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"Serano", painting by Semsar Siahaan (1952-2005), 1998 | Private Collection

Serrano G. Sianturi, The Heart and Soul of Sacred Bridge

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[Jakarta, LTTW] Serrano Gara Sianturi, founder and chairman of Sacred Bridge, passed away on January 26, 2019 at the age of 58. He is survived by his wife and two sons. He was known to many as an economist, engineer and mentor. He was an intellect.

Admirably, as one of the key figures of Sacred Bridge, Rano never worked a day in his life for the sake of acknowledgement. What’s most important is that all that he had done was for the betterment of humanity as it will eventually return to self; not forgetting to pave the way for the next generations to continue the journey to shape their future. That was his drive in Sacred Bridge; a foundation that focuses on culture with humanity as the ultimate purpose.

Serrano Sianturi and Stephen Hill

Together with his “band of brothers” in Sacred Bridge, Rano have worked directly on the field, bridging communities, faiths, ethnicities, and people of all ages together in the hope of cultivating mutual understanding and respect – fundamental values which are rapidly diminishing in today’s world. Very much in line with his conscience and quest for knowledge, one thing that Serrano have always shared is to never stop learning – especially from mistakes.

Until his last days of battling his illness, Rano kept reminding us – the younger generation of Sacred Bridge – to always celebrate life with joy.

[Left] At the “Sacred Rhythm: The Millenial Percussion for Unison” Festival, 1999-2000, Bali. [Right] At the opening event of “Sacred Rhythm: Reborn Unison”, 2018, Bali.
Below is a eulogy from one of Rano’s “brothers” which beautifully portray who Serrano Gara Sianturi was.



My Fond Eulogy to Rano Sianturi, Blessed Inspiration to All Humanity


Rano Sianturi was my brother. Not, perhaps in blood. But in spirit and soul.

I am so sad that he passed away so early. He had so much more to contribute to this earth and our humanity.

I knew Rano originally through working together to create and then develop his masterpiece of life, the Sacred Bridge Foundation. Rano was the inspiration and the man who made it happen. I, for my part, could see, and brought in the United Nations, and UNESCO to help make his vision a reality. Way back – in the second part of the 1990s.

We worked with kids and young people caught in conflict – across religious lines, in street gangs, and most importantly of all, with the traumatised children of the Aceh Tsunami. Using music and performance, art and culture, creativity – to heal! To fend off the worst diseases of economic greed and fight for the quality of our world, our environment.

Rano was the physician.

But I was privileged to get to know Rano so much more. As my very close friend, my inspiration of what humanity is and can be … my honoured brother. I loved him dearly.

We never lost touch. Rano brought Stomu Yamash’ta and me together in Bali back in 2012 – long after I had retired from my United Nations responsibilities. Originally to help create an international culture centre – but based within the indigenous community – representing and learning from the deep-time history of our humanity rather than just its present surface.

This vision of Rano’s is yet to be achieved. But what was achieved is the stimulus to create a movement based in our spirituality and connectedness to confront the greed and inhumanity of contemporary global economics – “The Kyoto Manifesto for Global Economics” which took shape over four years, was published last year, and is now forging a link with the emerging “Circular Economy Movement” from the European Union – ultimately, together, conserving and recycling everything possible in our use of the earth’s resources rather than exploiting it for greed and short term profit and advantage. Basing the philosophy and practice of human relations and exchange within the deepest reaches of our true and shared humanity – rather than greed and immediate competitive advantage, the shallowest of what our humanity can be.

Rano was there before the rest of us. Our inspiration. Our guide.

Rano was – and is – a truly great human being. An inspiration to us all – from the compassion which was his heart, and the wisdom which was his soul.

I loved Rano deeply. He loved all humanity. The world is so much a better place for all of us because Rano walked amongst us and inspired us to be so much better.

On the 3rd day after Rano’s departure, Ven Dr. Juewei Shi, Director of the Research and Teaching Institute at the Nan Tien Buddhist Institute and Temple in Wollongong lit a special candle and offered a prayer alongside one of our founders, Stephen Hill who is currently a senior for their teaching and research programs, demonstrating his debt of gratitude and inspiration – and a close friendship.

Rano, Rest in the Peace You Deserve. The Peace of Love – the guiding light of your life!


Stephen Hill

26th January 2019

Web Admin

Author: Web Admin

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Amy Knoles
2 years ago

Rano was the biggest human I have ever met…see you later… 😉

3 years ago

Thank you for everything you’ve taught us. Really bless to have known you, Sir. Its been an honor.
Hope we can continue your work, will do as best as we can.
Go in peace, Guru. Until we (hopefully) meet again.

Bintang Perkasa
3 years ago

Farewell teacher…