True, but trival?

The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia

Stephen Anthony Sutton, Petra Buergelt, Douglas Paton, Saut Sagala

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paper

Abstract

This paper discusses research into the cultural drivers of a successful community-wide disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategy on Simeulue Island, Aceh, Indonesia. While the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in neighbouring Acehnese communities, only 7 of a coastal population of 80,000 were killed in Simeulue. This paper discusses how deep-seated cognitive processes derived from a tradition of stories and songs about a previous tsunami event that affected the Sumatran coast 100 years before resulted in the people of Simeulue rapidly recognizing the signs of the tsunami and responded in the appropriate ways. These stories and songs became an integralpart of adat or traditional culture of the island. However, these stories and songs were not recognized as valuable DRR strategy by authorities and researchers until after the 2004 event. The stories and songs were largely invisible precisely because they were such an embedded, integral, taken-forgranted part of the culture and thus were ‘low-key’, ‘in-house’ and ‘grass-roots’. Authorities also considered stories and songs trivial, and discounted them in favour of ‘more important’ official information. The paper also discusses how the predominant use of quantitative research approaches obscured access to and appreciation of the relevance and workings of stories and songs. Exploring the role of narrative and music on human cognition is used to explain why and how the stories and songs of the Simeulue Islanders constituted an effective DRR strategy. Lessons for enhancing risk communication in Australia are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages94-95
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
EventAPRU 14th Multi-Hazards Symposium in collaboration with the
Research School of Earth Sciences
-
Duration: 21 Oct 201823 Oct 2018

Conference

ConferenceAPRU 14th Multi-Hazards Symposium in collaboration with the
Research School of Earth Sciences
Period21/10/1823/10/18

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song
Indonesia
disaster
Values
traditional culture
risk communication
event
Indian Ocean
quantitative research
research approach
community
cognition
music
driver
narrative

Cite this

Sutton, S. A., Buergelt, P., Paton, D., & Sagala, S. (2018). True, but trival? The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia. 94-95. Paper presented at APRU 14th Multi-Hazards Symposium in collaboration with the
Research School of Earth Sciences, .
Sutton, Stephen Anthony ; Buergelt, Petra ; Paton, Douglas ; Sagala, Saut. / True, but trival? The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia. Paper presented at APRU 14th Multi-Hazards Symposium in collaboration with the
Research School of Earth Sciences, .2 p.
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title = "True, but trival?: The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia",
abstract = "This paper discusses research into the cultural drivers of a successful community-wide disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategy on Simeulue Island, Aceh, Indonesia. While the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in neighbouring Acehnese communities, only 7 of a coastal population of 80,000 were killed in Simeulue. This paper discusses how deep-seated cognitive processes derived from a tradition of stories and songs about a previous tsunami event that affected the Sumatran coast 100 years before resulted in the people of Simeulue rapidly recognizing the signs of the tsunami and responded in the appropriate ways. These stories and songs became an integralpart of adat or traditional culture of the island. However, these stories and songs were not recognized as valuable DRR strategy by authorities and researchers until after the 2004 event. The stories and songs were largely invisible precisely because they were such an embedded, integral, taken-forgranted part of the culture and thus were ‘low-key’, ‘in-house’ and ‘grass-roots’. Authorities also considered stories and songs trivial, and discounted them in favour of ‘more important’ official information. The paper also discusses how the predominant use of quantitative research approaches obscured access to and appreciation of the relevance and workings of stories and songs. Exploring the role of narrative and music on human cognition is used to explain why and how the stories and songs of the Simeulue Islanders constituted an effective DRR strategy. Lessons for enhancing risk communication in Australia are presented.",
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Sutton, SA, Buergelt, P, Paton, D & Sagala, S 2018, 'True, but trival? The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia' Paper presented at APRU 14th Multi-Hazards Symposium in collaboration with the
Research School of Earth Sciences, 21/10/18 - 23/10/18, pp. 94-95.

True, but trival? The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia. / Sutton, Stephen Anthony; Buergelt, Petra; Paton, Douglas; Sagala, Saut.

2018. 94-95 Paper presented at APRU 14th Multi-Hazards Symposium in collaboration with the
Research School of Earth Sciences, .

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paper

TY - CONF

T1 - True, but trival?

T2 - The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia

AU - Sutton, Stephen Anthony

AU - Buergelt, Petra

AU - Paton, Douglas

AU - Sagala, Saut

PY - 2018/10

Y1 - 2018/10

N2 - This paper discusses research into the cultural drivers of a successful community-wide disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategy on Simeulue Island, Aceh, Indonesia. While the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in neighbouring Acehnese communities, only 7 of a coastal population of 80,000 were killed in Simeulue. This paper discusses how deep-seated cognitive processes derived from a tradition of stories and songs about a previous tsunami event that affected the Sumatran coast 100 years before resulted in the people of Simeulue rapidly recognizing the signs of the tsunami and responded in the appropriate ways. These stories and songs became an integralpart of adat or traditional culture of the island. However, these stories and songs were not recognized as valuable DRR strategy by authorities and researchers until after the 2004 event. The stories and songs were largely invisible precisely because they were such an embedded, integral, taken-forgranted part of the culture and thus were ‘low-key’, ‘in-house’ and ‘grass-roots’. Authorities also considered stories and songs trivial, and discounted them in favour of ‘more important’ official information. The paper also discusses how the predominant use of quantitative research approaches obscured access to and appreciation of the relevance and workings of stories and songs. Exploring the role of narrative and music on human cognition is used to explain why and how the stories and songs of the Simeulue Islanders constituted an effective DRR strategy. Lessons for enhancing risk communication in Australia are presented.

AB - This paper discusses research into the cultural drivers of a successful community-wide disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategy on Simeulue Island, Aceh, Indonesia. While the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in neighbouring Acehnese communities, only 7 of a coastal population of 80,000 were killed in Simeulue. This paper discusses how deep-seated cognitive processes derived from a tradition of stories and songs about a previous tsunami event that affected the Sumatran coast 100 years before resulted in the people of Simeulue rapidly recognizing the signs of the tsunami and responded in the appropriate ways. These stories and songs became an integralpart of adat or traditional culture of the island. However, these stories and songs were not recognized as valuable DRR strategy by authorities and researchers until after the 2004 event. The stories and songs were largely invisible precisely because they were such an embedded, integral, taken-forgranted part of the culture and thus were ‘low-key’, ‘in-house’ and ‘grass-roots’. Authorities also considered stories and songs trivial, and discounted them in favour of ‘more important’ official information. The paper also discusses how the predominant use of quantitative research approaches obscured access to and appreciation of the relevance and workings of stories and songs. Exploring the role of narrative and music on human cognition is used to explain why and how the stories and songs of the Simeulue Islanders constituted an effective DRR strategy. Lessons for enhancing risk communication in Australia are presented.

KW - Disaster risk reduction

KW - culture

KW - Stories

KW - adaptation

KW - Indonesia

M3 - Paper

SP - 94

EP - 95

ER -

Sutton SA, Buergelt P, Paton D, Sagala S. True, but trival? The value of grass-roots cultural local stories and songs as effective DRR strategy on Simaleu, Indonesia. 2018. Paper presented at APRU 14th Multi-Hazards Symposium in collaboration with the
Research School of Earth Sciences, .