“Unity untouched. These towns are cultural hubs as

“Unity in Diversity”, a national motto of
Indonesia that describes the life of its people in terms of culture. Why
culture? Why not politic, economic, or military? There are many vital aspects lied
within the life of the people of Indonesia, but why is the description of our cultural
background chosen to be the motto of the nation? This question has been running
in my head since the first time I learn about various aspects in the life of
the people as a citizen in civic class when I was in junior high school.

I began to understand the clue as I read news about
how Indonesia loose its local languages and ethnics as they became extinct one
by one, how it seems like a great deal for many people, and how I unconsciously
feel the lose feelings too whenever the same sort of news come out. The
essentiality of this nation’s diversified culture is crystal clear to me, and I
really hope everybody realize it too, especially youth as the prospective
future leaders of this nation.

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Plural Society

In the context of the understanding of plural society,
in addition to the culture of ethnic groups, Indonesian society also consists of
various indigenous culture spread out over scattered islands in Indonesia.
Indonesia has two face of society. The one that people generally see as ‘modern
and developed’ can be found in big cities which are usually located in one of the
five large islands. Jakarta the capital city, Bandung, Surabaya, Kuta, Medan,
Makassar to name a few. These big cities perform major economic roles as the
central of business market in this country, no wonder why these cities are more
facilitated than the others. In contrast, there are numerous small towns where
the natural landscapes such as hills, mountains, and canyons remain untouched.
These towns are cultural hubs as they nurture and preserve their original
traditions and customs.

 

Cultural heritage affirms our identity as a people because
it creates a comprehensive framework for the preservation of cultural heritage
including cultural sites, old buildings, monuments, shrines, and landmarks that
have cultural significance and historical value. Culture and its heritage
reflect and shape values, beliefs, and aspirations, thereby defining a people’s
national identity. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage, because
it keeps our integrity as a people.

Cultural heritage is an important factor in maintaining cultural
diversity in the face of growing globalization. An understanding of the
intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural
dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life.

There is a risk that certain
elements of intangible cultural heritage could die out or disappear without
help, but how can we safeguard and manage a heritage that is constantly
changing and part of ‘living culture’ without freezing or trivializing it?
Safeguarding them is about the transferring of knowledge, skills and meaning.
In other words, safeguarding focuses on the processes involved in transmitting,
or communicating intangible cultural heritage from generation to generation,
rather than on the production of its concrete manifestations, such as a dance
performance, a song, a music instrument or a craft.

There is a risk that certain elements of intangible cultural
heritage could die out or disappear without help, but how can we safeguard and
manage a heritage that is constantly changing and part of ‘living culture’
without freezing or trivialising it? Safeguarding them is about the
transferring of knowledge, skills and meaning. In other words, safeguarding
focuses on the processes involved in transmitting, or communicating intangible
cultural heritage from generation to generation, rather than on the production
of its concrete manifestations, such as a dance performance, a song, a music
instrument or a craft.