DISCLAIMER: This article is purely the opinion of the writer, it is not written to be bias or leaning to any political party nor it’s opposition.
I grew up in the bustling city roads of Jakarta, to be a half breed of Indonesia and a western country, I was nicknamed bule that directly means caucasian. It was always my pet peeve that even during my stay in Malaysia, I was addressed more towards my western side because of how I looked. I was born in a midwife’s clinic in the center of Menteng, I went to preschool in the national plus institution behind a church and mosque, I wore proudly my red and white uniform during the weekly flag ceremony as the entire faculty and students recited our nation’s five pillars. My passport is as green as my blood runs red.
Ask any of my foreign friends, and they can tell you how proud I am to be Indonesian, however with the rise of extremists and radicals in the streets of my beloved nation, that pride I have has definitely been shaken.
Close to 62 years ago in August 1945, a group of young activists kidnapped our leader to force our country out of the occupation of the Japanese and into independence. However it was on June 1st 1945, when Pancasila was erected as the base of our nation’s views due to the diversity across the archipelago of Indonesia. With over 300 languages spoken, over 400 cultures, and 1000+ islands; Indonesia was one united by these five points.
- A divinity that is an ultimate unity (in Indonesian “Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa“),
- A just and civilized humanity (in Indonesian “Kemanusiaan Yang Adil dan Beradab“),
- The national unity of Indonesia (in Indonesian “Persatuan Indonesia“),
- Democracy predicated on the inherent wisdom of unanimity arising from deliberation among popular representatives (in Indonesian “Kerakyatan Yang Dipimpin oleh Hikmat Kebijaksanaan, Dalam Permusyawaratan Perwakilan“), and
- Social justice for all Indonesian people (in Indonesian “Keadilan Sosial bagi seluruh Rakyat Indonesia“).
It was assured to the nation that we are not able to have one without the others.
Fast forward six decades later, the country has shifted and in my eyes forgotten the true meaning of being Indonesian. I won’t say I have been the best citizen, but – as idealistic as it may sound – I try my best in every way that I can to better myself not just for my personal gain but also for my country’s future.
With seeing how radicals use this ideology in the opposite way it was made for makes me furious. Seeing what has been happening in the political scene and the reasons leaders use to “defend” Indonesia has me itching to demand a history lesson to be re-taught to these influential people that seem to forget our second and fourth pillar.
It teared me up in pride knowing that Timor Leste, a former province of Indonesia held a Pride march in solidarity to their LGBT community. It was a rush of envy that I felt reading about Singapore’s Pink Dot event. Yet, the LGBT related news that I read connected to Indonesia was regarding the demand by extremists to boycott Starbucks because they are a known supporter of the community and how this propaganda was being pushed and accepted by a significant amount of the nation’s citizens to be against the first pillar.
Nowhere in our five pillars was it written to discriminate and push hate towards anyone whether it be their system of belief, appearance, culture, or sexuality. Closing the Pancasila is the pillar I wholeheartedly believe in; Social justice for all.
I believe in signs, and while it might be far fetched, could we just appreciate that Pancasila is celebrated within the same month of Pride? I had only realize this tiny bit of information a few weeks into June 2017 where I celebrated Pride for the first time as a bisexual.
While my pride of being Indonesian was shook, my hopes of a better Indonesia remains strong. It’s my hope that with the change of time and the growth of modern thinking, Indonesia will be what it was planned for. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is what’s written in the sash that the Garuda holds in his claws; united in diversity.
I hope that in the near future, that diversity includes the LGBT community.