“Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” – Harmony in Diversity!

It’s been just over a month since I came back to Indonesia after joining such an inspiring program, the Journey of Understanding (JoU) in Wales and London, United Kingdom. I really had a great time there. It was such an honor to meet all those great participants from countries such as UK, USA, Palestine and Israel. Finally I found new friendship, family, and hope, what a life changing experience! After coming back to Indonesia, I really wanted to get involved in more events that spread the message of peace and tolerance. Fortunately, I had joined Encompass Indonesia a year ago, and after I came back from JoU, I had an opportunity to help Encompass Indonesia hold an event called “Bhinneka Camp 3”. It was held on 3th-7th December 2014 at Petung Sewu Wild Life Education Center (P-WEC), Malang Region, Indonesia.

This program implements the vision and mission of Encompass Indonesia; to educate the attitudes and values ​​of multicultural society, especially the young generation. Indonesia has a motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” means Unity in Diversity. One of the aim of this program is to apply understanding of Unity in Diversity, the young generation can talk to people from different backgrounds, our differences don’t mean we have to be enemies. We gathered all 30 wonderful participants with an age range of 18-25 years old from a variety of ethnic backgrounds with layers of different cultures from all over Indonesia. Why do we choose young generation? It is because they are the future generation and the agent of change.

workshop 3

In Bhinneka Camp, participants are introduced to six values of multiculturalism: empathy, equality, solidarity, tolerance, deliberation, and self disclosure. Those values were presented in the program with discussions, outward bound activities, games, simulations, conflict sessions, workshops, etc. Participants address stereotypes and prejudice around race, religion or class and enrich their viewpoints in order to reduce the potential for conflict because of misunderstanding and ignorance.  From learning and practicing in the program, all participants are expected to implement it in their daily activities and share it to their family, friends, community, etc. It can be a massive improvement in Indonesia to reduce conflicts, misconception, in the name of religion, tribe, etc.

outdoor activities 2

As a committee I also learned a lot from this program. This program, for me, likes a miniature of Indonesia. Knowing a lot more diversity makes me know and aware about myself. Living in diversity must bring a strong identity. From there I see myself as a Javanese, and it is as a part of my other identity living in Indonesia. I met friends from Bugis, Sasak, Sundanese, Madurese, Balinese, Batak, Minang, Dayak, and all of them are unique and also part of Indonesia . We gathered in Bhinneka Camp not only meet people, but also meet Indonesia. We shared, appreciate others, smile together , laugh, even many of us burst into tears at the program. On the last night of program in P-WEC, the participants wear their traditional clothes that represent their tribe. They were very proud of it, but they also respect others.

group photo

Finally, During the 5 days program, the program run well, everything was so amazing. All feedbacks from participants were great and all of them also got new family after this program ended. This is one little thing that me and my community; Encompass Indonesia, are doing to spread the good messages. What about you? And wait for next!


Destarizky Tidoputri Pratama (Desta), Indonesia, November 2014


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