Monday, December 23, 2013

Blogmas 24, 2013 ❄ Unity in Diversity

Happy Christmas eve! 
I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas. 
May your Christmas be filled with joy and blessings. =)

It's currently 4:55 am, Jakarta time. I woke up at 3.30am and couldn't go back to sleep. I'm certain I will be out of this world by 11 am, and that will be a problem since I have appointment with the US embassy for my visa. I need caffeine, pronto!

There's nothing going on just yet, but let me just touch base on the movie I watched last night with my mom and dad. Not many people I know like watching Indonesian movies. I understand that some Indo movies might be the worst, cheesiest, cheapest movies ever made, but many of them are worth watching and even translated into different languages so other people from different countries can watch too. Although, I gotta say, Indonesia is full of cultures and traditions which even an avid translators cannot capture the whole essence of the meanings behind a conversation. 

Tenggelamnya Kapal Vanderwicjk is a literature novel by Bayu Hamka. I've never heard of his name before only because I never paid attention. His work is well known through out the country, and this movie is adapted from the novel. It's a love story between two people from Padang/Minang tradition. I don't really understand the deeps and all about Indonesian tradition, but I do know some cultures lift up to their traditions very highly and proudly. The base message of the story is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika which means Unity in Diversity. It's also the motto of Indonesia. 

Growing up, I've learned to memorize my country's motto, slogan, this and that. Unity in diversity sounds like a really great motto, especially for a country full of different backgrounds and languages like Indonesia. If you haven't known already, Indonesia consists of thousands of islands. Everybody is different, and even the languages are different. According to the trusty wikipedia (sense the sarcasm), there are more than 300 ethnic groups and more than 700 living languages in Indonesia. I strongly believe there are much more than that. Indonesia is very rich of diversity. 

I am an IBC - Indonesian born Chinese. I don't speak Mandarin or any other Chinese-esque languages. I only speak Bahasa, Indonesia's national language. Chinese is one of the ethnic groups in Indonesia (and in all the countries out there) and also a minority. I don't recall ever feeling outcasted or anything like that since I grew up in "Chinese area". No, it's not a china town or anything like that. It's just an area where many Chinese people live. I do remember the hatred and labels "Indonesian" people have towards Chinese people in Indonesia, and same goes the other way around. I am too guilty of that.

How amazing it is if everybody can just get along with one another, no matter where they're from or what they do, or what they believe in. I know it is much easier said than done. But I do believe with God grace, things will turn up and for now let me just pray on that. The very least we can do to make a change is from ourselves. As cheesy as that sounds, that's one simple act that I've never cared to do.

One very least thing I can start from is just be nice to one another. That might sound so simple, but harder to do. Let's challenge ourselves. Simply saying hi's and thank you's will do the trick, not always but often will.  =)


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