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Pluralism: My Version

plu`ral-ism (-noun)
condition in which minority groups participate in society, yet maintain their distinctions.


Today is Chinese New Year. Being Indonesian-Born-Chinese (IBC), my family has always been taking part in this celebration. No, we were not really doing the rituals, but as a child, I always had fun hunting Hung Bao (small amount of money put in an red envelop). Another memory about Chinese New Year is it was the time when my favorite cousines came from Malang. We would play; and they would possibly have sleepover.

It was my childhood. However, I cannot recall what happened when I was slightly older. But I still remember that my mom told me to be an Indonesian. She would say "Nia, you are not Chinese. You are Indonesian." Or she would remind me that I have to respect Indonesian people in spite of their attitude toward ethnic Chinese. She said "We have a confusing story. If we would say we are Chinese, we would be kicked out from this country. Thus we would probably be sent to China. But over there, we are not welcome either. We don't speak Chinese, we don't really look like Chinese, and you don't have Chinese name."

Hence the 1998 tragedy! Many Chinese-Indonesians were tortured. I don't even know what they have done to deserve it.

Some years passed and one miraculous day came when Gus Dus was elected to be the President of Indonesia. And it was the beginning of the acknowledgement of pluralism.

Until this very day, we are still in the learning process to not discriminate, to respect others' belief, principles or ethnics. But thanks to Gus Dus who declared Chinese New Year as a national holiday, we were asked to respect differences amoung us and be OK with that.

I was really touched when a very good friend of mine, or I would call him a brother, sent me a poem when he wished me happy chinese new year. Once again, thanks a lot, Kak Yoni.


Qolbu Pluralisme

Untuk sebuah nama
Mereka memanggilnya pluralisme
Pluralisme sebuah bangsa
Satukan semua asa

Tiba-tiba aku merasa lancang
Jika memanggil sahabat terbaikku
Terbaik hingga seperti saudaraku
Tuk ku panggil Cina, Batak, Melayu, Jawa, Arab
Dan symbol kebhinnekaan lainnya

Karenamu pluralisme
Kami temukan silaturrahmi
Tuk rangkai jalinan kasih
Sesama makhlukMu ilahi robbi

Kita memang ditakdirkan
Tuk menerima kehadiran
Keberadaan kita yang berbeda
Petuah moyangku tunggal ika

Dikala salah satu bagian tubuh nusantara ini sakit
Hamparan mutiara semenanjung lainpun merasa nyeri
Nyeri dikirim melalu syaraf silaturrahmi
Tuk hantarkan setetes embun manusiawi

Wahai pendahulu bangsa
Citamu takkan binasa
Cucumu tetap Berjaya
Gelorakan Indonesia Raya

Ahyoni
Banda Aceh, 13 Feb. 10

Comments

bulan said…
A nice one, well done writing :)
eddytj said…
I totally agree with you ...
in Indonesia, many people said that we are not Indonesian, since we are Chinese descendant, our ancestor are from China. In spite of we were born in Indonesia, we speak Indonesian, we have Indonesian passport, they just said... "Eddy, just see your face, your small eyes and your white skin, they can't lie, you are a Chinese".
but when I was travelling to China, Chinese people there don't admit me as well, you can't speak Chinese, you weren't born in China, so you are definitely not a Chinese.
so... What am I ?
Ahyoni said…
De' what a poetry :), I just realized after about one year that this poetry published here hehe, it looks good heheh :P, I even contemplated again in reading it after wrote it a year ago :P. Another Friend who use to work at Islamic Relief in Meulaboh just moved to Australia for her study. She wrote in her FB about three months ago after she experienced racial stigma first in Indonesia than she decided to write an article after she still experience the same thing in Australia by her compatriot. To sum up, she concluded that being highly educated it does not guarantee people free of racial stereotype. She use to experience it since she is a Muallaf with headscarf. Even I just realized that she is a Muallaf :). Unfortunately when I was trying to contact her, she closed her FB account of her article published. So sad that I could not share my thought to her :(

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