The beautiful Belitung Island, off the eastern coast of Sumatra was once known only as Billiton, the top producer of tin and tin mining in the world. But with the decline of this commodity, interest in the island gradually waned.

However, one fascinating book, which was later made into a movie threw back the spotlight on this island with all its beauty. The book was “LaskarPelangi” or “The Rainbow Troop” and its author, Andrea Hirata, a writer born and raised on Belitung. Today, a museum named the Andrea Hirata’s Museum of Words stands as an inspirational window for all, that it is possible to achieve our dreams despite many drawbacks, just as the novel has taught us.

Located on Jalan Laskar Pelangi No.7, in the town of Gantung, East Belitung, in the Bangka Belitung Province, the Museum is in fact the first and only Museum on Literature in Indonesia. Initiated and established by Andrea Hirata the author himself, the Museum was first built in 2010 and was officially opened to the public in 2012.

The Novel “LaskarPelangi” was published in September 2005 and became an instant success. The novel even managed to cross geographical and language barriers as it was translated into English, Malay, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. “LaskarPelangi” tells about how a boy grew up in a small and relatively remote island amidst all its limitations and drawbacks yet managed to hold firm to his dream to one day be able to travel to other parts of the world, - which he eventually achieved. In 2008, the novel was made into a movie, and the enchanting sceneries of Belitung Island were introduced to the rest of the world. The name ”LaskarPelangi” even became the name of the island’s seaport following the movie’s fantastic success.

The museum took the concept as a replica of the Muhammadiyah Gantung Elementary School which was the central setting of the story that Andrea attended as a child. Today The Museum is located not far from the original Muhammadiyah Gantung Elementary School which was the location of the movie. The construction of the museum is to fulfil a promise that Andrea made when he received profits from the novel. He once stated that he would allocate part of the profits from the novel to build something that would have lasting educational value for Belitung.

The inspiration to establish the Museum of Words came when Andrea visited The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal Missouri, USA, where he attended the University of Iowa on a scholarship to study literaturefor seven months.

Source: Indonesia.travel

Nearest Destination

Museum Kata Andrea Hirata is located on the street Laskar Pelangi 7, Gantong, East Belitung. The atmosphere that presented in Laskar Pelangi novel will immediately felt when we arrive in front of this museum. The photos that been posted on museum hall tell about the journey of literature that become one of Belitung’s pride. When coming to this museum, the visitors will be invited to commemorating the novel of Laskar Pelangi. It starting from the trailer page until the main story that becomes the best-selling novel and turned into a box-office movie in Indonesia. Entering the museum, we will see photographs of the author with inspiring sentences. One of the inspirational words is "Keep on dreaming, for God will always hugs you”. In addition, there are also excerpts from the novels which ...