As an archipelago comprising 13,466 islands, Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups. Indonesia’s national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (‘Unity in Diversity’ literally, ‘many, yet one’), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. A (political) shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism.
What is (politically) identified as ‘a shared identity’ is much more like what is haiku teaching about ‘inter-being’ that means: ‘everything is in everything else’. A state of consciousness wherein we aware that ‘One life-energy is permeating everything’. Within a majority Muslim population, what is haiku teaching about ‘inter-being’ or the national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika itself is the core of Islam teaching called tauhid (One-ness) that states la ilaha ilaLlah (there is none but The One).
Without seeing, listening, experiencing in everyday life, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika would be has no real manifestation in peaceful (political) life. Corruption and separatism are the manifestation of un-awareness that we are Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. I write this too, for celebrating the chosen president Joko Widodo who cares about Indonesia’s history challenges.
Seedpods, United Haiku and Tanka Society e-News Bulletin, July 2014