Candra Negara and Madame Novita Nugraheni (seventh from right) with officers and guests on Wednesday. Kamal Kassim / Gulf today
Mariecar Jara Puyod, Senior Reporter
With the theme “Recover Faster, Rise Stronger”, approximately 288 million Indonesians around the world commemorated their 77th Freedom Day from the Netherlands on Wednesday, August 17.
In Bur Dubai, where the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia is located, Consul General Candra Negara not only led the traditional hoisting of the red and white national flag at 6 a.m., but also congratulated three people for their service community.
The three who were honored in front of 70 fellow Indonesians, by means of a portion each of the “Tumpeng”, were Imam Abdurrahman of Ajman; volunteer Joko Slamet who assists the consular mission in providing protection and welfare services to their compatriots in distress in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah; and Nova Tompodung, the director of the Gita Merdeka Choir, made up of girls and boys aged 6 to 17 who not only perform for their community but also offer Emiratis and other expats a taste of age-old Indonesian songs, including a example was during the 19th edition of the “Sharjah Heritage Days Festival” from March 10 to 28, 2022.
Referring to data from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Negara said of the 79,000 Indonesians in the seven emirates, between 60,000 and 70,000 work and/or study in Dubai and the UAE. North.
Originating in Javanese and Balinese cuisines, “Tumpeng” is the cone-shaped rice surrounded by savory vegetables, seafood, meat and poultry. It evokes humility, inheritance, long life and prosperity as well as peace, order and harmony between and among nature and man. Above all, it means all the glory that only God deserves. It is always the centerpiece of any Indonesian celebration.
Negara said the community service performed by Abdurrahman, Slamet and Tompodung is an embodiment of the virtues of respect, tolerance, compassion, solidarity, selflessness and unity that every Indonesian has been instilled in from youth. The simple but symbolic mention is an encouragement.
Explaining how these virtues became the Indonesian way of life, he pointed to the demographics of the world’s largest archipelago of 17,500 islands: “We are a nation of 200 ethnicities and over 500 languages. Like here at the Consulate General, we are made up of 12 ethnic groups and we speak our own languages with Bahasa Indonesia as the national language. As I am from West Java. Another comes from East Java. (Our mother tongue, although we come from Java, is different).
“Oh, we have six. Islam, Christianity divided between Roman Catholics and Protestants, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. While 90% in Indonesia are (Muslims), they are also a minority,” Negara replied when asked about religious diversity.
According to the consul general, 95% of the Balinese are Hindus while Christianity, whether Roman Catholicism or Protestantism, is strongly observed in North Sulawesi at 80% and North Sumatra at 60%.
He recalled his youth, saying that the curriculum that respects religious freedom is integrated into the education system in such a way that students have two hours a week for their studies and, more importantly, their understanding of their respective religions.
“My message to our fellow Indonesians in Dubai and the Northern Emirates is that (just as) we can never (say) that life will always be smooth; problems and challenges of all kinds (abound because that’s what life is all about). We manage when we remember every day what we have been taught since: respect, tolerance and understanding. It is better to be friends than enemies. There will be no harmony with the enemies.
He continued: “In our culture, (we can also not do without our neighbors). Neighbors become our families (especially when we are abroad because we strive for solidarity and unity. I encourage my fellow Indonesians to be continuously respectful, tolerant and understanding towards each other and each other. C It’s the only thing we can deal with what’s happening around us in the world.”