My life has been especially enriched by the great creative talent that is found in this nation. I am awed by this talent when I listen to Indonesian music, for example, or look at Indonesian textiles. Indonesia has one of the richest legacies of indigenous textiles in the world: fine, complex, refined, tasteful, difficult to make, unique, and requiring patience, know-how, knowledge of nature, and a strong spiritual foundation. Cultural products are testaments to the capacities and achievements of mankind. These great cultural achievements are the reason why I come to Indonesia. They are why I love Indonesia. They are why I have devoted myself to the textile arts of Indonesia. There is nothing more satisfying in life than being close to the greatest spiritual and cultural achievements that the world can boast.
I would like to ask the Indonesian people to safeguard its ancient cultural heritage. This is the greatest legacy of your ancestors that you can pass on to your children. There are values other than the value of money and these are the only values that are enduring and that enrich the mind and spirit. No matter the monetary wealth of a national and its peoples, you are bankrupt without these enduring cultural values. Guard them. Promote them. Nurture them. Honour them. Share them. Teach them to your children. They are as fragile as they are precious. Exclusive devotion to monetary value will destroy them.
During my past in Indonesia, I have worked on Pulang Kampung projects. These projects have represented a way of giving resources to the villages in order to sustain and encourage them. I ask the people of Indonesia to support and celebrate the makers of your heritage. That is the same thing as supporting your identity, your spirit, your children and strengthening the basis of your own sense of pride and satisfaction.