textiles Study Group has gone from strength to strength covering the textile traditions across the breadth of this archipelago. In this study group, you will learn about different types of Indonesian textiles, including techniques, history, ritual and meaning of these fabrics. In addition, the IHS has a MoU with Museum Seni, which allows study group members access to the collection of Museum Tekstil Jakarta and the opportunity to view these textiles up-close. The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.

Learn more about some of the most intriguing ancient civilizations of Indonesia. Who build Gunung Padang, the largest megalithic site in South East Asia? Who were the Austronesians? How did Indonesian society look like before Indianization? What do we know about the drowned Sundaland? What do the world’s oldest cave paintings in Sulawesi tell us? What were dongson drums used for? Explore the rich history of Indonesia and unravel mysteries of the past in this ancient land. This study group meets every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month.


Gunung Padang, the largest megalithic site in South East Asia

Join this study group to explore the different cultures of Indonesia by understanding how the people of this country present themselves. From a simple bead necklace or a shoulder tattoo to opulent royal crowns, from indigenous designs to influences that come from across the seas – there is a broad range of subjects to discover. This study group meets every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month.


Beads, shells and gold – just a few ways with which Indonesians adorn themselves

This study group is aimed at those who want to explore a breadth of topics on Indonesia. We will study Indonesia through different lenses, with a different focus switching every few months. There is no shortage of subject matters – history, material culture, nature and environment etc. This study group meets every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.


A study of Indonesia from many angles

Indonesian Literature Group

Read Indonesian literature in translation in this combination Study Group/ Book Club who meet once a month on Tuesdays afternoon. This group runs from September to May with the Peralihan group in session between June to September.

Heritage Art Group

If you want to know your Srihadi from your Eko Nugroho, discover Jakatta’s major and independent galleries, and the people who run them, this is the group to join. This group meets twice a month to visit galleries and ongoing exhibitions in Jakarta.

The Arts Study Group at Sudjojono’s Hidup Mengalun Dendang exhibition

*All Photos have been contributed by our generous members.

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