You may be wondering what a third world country may have to offer to the more ‘developed’ world, but what I am about to share here stems from age old wisdom, the kind that never goes out of date or expires. Timeless, and may be applicable to the world now. A world divided. Taking a page out of Indonesia’s history as a nation, the expression is inscribed in the Indonesian national emblem and is written in article 36A of the Constitution.
Indonesia is a vast archipelago nation, consisting of over 17,000 islands and a diversity of people that exceeds 300 ethnic groups, speaking over 700 languages (some dialects). Soekarno and the country’s forefathers had a massive task of uniting the people of the archipelago.
Here are the steps they took, not necessarily in chronological order.
1. They developed a common language, without abolishing the native language. Bahasa Indonesia.
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2. They looked back at their ancient roots, which was influenced by Hinduism, and adapted Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) into the very fabric of Indonesian life.
These two steps became the glue that keeps this country together. Every school child commits to memory and the adults are faced with the challenges of a diverse work force that demands unity in order to be successful.
In my own career, I kicked off a revival of this theme Unity in Diversity. Encouraging Indonesians to value being Indonesian.
Perhaps for the world, we should celebrate diversity and stand together, united in our humanity.
ALL LIVES MATTER.