national awakening

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We have been celebrating on May 20 as Hari Kebangkitan Nasional, or National Resurgence Day. The time has come for all of us to rightly understand the meaning of National Resurgence Day and its implications.

First, National Resurgence should not be defined as the “Birth of the Nation”. We, as a nation, were not born on that day. Alas, my people, even the scholars and elders I truly respect, often make the mistake of defining it as such. If we were born on that day, then we are just a century old, and therefore the crisis of identity that we are facing today is understandable. In which case, it may not even be a crisis of identity; it is the search for identity.

Many of us today, are indeed searching for identity.

Some of us are finding our roots in the deserts of Arabia, some in the high and low lands of China; some are keen to associate themselves with India, or even the West. We forget that we have roots in this very soil. We do not have to go anywhere to find our roots.

National Resurgence should be understood as the revival or resurrection of our nationalistic thoughts, feelings, ideals and principles. It is not the birth of such thoughts and feelings, or ideals and principles.

It is indeed our misfortune that we often suffer from such crises of identity. We are a nation suffering from acute amnesia. It can occur at any time.

So, as also admitted by Bung Karno, we did not become a state or a nation on May 20, 1908. This very important day in our history should be celebrated as the day we got out of our centuries-old amnesia. On this day, we rediscovered our identity. We were a nation and a state for more than 8 centuries in the times of Sriwijaya. We were nation and state for more than 4 centuries in the times of Majapahit. We lost it, when we tried to replace culture with religious values as the binding force. It did not work. And, within a century we became slaves to foreigners.

Indeed, the foreigners used religious differences to divide and rule over us.

History is repeating itself.

“Those who do not learn from the history are condemned to repeat it.” Indeed, we are repeating the same history.

Today, our local political parties with foreign affiliations and endorsements of foreign values are doing the job that once those foreigners did themselves. By creating rules and regulations based on certain religious values, they have planted time bombs everywhere in this archipelago. Our hearts are already beginning to divide and if this is not stopped immediately, the division of territory will not be stopped either.

National Resurgence Day this year calls for national awakening — the awakening of our hearts and our minds, the awakening of our souls and spirits — the awakening to our cultural roots and age-old heritage. This awakening is urgent and imperative. Without such an awakening, I am afraid we shall be heading toward disintegration both as a state and as a nation.

We, Indonesians, must hold on to the common platform on which we all can stand together. That common platform is the cultural platform. Our politics, our economics, our social norms, even our religious beliefs must be culture-based. Much damage has been done to this base in the last couple of decades, especially in the last decade. This base must be repaired, and to do that we must once again review our education system. Is it awakening us, Indonesians, to Indonesia — or to something else?

We have a long day ahead, there much work to be done.

So, wake up my friends, and let us work together to build Indonesia anew!

Harkitnas Momentum For Indonesias Awakening
Jakarta 6/5/2008 (Kominfo-Newsroom) The 100th anniversary of the National Awakening Day (Harkitnas) on May 20, 2008 is the right momentum for Indonesias awakening.

Minister/State Secretary Hatta Radjasa said here Monday Harkitnas this year could be a milestone for unifying all elements of the nation. It could also trigger the birth of positive thinking for repositioning.

A pesidential decision issued on Feb.25, 2008 names a national committee in charge of the centenary of Harkitnas (National Awakening Day) headed by Minister/State Secretary Hatta Radjasa. Vice chairman is Minister for Communication and Information Technology Moh. Nuh. Executive chairman is Chairul Tanjung and vice executive chairman is Ishadi SK.

Commemoration is marked by a presentation of the centenary of Harkitnas at the Bung Karno Sports Stadium on May 20, 2008. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will launch the Indonesia Awakening program with the motto of Indonesia Bisa (Indonesia Can).

By plinplan on May 6th, 2008 @ 13:05:08


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