by Dika from Indonesia.
The photo above are the hands of my two friends, Joseph from Tanzania and Andro, my friend from Indonesia. I took the photo right on August 17, 2019, under the Eiffel Tower. August 17 is the day of independence for us Indonesian people. During that date we were in Paris. There was a small conversation when we walking on the streets of Paris, between me, Andro and our friend Josephat from Tanzania, and that conversation made me more aware of the diversity of Indonesia. When Josephat asked “Why do you, Andro, Frans and our travel partner from Indonesia look physically different?“ I am from Javanese ethnicity, Andro is a Batak ethnic who lives in Lampung, Frans is my friend from ethnic Papuan and our traveling companion on a bus are Indonesian people who are from ethnic Chinese.
I started to think. Because sometimes since I am in Germany, some people thought I was Indian or Sri Lankan, and many thought my friend Frans was from Africa. I also sometimes have difficulty recognizing Indonesians when I am in a foreign country, because it is quite difficult to recognize Indonesians physically. Until they speak Indonesian, and only at that point, I recognize sometimes, that they are Indonesian (although not everyone who speak Indonesia are Indonesian). Our identity as an Indonesian nation is in the diversity of our ethnicity and culture. It could be said that the difference is our identity. Indonesia has a fairly high level of ethnic diversity (1340 tribes) which is the identity of our nation, but from differences that exist if not treated properly it can be misused by others for personal or group interests to divide and create conflict. Lately, Indonesia has attacks about diversity and difference between the religions.
When I was in this foreign country, I was increasingly aware of the potential of this diversity that Indonesia has. The volunteer service periods that I went through from April 2019 to the present in the Church of Dortmund, always provide new lessons about the meaning of diversity and difference. It is precisely in this far place, I found Indonesia more. A reflection for myself and maybe also for people who read this article: We live in a world whose
content is always full of differences, disagreements and conflicts. Isn’t the difference between each other what makes it beautiful? Just like a rainbow, because rainbows have many different colors, that’s precisely what makes the rainbow beautiful. A rainbow is not a rainbow, without much color in it. Try to accept differences, maybe with discussion to get more understanding, try to make beautiful harmony, just like a rainbow.