Accepting Diversity if Not Celebrating

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To me, cultural diversity means merging different cultures; introducing good aspects of your culture to others, but also accepting the positives of a new culture.

In a world growing ever more diverse and globalize, it is more important than ever to understand and tolerate the view of other, including their spiritual beliefs.

As human beings, through endless variations of wisdom, ethnicity, nationality, politics, culture, gender orientation, ideology, and especially beliefs, we have been introduced and make ourselves known to one another.

In the uniqueness of one another we become more aware of our own, not only are we becoming more educated, we are gaining a sense of pride in the diversity of our own society.

The Crisis of Intolerance in Indonesia

Nevertheless, there are too many bigoted barriers of religious opinion dividing mankind into preventing our establishing a global brotherhood to foster the peace we all desire.

In recent times, voices of fear, distrust, disparagement and even hate have been raised against specific groups in this world.

I have witnessed in Indonesia there is a deep crisis of intolerance and the diversity is under threat.

Despite the fact that Indonesia is known as the largest island nation on the planet with hundreds of different languages and cultures that became a true melting pot of people and religions.

As a result, the level of failure to confront intolerance is pretty high. There are still a lot of people who have not and do not wish for tolerance, and instead encourage intolerance.

It truly saddens me to see how intolerant our world is today, somehow, as our history shows, we have not been able to live peacefully.

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika as The Concept of Unity and Universal Values

What is the point of “Bhinekka Tunggal Ika” in other word “Unity in Diversity” as a national motto, when people are still opposing opinions and intolerant viewpoints of “religion” or worrying about other people’s approach in understanding god?

It is not our right to judge what is right and wrong.

However, we can just accept the challenges or we can acknowledge the differences and trying to see the differences as an inevitable part of diversity.

Accepting, if not celebrating, because diversity requires embracing differences and accepting tolerance rather than expressing negative attitudes toward individuals who are different.

Penulis: Desy Putri Oktavia
A university student at Sampoerna University, Jakarta)