Unconsidered Ancient Treasure, Struggling the Relevance of Fundamental Indonesia Nation Philosophie “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” in Forming Harmony of Multicultural Society


Indonesia is a multicultural country that consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic, racial, and religist groups. Historically, the Nation was built because of the unitary spirit of its components, which was firmly united and integrated to make up the victory of the Nation. The plurality become advantageous when it reach harmony as reflected in the National motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”. However, this plurality also issues social conflict easily.

Ever since its independence, the scent of disintegration has already occurred. However, in the last decade, social conflicts with a variety of backgrounds are intensely happened, especially which is based on religious tensions. The conflict emerged as a fractional between the groups in the society or a single group who wants to have a radically changes based on their own spiritual perspective. Pluralism is not a cause of conflict, but the orientation which is owned by each of the components that determine how they’re viewing themselves psychologically in front of others.
“Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” is an Old Javanese phrase of the book “Sutasoma” written by Mpu Tantular during the reign of the Majapahit sometime in the 14th century, which literally means “Diverse, yet united” or perhaps more poetically in English: Unity in Diversity. The book describes how the Nation in the past, spawned a great civilization with the diversity as one of its characteristics.
This historical philosophy is a valuable treasure to establish the ideal life of the Nation. However, as time goes by, it is barely abandon and lost its meaning. Throughout Indonesian history, nationalism dialogue and religious pluralism are the one that protect the diversity. Regarding its fluctuative relations, it is uneasy process to have the harmonious, but it has to be done, to evoke ancient glory of harmonious diversity in the global era.

Keywords: Multicultural, Social Conflict, Religion, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika

Author Information
George Martin, University of Surrey, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2014
Stream: Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the ACCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by amp21