A burning issue still currently being addressed across the country is multiculturalism. Indonesia’s problem solving in response to various dissenting opinions suggests the country’s approach to multiculturalism remains long on words, short on action.
Like it or not, the demand for a respectful and productive multicultural society is inseparable from the peaceful coexistence of several different religions in Indonesia. In addition, amid a global trend in which multicultural societies are sought after as a source of a country’s competitive edge, we need to be serious about establishing a harmonious multicultural society, today and tomorrow.
As a matter of fact, multiculturalism can offer a number of benefits for our country. Attention should be paid to collective efforts to make multiculturalism central to the country’s social identity.
Multiculturalism requires one to leave his comfort zone. It takes guts to be a genuine multiculturalist. Collaborating with people from different cultures, working for foreign companies and enjoying assorted ethnic cuisines, to mention just a few, are small steps toward a practical multiculturalism.
Collaborating with people from different cultures precludes a fallacious ethnic pride. Frankly speaking, ethnic pride — feeling a sense of belonging to one or more ethnic groups — is very positive because it involves an appreciation and understanding of one’s culture and history.
However, overweening ethnic pride is detrimental to social harmony. Building teamwork work among people of different cultures prompts people to push their own limits. However, many stand still, trapped in a stagnant mindset, incapable of pushing their limits as a consequence of their comfort zones.
Working for a foreign company or in a foreign atmosphere helps familiarize one to a common language — professionalism. In a multinational enterprise, what matters most is not one’s culture, but their contribution, not one’s differences, but their performance. In an environment where professionalism speaks loudest, cultural and religious differences are not barriers to performing great feats. Instead, multiculturalism can add energy to create a better workplace.
One also requires a strong will to enjoy diverse ethnic cuisines. Though it may sound silly and trivial, many Indonesians encounter hard times surviving overseas without rice and sambal (chili sauce).
As a Padangnese, for example, I cannot live without Padang food and am never fed up with its globally recognized deliciousness. But I must concede that this “culinary addiction” is unproductive for social gatherings, travel and even academic accomplishments. The spirit of multiculturalism thrives when negotiation, including that of culinary habits, is at the ready.
The rapid rate of globalization has made multiculturalism an important component of a country’s progress. A country that places considerable stress on the ideas of progress, including on multiculturalism, will developed quickly. Multicultural countries excel at attracting the best talent, an important driver of development. The world has witnessed the transformations of many previously underestimated countries into major forces over the last thirty years, thanks to their belief in multiculturalism.
In the 1980s, Dubai was pretty much the same as Padang, a small fishing town. Now it even surpasses Jakarta as one of the world’s fastest growing economies, let alone Padang. Rather than relying on gas and oil resources, which are expected to be exhausted in 20 years, its economy is driven by tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services.
Bolstered by a far-sighted vision, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai, believes the greatness of Dubai lies in human resources. For that purpose, he has opened the door of the city to the world’s best and brightest to come and contribute to the city. Dubai has emerged as a global city and business hub of the Middle East because of its multicultural society.
Multiculturalism can, likewise, be an asset to Indonesia. True multiculturalism creates room for people to collaborate and remain tolerant in the midst of disagreement. A genuine engagement with diversity is a source of social capital, which needs to be taken care of regardless of place or time.
The writer, a lecturer at Andalas University, is a doctoral student at Deakin University, Australia
Impacts of Globalization for Indonesia
In recent days, globalization is not the matter of when will happened, but how globalization shapes and effects community which could be appear on export-import, exchange of culture, globalized food and lifestyle and in the negative side transnational crime and internationally organized terrorism. Globalization as inevitably process had bad and good impacts on all community around the globe. For the purpose of this essay, community refers to country, local community and surrounding as the writer experiencing as a member.
Globalization has been a common phrase of Indonesian leader in the 1990’s, since the New Order regime promoted it as unavoidable process. The popular sentence of former President Soeharto was, “we cannot avoid globalization process, but we need benefiting from it”. Since then, many local leaders was echoing globalization as popular term in their official speeches, sometimes exactly with not clear meaning or context.
Globalization in Indonesia was not “a lot of thunder without rain drops”. Indeed, the borderless world was really occurred, started from 1970’s when Indonesia has million of its citizen work abroad, especially in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. In the past many people listened to Radio Australia, BBC London or Voice of America to get alternative source of information instead of local news service that regularly censored by the ruling-regime.
Indonesia as an archipelagic country is situated in a very strategic location along world economic activity. The flow of capital, raw material, labor and investment is freely into and through Indonesian territory. In addition, Indonesia became the host country of APEC in 1994 in Bogor, which attended by many leaders from Asian and the Pacific countries include USA, Japan and Australia. Indonesia also becomes a member of World Trade Organization, the IMF and the World Bank. Economic integration becomes ultimate mantra of Indonesian economic which was growth around 8% during 1990’s.
However, by recent inter-networked economy Indonesia also suffered seriously by globalization. Asian economic crisis from 1997 to 1998 basically started from monetary crisis in Thailand then became a domino effect that spread around Asian countries like a pandemic. Unfortunately, IMF’s formula failed to help in the worst situation in which Indonesia experienced the collapsed of exchange rate (monetary crisis), economic crisis, political and finally security instability. This was the first ever crisis experienced in Indonesia since the globalization era.
As a following result, the reform of political system becomes the need of middle class and Indonesian student movement. Many student who studied abroad with a lot of new concepts that concerned with their nation, made some online discussion using mailing list to avoid repression by the New Order regime. They spread new ideas and political jokes to critics the government. Their influence cannot be neglected as part of reform movement in Indonesia during 1997-1998. Finally, people power unstoppable forced Soeharto from his presidential position.
The result was very dramatic, since then changes in political landscape started and Indonesia became the third largest democratic country in the world after India and the USA. Furthermore, as the result of democratization process in Indonesia the forming of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Constitutional Court as the success story of Indonesian reform.
Globalization also closely related to global values and ideas, such as anti-corruption movement that promoted by United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Even though, at the beginning this movement was part of conditionality of international lending institution such as World Bank to adjust the structure of Indonesian’s bureaucracy, these values impacted seriously on Indonesia boosting transparency and accountability. In addition, every year such organizations like Transparency International release their survey result on perception of corruption involvement in Indonesia as part of the effort to eradicate corruption.
Recently, in Indonesia there are more than 180 million people using mobile phone. Furthermore, in 2009, 17% of Indonesian accessed the internet including to make contact or to communicate with their relatives who working abroad. Many people accessed the internet easily even from remote village accessing information through email, internet, and other means of social networking. In addition, parallel with democratization process in Indonesia, more than one million Facebookers appeal against criminalization of KPK’s leaders when they have disputes with the Attorney General Office and the National Police.
Globalization has unprecedented effects on many part of the world and also unavoidably on my own regency in East Java, Indonesia. Now people can easily in the same time eating Mac Donald, drinking Coca Cola, listening to Western music, and wearing China’s cheap cloths. Many malls and department stores enter up to district level, as a result of new concept of global market.
However, some of the most outspoken critics said that globalization will make the poor people suffer by the flowing of cheap international product to Indonesia. Open trade also brought impacts on local industries economically, as many products from abroad, from cheap clothes or toys from China to milk and meat from Australia are entering local market. Local industries, such as hand-made export oriented cultural products are suffering from import or unfair competition with international products.
Even some countries such as China and India could get benefit from globalization with the high achievement in economic and reducing the poverty rate among its citizen, however, Indonesia still struggle to adjust its economic structure and make its bureaucracies more effective and efficient and also try to filter the bad impact of globalization on the local culture since this process has also dramatically impacted personal way of living. Government has also tried to prevent westernization process to save the local culture. Interconnectedness also has negative social impact on local culture, treated variety of languages, even spreading pornography that Indonesian government try to impose web-filtered.
However, many people could study abroad because of globalization. As a result of this openness, there should be less paternalistic in office, people tend to open minded and ready to discuss and sharing in many topics. There are many challenges and opportunities from globalization process for Indonesian people.
sumber gambar: outsourceportfolio.com