Reviewing the Republic of Indonesia as a Multicultural Country 

The Ethnographic Dialogue 2019 was a program of the Human Resources Development Division, Student Association of Anthropology Study Program, Faculty of Cultural Studies (FCS) Universitas Brawijaya (UB). It raised the theme of how millennial generation as Indonesians interprets the role of the Republic of Indonesia as a multicultural country.

Indonesia is a country which is rich in diversity with its races, tribes, ethnics, languages, and religions. It is not surprising that Indonesians are expected to be skilled in managing conflict, and living peacefully in unity. Will it be possible because there are emerging issues that parts of the country wanted to break away from the Republic of Indonesia.

The Ethnographic Dialogue 2019 was held on Wednesday (11/09/2019) in the Auditorium B, FCS UB. After the opening performance by the Silent Theater and the speech of the chief executive, the discussion was continued by Franciscus Apriawan M.A. as a lecturer in the Anthropology Study Program FCS UB accompanied by Achmad Nur Fajar Alam Yuda, S. Sos. and Iqbal Addiqri as a moderator.

The highlighted point is how we understand nationalism. Anthropologically, a nation can be seen through community. The nation was born as a result of modernization and technology, which through language media that can create solidarity. In addition, it can also bring a sense of solidarity because there is a feeling of being in the same boat with others.

Apriwan also stressed that this nationality was not only owned by the elite but also the marginal community. In other words, it does not only focus on the political process, but also on the struggle of the marginalized community in creating nationalism.

Nationalism is often juxtaposed with racism. Unfortunately, nationality tends to be interpreted on the basis of kinship and blood relations which might raise the attitude of racism because of the assumption that other people are different. Yet to create a larger community or nation, different variants are needed.

How do we understand a multicultural Indonesia? How is ideology needed in the current state of the world? How does globalization affect a country? And how is Indonesia still considered important? These questions arose in response to the previous discussion.

First, this multicultural understanding can be generated from the exchange of experiences of each person in the same space such as this Ethnographic Unfortunately, these spaces are now difficult to find.

Second, ideology becomes an important matter as a guide in facing globalization. So, it is not easily degraded. Indeed, ideology is not only sourced from local or internal elements. External elements are also needed to be able to help in adapting. In other words, ideology is a bridge for all aspects.

Third, we now live in a world where boundaries between countries are beginning to soften due to globalization. This means that we no longer have to close ourselves off from external influences, but rather to build ourselves up. Tolerance is needed to be able to reconstruct individual mentality. Because what we do will definitely affect others.

Fourth, the concept of nation and state are two different things. Because a nation can be built from the ground up, from the simple things we do every day. If inequality does occur, both must be balanced. Because Indonesia was built not on the basis of the interests of the state, but rather on the interests of the nations. In the end, it came to an attitude ‘Don’t just live in the Republic of Indonesia, but live the life of the Republic of Indonesia’.

The discussion was closed by singing ‘Ibu Pertiwi’ while raising the red-white flag. As a representation that the motherland is sad because of the Republic of Indonesia’s issues. (PS.Antro/DT/MSH/PSIK FIB)