FAITH IN INDONESIA

FAITH IN INDONESIA
The shape of the world a generation from now will be influenced far more by how we communicate the values of our society to others than by military or diplomatic superiority. William Fulbright, 1964

Monday, July 26, 2010

BUKITTINGGI'S INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR


(Picture above: Seminar participants)

UNDERSTANDING THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR

Orang-orang Indonesia adalah orang tetangga: Hubungan antara Orang Indonesia dan Orang Australia

When President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Australia earlier this year he spoke briefly about the close ties between Australia and Indonesia. I’ll give you the details.

Ketika Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono mengunjungi Australia awal tahun ini dia berbicara singkat tentang hubungan dekat antara Australia dan Indonesia. Saya akan memberikan secara detail.

The first is that we are historically linked. There is no doubt that the Aboriginal people of Australia came from Indonesia, working their way eastwards when the seas were a lot lower. Then it was possible to walk between islands or sail small canoes across narrow seas. That was about 50,000 years ago.

Yang pertama adalah bahwa kita secara historis terkait. Tidak ada keraguan bahwa orang-orang Aborigin di Australia berasal dari Indonesia, mereka berlayar ke arah timur ketika laut-laut banyak yang lebih rendah.

Lalu hal itu yang memungkinkan mereka untuk berjalan di antara pulau-pulau atau berlayar dengan perahu kecil menyeberangi lautan sempit. Itu terjadi sekitar 50.000 tahun yang lalu.

Global warming caused the seas to rise and cut Australia off from easy access with Indonesia. Aborigines, who form only one per cent of the Australian population, developed differently but many still look similar to people from Nusa Tenggara.

Global warming menyebabkan laut-laut naik dan membelah Australia keluar dari akses mudah dengan Indonesia. Orang-orang Aborigin, yang berada disana hanya satu persen dari populasi orang Australia, mereka hidup dan berkembang sangat berbeda tetapi banyak dari mereka masih terlihat sama seperti orang-orang dari Nusa Tenggara.
Closer to the present, but long before Europeans came to this part of the world, Bugis fishermen were sailing from Makassar to northern Australia. They stayed for up to six months and you can still see places where they lived.

Tetapi jauh sebelum orang-orang Eropa datang ke bagian dunia ini, orang-orang nelayan dari Bugis sedang berlayar dari Makassar ke bagian Utara Australia. Mereka tinggal selama enam bulan dan Anda masih dapat melihat tempat-tempat dimana mereka tinggal.


Some Bugis married Aboriginal women and took them back to South Sulawesi where they had children. Aboriginal words like balanda, wurupiah, prau and dopulu all come from Makassar.

Beberapa orang Bugis menikahi perempuan-perempuan Aborigin dan membawa mereka kembali ke Sulawesi Selatan ketika mereka memiliki anak. Kata-kata Aborigin seperti balanda, wurupiah, prau dan dopulu semua berasal dari Makassar.

Of course it’s obvious that we are neighbours. A flight from Kupang to Darwin takes only about an hour. When I lived in Perth I could catch a Garuda flight at 8 am, have breakfast on the plane, watch a movie, and have lunch in Bali.

Tentu saja sudah jelas bahwa kita adalah tetangga - silakan melihat di peta. Sebuah penerbangan dari Kupang ke Darwin hanya memakan waktu sekitar satu jam. Ketika saya tinggal di Perth saya bisa naik pesawat Garuda pukul 8 pagi, sarapan di pesawat, menonton film, dan makan siang di Bali.
Bali is so close and popular that many Australians think it’s their holiday island. If you go to Kuta beach, which is famous throughout the world for its surf, you’ll probably see more Westerners that Indonesians.

Bali begitu dekat dan populer sehingga banyak orang-orang Australia berpikir Pulau Bali tempat berlibur mereka. Jika Anda pergi ke pantai Kuta, yang mana terkenal di seluruh dunia untuk selancarnya, Anda mungkin akan melihat lebih banyak orang Barat daripada orang Indonesia.

Till recently Indonesian language was widely taught in Australian schools and we were all urged to learn more about your country and its culture. But that was before the Bali bombs in 2002 and 2005.

Sampai akhir-akhir ini bahasa Indonesia diajarkan secara luas di sekolah-sekolah Australia dan kami semua didesak untuk mempelajari lebih banyak tentang negara Indonesia dan budayanya. Tetapi itu sebelum terjadi bom Bali tahun 2002 dan 2005.
Both bombs deliberately targeted Westerners and Australians were the main victims, with 88 dying in the first bomb and more than 240 seriously injured. This terrible event has not been forgotten and sadly continues to influence our relationships.

Kedua bom Bali tersebut sengaja ditargetkan untuk orang Barat dan orang Australia, merekalah yang menjadi korban utama, dengan 88 orang meninggal di bom pertama dan lebih dari 240 orang terluka parah. Peristiwa mengerikan ini tidak terlupakan dan sangat sedih terus mempengaruhi hubungan kita.
Despite this Australia gives more aid to Indonesia than any other country, worth about 450 million Australian dollars a year. A lot of this money is being spent on schools. This is because we in the West believe that education is absolutely critical to a better future.

Meskipun Australia memberikan bantuan lebih ke Indonesia dari pada negara lain, senilai sekitar 450 juta dolar Australia setahun. Banyak dari uang ini diberikan untuk sekolah-sekolah. Ini karena kita di negara Barat percaya bahwa pendidikan adalah mutlak penting untuk masa depan yang lebih baik.

Unfortunately not everyone welcomes this money, with some extremists calling it ‘foreign intervention’ in Indonesia.

Sayangnya tidak semua orang menyambut uang ini, dan beberapa orang-orang ekstrimis menyebutnya “intervensi asing” di Indonesia.

Till recently your Constitutional requirement that 20 per cent of the national budget be spent on education has not been followed. In most areas schooling is not free and millions of children leave school with little or no education and no understanding of the complex issues of politics and economics. This means they are easily led by anyone who wants to manipulate public opinion.

Hingga saat ini Konstitusi anda, memerlukan 20 persen dari anggaran nasional yang diperuntukan untuk pendidikan belum dijalankan. Di kebanyakan daerah, sekolah tidak gratis dan jutaan anak-anak meninggalkan sekolah, dengan sedikit atau tidak ada pendidikan dan tidak ada pemahaman tentang isu-isu komplek akan politik dan ekonomi. Ini berarti, mereka dengan mudah dipimpin oleh siapa saja yang ingin memanupulasi opini publik.
In my culture we are encouraged to be independent and ask questions. Your culture is community based and more accepting of authority. You have big families that stay together. These are significant differences, which can affect our relationships. That’s because they colour our attitudes towards welfare and government responsibilities towards its citizens.

Dalam budaya saya, kita didorong untuk menjadi mandiri dan mengajukan pertanyaan. Budaya anda berbasis pada masyarakat dan lebih menerima otoritas. Anda memiliki keluarga besar yang tinggal bersama-sama.

Perbedaan-perbedaan ini signifikan, yang dapat mempengaruhi hubungan kita. Karena faktor-faktor perbedaan itu mewarnai sikap kita terhadap kesejahteraan dan tanggung jawab pemerintah terhadap warganya.

For example in the West we pay a lot of tax and we expect the government to look after us. Up to one third of everything we earn goes to the government in tax, and we cannot avoid paying tax.

Sebagai contoh di negara Barat kita membayar pajak untuk segalanya dan kita berharap pemerintah untuk memelihara kita. Sampai dengan sepertiga dari segala sesuatu yang kita dapatkan pergi ke pemerintah berupa pajak, dan kita tidak dapat menghindar untuk membayar pajak.
This money is used to build roads, schools and hospitals, pay the police, teachers and other government officials. Because we pay so much we demand good services, which include pensions and welfare to people who haven’t got a job or are too sick to work.

Uang ini digunakan untuk membangun jalan, sekolah dan rumah sakit, membayar polisi, guru, dan pejabat pemerintah lainnya.

Karena kita membayar begitu banyak kita menuntut pelayanan yang baik, yang meliputi pensiun dan kesejahteraan bagi orang-orang yang tidak punya pekerjaan atau yang terlalu sakit untuk bekerja.

Although the Indonesian government is now moving to repair the education system I fear this is not targeting the right group. Unless education is truly free right through the system, from city kampong to remote island village, millions of smart young people will miss out on schooling, and Indonesia will miss out on their skills.

Meskipun pemerintah Indonesia sekarang bergerak untuk memperbaiki sistem pendidikan, saya takut, ini tidak kena sasaran pada kelompok yang tepat.

Kecuali pendidikan benar-benar gratis, benar melalui sistem, dari kampung dikota ke desa pulau terpencil, jutaan orang muda yang cerdas akan kehilangan sekolah, dan Indonesia akan kehilangan orang-orang yang trampil.
By comparison, primary, secondary and high school education in my country is free – and compulsory. The money comes from the tax that everybody pays, whether or not they have children.

Sebagai perbandingan, SD, SMP dan SMA di negara saya gratis - dan wajib. Uang tersebut berasal dari pajak dimana semua orang bayar, apakah mereka memiliki anak atau tidak.

I could give many more examples to support your president’s comments. He sent his second son Edhie to a university in Perth where I used to teach. Vice president Boediono was educated in Australia and there are currently more than 16,000 Indonesians studying in Australia.


Saya bisa memberi contoh lebih banyak untuk mendukung komentar presiden anda. Ia mengirim putra keduanya Edhie ke universitas di Perth tempat dimana saya biasa mengajar.

Wakil Presiden Boediono sekolah di Australia dan saat ini terdapat lebih dari 16.000 warga Indonesia yang belajar di Australia.
Then there’s business. Few Australians realise that trade between Indonesia and Australia is huge, worth 4.5 billion Australian dollars every year and growing.

Kemudian ada bisnis. Beberapa orang Australia menyadari bahwa perdagangan antara Indonesia dan Australia sangat besar, senilai 4.5 milyard dolar Australia setiap tahun dan terus bertumbuh.
Despite all these facts I argue that it would be difficult to find two nations that are so close, yet their history, outlook, culture, foods and lifestyles are so completely different.

Walaupun semua fakta ini, saya berpendapat bahwa akan sulit untuk menemukan dua negara yang begitu dekat, sekalipun sejarah, pandangan, budaya, makanan dan gaya hidup sangat berbeda.

Of course that’s true in some parts of Indonesia; you can always find examples to make a point, but it doesn’t change my attitude. My opinion is based on being a regular visitor to Indonesia for many years, living in Surabaya and Malang for long periods and visiting many parts of Indonesia. I’m also married to an Indonesian from North Sulawesi but who spent most of her life in East Java.

Tentu saja itu benar di beberapa bagian Indonesia; Anda selalu dapat menemukan contoh-contoh untuk membuat poin, tapi tidak mengubah sikap saya.

Pendapat saya didasarkan pada ketika saya menjadi pengunjung tetap ke Indonesia selama bertahun-tahun, tinggal di Surabaya dan Malang untuk waktu yang lama dan mengunjungi banyak daerah di Indonesia. Saya juga menikah dengan seorang Indonesia dari Sulawesi Utara namun yang menghabiskan sebagian besar hidupnya di Jawa Timur.
If you reject my argument you will think everything is fine between our two countries. We can smile a lot at each other, make happy speeches and assume nothing much needs to be done.

Jika anda menolak argumen saya, anda akan berpikir semuanya baik antara dua negara kita. Kita bisa banyak tersenyum satu sama lain, membuat pidato bagus dan menganggap tidak banyak yang perlu dilakukan.

If you accept my reasoning then you’ll be extremely concerned. You will realise that we all have to do a lot of work to make sure we maintain our friendships so that you and I and our children can live in peace with each other.

Jika anda menerima alasan saya, maka anda menjadi sangat prihatin. Anda akan menyadari bahwa kita semua harus melakukan banyak kerja, untuk memastikan, agar kita memelihara persahabatan supaya anda dan saya serta anak-anak kita bisa hidup dengan damai satu sama lain.
Being a good neighbour is like having a good marriage. You must work on the relationship every day, showing courtesy, respect and understanding based on knowledge. And that’s difficult.

Menjadi tetangga yang baik adalah seperti memiliki pernikahan yang baik. Anda harus berusaha menjaga hubungan setiap hari, menunjukkan kesopanan, hormat dan memahami berdasarkan akan pengetahuan. Dan itu sulit.

Black American leader Martin Luther King said that nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity, and I believe that we have a large amount of both ignorance and stupidity in both countries.Pemimpin orang Amerika berkulit hitam Martin Luther King mengatakan bahwa tidak ada di dunia yang lebih berbahaya daripada ketidaktahuan yang tulus dan kebodohan yang teliti, dan saya percaya bahwa kita memiliki sejumlah besar baik ketidaktahuan dan kebodohan di kedua negara.
I’ll start with the ignorance and stupidity in Australia. Surveys of public attitudes show that about half the population doesn’t trust Indonesia. That figure is probably growing as more refugees from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Iraq come to Indonesia and then take fishing boats to sail illegally to Australia.

Saya akan mulai dengan ketidaktahuan dan kebodohan di Australia. Survei terhadap sikap publik menunjukkan bahwa sekitar setengah dari penduduk Australia tidak percaya Indonesia.

Angka ini mungkin tumbuh sebagaimana bertambahnya pengungsi dari Afghanistan, Sri Lanka dan Irak datang ke Indonesia dan kemudian menggunakan perahu nelayan berlayar secara ilegal ke Australia.

This is not a big issue in Indonesia. It is a very big issue in Australia and many people are angry because we believe the Indonesian government should stop these people, and because President SBY promised to help stop people trafficking.

Ini bukan masalah besar di Indonesia. Ini masalah yang sangat besar di Australia dan banyak orang marah karena kita percaya bahwa pemerintah Indonesia harus bisa menghentikan orang-orang ini, dan karena Presiden SBY berjanji akan membantu menghentikan perdagangan manusia.

Much of the news we recive about Indonesia is bad or strange, or both. For example in the week before I wrote this speech the newspaper and television stories about Indonesia were about a two-year old boy who smokes 40 cigarettes a day, and an Aceh official buying 20,000 skirts to stop women wearing tight jeans.

Banyak berita yang kita terima tentang Indonesia adalah buruk atau aneh, atau kedua-duanya.

Misalnya dalam seminggu sebelum saya menulis pidato ini, cerita-cerita dikoran dan televisi tentang Indonesia adalah tentang seorang anak laki-laki berumur dua tahun yang merokok 40 batang sehari, dan seorang pejabat Aceh membeli 20,000 rok untuk menghentikan perempuan-perempuan mengenakan celana jins ketat.

Then there was a photograph of men sitting on the roof of a train from Depok to Jakarta – nothing unusual for Indonesians but for Westerners an example of Asian chaos and lack of discipline.

Lalu ada foto tentang orang-orang yang duduk diatap kereta api dari Depok ke Jakarta – tidak ada yang tidak biasa untuk orang-orang Indonesia tapi untuk orang Barat adalah sebuah contoh kekacauan orang Asia dan kurangnya disiplin.

These images are not representative of your great nation.

Gambar-gambar ini tidak mewakili bangsa anda yang besar.

The truth is that Australia doesn’t really know where it’s supposed to be in the world. It’s a large island off Southeast Asia mainly populated by white-skinned Europeans following a Western culture whose best friends are far away.

Yang benar yaitu, Australia benar-benar tidak tahu di mana seharusnya Australia berada di dunia. Sebuah pulau besar keluar dari Asia Tenggara yang dihuni terutama oleh orang-orang Eropa berkulit putih dengan membawa serta budaya Barat, dimana teman-teman mereka yang baik sangat jauh.

A cartoon map in a Malaysian newspapers once had Australia positioned in mid Atlantic, half way between Europe and the US. For many people that’s where their heart is – physically between the Indian and Pacific Oceans - but emotionally in the Northern Hemisphere, far away from Indonesia.

Sebuah peta kartun disurat kabar Malaysia pernah menunjukkan Australia diposisikan pada pertengahan Atlantik, setengah perjalanan antara Eropa dan AS.

Bagi banyak orang di sanalah hati mereka berada - secara fisik antara Samudra Hindia dan Pasifik - tetapi secara emosional di belahan bumi utara, jauh dari Indonesia.
Most people know that Indonesia is a heavily populated small country and that Australia is large and empty. For every one Australian there are ten Indonesians.

Kebanyakan orang tahu bahwa Indonesia adalah negara kecil berpenduduk padat, dan bahwa Australia adalah negara besar dan kosong. Untuk setiap satu orang Australia terdapat sepuluh orang Indonesia.
Looking at these facts, and remembering the Bali bombs, many Australians assume that Indonesia would like to invade Australia and if that happened, it would be almost impossible to defend the country without outside help. This is why Australia is such close friends with the United States.

Melihat pada fakta ini, dan mengingat bom-bom Bali, banyak orang Australia menganggap bahwa Indonesia ingin menyerbu Australia dan kalau itu terjadi, itu akan hampir mustahil untuk mempertahankan negara tanpa bantuan dari luar.

Inilah sebabnya mengapa Australia seperti teman dekat dengan Amerika Serikat.

I say this thinking is nonsense. It’s no secret that the Indonesian armed forces are not large and are not well equipped with modern weapons. Apart from that I have yet to meet anyone who thinks having a war with Australia would be a good idea. In fact most Indonesians are happy at home and few want to live anywhere else.

Saya katakan pikiran ini adalah omong kosong. Bukan rahasia bahwa angkatan bersenjata Indonesia tidak besar dan tidak dilengkapi dengan senjata-senjata modern.

Selain itu saya belum bertemu seseorang yang berpikir, berperang dengan Australia merupakan ide yang baik. Kenyataan sebagian besar rakyat Indonesia bahagia berada di rumah dan beberapa yang ingin tinggal di negara lain.

That’s because the differences are serious, and I’m not just talking about climate, language and food. Let’s go through the list starting with history.

Itu karena perbedaan-perbedaan yang serius, dan saya tidak hanya bicara tentang iklim, bahasa dan makanan. Mari kita lihat melalui daftar mulai dengan sejarah.
In the 1930s skulls found at Ngandong near the Solo River in Central Java were identified as belonging to a now extinct branch of our ancestors that may have lived about 100,000 years ago.

Pada tahun 1930 tengkorak-tengkorak ditemukan di Ngandong dekat Sungai Bengawan Solo di Jawa Tengah, yang diidentifikasi sebagai milik dari cabang nenek moyang kita yang sekarang sudah punah, yang mungkin telah hidup sekitar 100.000 tahun yang lalu.
The terraced wet rice cultivation system that you see in Bali and Java came from Vietnam about 3,000 years ago, so you can see that people have been living on these islands for a long time. You have developed a long and rich culture that goes far back, long before Islam and Christianity.

Sistim budidaya padi dengan tanah teras basah yang anda lihat di Bali dan Jawa berasal dari Vietnam sekitar 3.000 tahun yang lalu, sehingga anda dapat melihat bahwa orang-orang telah tinggal di pulau-pulau ini untuk jangka waktu yang lama.

Anda telah mengembangkan kebudayaan yang panjang dan kaya, yang pergi jauh ke belakang, jauh sebelum Islam dan Kristen.
However Europeans didn’t arrive in Australia in numbers until 1788 so modern Australia is really only 222 years old.

Bagaimanapun orang Eropa tidak tiba di Australia dalam hitungan bilangan sampai tahun 1788 jadi Australia modern adalah benar-benar hanya berumur 222 tahun.
Australia, like the United States, is an immigrant society. Indonesia is not. This is a most important fact when understanding the differences between our countries.

Australia, seperti Amerika Serikat, adalah masyarakat imigran. Indonesia bukan. Ini adalah fakta yang paling penting ketika memahami perbedaan antara negara kita.
In Australia you can find people who are Australian citizens living permanently in the country who have come from Italy, Singapore, Afghanistan, Turkey, South Africa … just about every ethnic group and nation on earth. That’s not the situation in Indonesia.

Di Australia, anda dapat menemukan orang-orang yang adalah warga negara Australia yang tinggal permanen di Australia berasal dari Italia, Singapura, Afghanistan, Turki, Afrika Selatan ... hampir setiap kelompok etnis dan bangsa di muka bumi. Itu bukan situasi di Indonesia.

But distrust is not exclusive to Australians. Indonesian officials do not trust people like me.

Tetapi ketidakpercayaan bukan eksklusif bagi orang Australia. Pejabat-pejabat Indonesia tidak percaya orang seperti saya.

In Indonesia I cannot own a house, a business or a bank account and even if I stay in Indonesia for the rest of my life and eventually gain Indonesian citizenship (which would be very difficult) I would never be considered Indonesian. That’s because I will always be a bule, a foreigner with a white skin.

Di Indonesia saya tidak bisa memiliki rumah, bisnis atau rekening bank dan bahkan jika saya tinggal di Indonesia untuk sisa hidup saya dan akhirnya mendapatkan kewarganegaraan Indonesia (yang akan sangat sulit).

Saya tidak akan pernah dianggap orang Indonesia. Itu karena saya selalu akan menjadi bule, orang asing dengan kulit putih.

That’s not the situation in NZ where we now live. My wife Erlinawati is a permanent resident. Together with me she owns a house, a business and a bank account.

Itu bukan situasi di NZ di mana kita tinggal sekarang. Istri saya Erlinawati adalah penduduk tetap. Bersama dengan saya, dia memiliki rumah, usaha dan rekening bank.

Modern Indonesia had to fight for independence in a bloody four-year war. Australia became separate from Britain in 1901 because we asked for independence, but remain part of the Commonwealth with the Queen as our head of State.

Modern Indonesia harus berjuang untuk kemerdekaan dalam perang berdarah empat-tahun. Australia menjadi terpisah dari Inggris pada tahun 1901 karena kita meminta kemerdekaan, tetapi tetap menjadi bagian dari Commonwealth dengan Ratu sebagai kepala Negara.

Because we still recognise our British heritage we keep the union jack, the flag of the United Kingdom, on our flag, and the Queen’s face on our money.

Karena kita masih mengakui (sebagai) warisan Inggris, maka kita memakai the union jack, bendera Inggris Raya, pada bendera kita, dan wajah Ratu tertera di uang kita.
Some people think this means we are still a colony of Britain. That’s not true, but we are members of the Commonwealth which the Queen heads, and which has 54 independent nation members, including Malaysia and Singapore.

Beberapa orang berpikir ini berarti kita masih koloni Inggris. Itu tidak benar, tapi kita adalah anggota Commonwealth yang dikepalai oleh Ratu, dan yang mana memiliki 54 anggota negara independen, termasuk Malaysia dan Singapura.
I’m often called a Belanda, though I am not Dutch, have never been to Holland and despise colonialism.

Saya sering kali disebut Belanda, walaupun saya bukan orang Belanda, dan saya tidak pernah ke Belanda dan saya tidak mendukung kolonialisme.

I’m also considered to be rich just because I’m a Westerner, when in my own country I’m just lower middle class. There are more seriously rich people in Indonesia than there are people in the whole of Australia.

Saya juga dianggap kaya hanya karena saya orang Barat, ketika di negara saya sendiri, saya hanya kelas menengah bawah. Ada lebih banyak masyarakat kaya di Indonesia daripada orang-orang di seluruh Australia.

I don’t like being called a rich immoral colonialist – just as you don’t want to be called corrupt terrorists. The media in both countries needs to do a lot of work to change these bad images – and education is the best way.

Saya tidak suka disebut orang kolonialis kaya tidak bermoral - juga dengan Anda tidak ingin disebut orang-orang teroris yang korupsi. Media di kedua negara perlu melakukan banyak kerja untuk mengubah image-image buruk ini - dan melalui pendidikan adalah cara yang terbaik.

Please urge your students to continue their education – make it life long. Open their minds, encourage them to read widely, listen to many people from different backgrounds, religions and cultures. Tell them to question everything. Travel overseas. The message is: Don’t just believe what you hear – go and find out for yourselves

Silakan mendorong murid-muridmu untuk melanjutkan pendidikan - dan buatlah hidup bermakna, buka pikiran anda, banyak membaca, dan dengarkan banyak orang dari latar belakang yang berbeda, agama dan budaya.

Bertanyalah tentang segala sesuatunya. Berliburlah ke luar negeri .. Jangan hanya percaya dengan apa yang Anda dengar - pergi dan temukan sendiri.

There are good scholarship opportunities for post graduates in Australian and NZ, but you must have good English (minimum IELTS 5 – and for many courses higher). You must be disciplined and determined because there are many distractions.

Ada kesempatan beasiswa yang baik untuk S2 dan S3 di Australia dan NZ, tetapi anda harus bisa berbahasa Inggris yang baik (minimum IELTS 5 – dan banyak bidang lain dibutuhkan yang lebih tinggi). Anda harus disiplin dan mempunyai tekat karena ada banyak gangguan.
To live in peace with each other it is important to be frank. And in case you are wrongly thinking that I am criticising Indonesians let me add that I would say exactly the same thing to Westerners.

Untuk hidup berdamai dengan satu sama lain, sangat penting untuk berterus terang. Dan jika anda salah berpikir bahwa saya mengkritik orang-orang Indonesia, izinkan saya menambahkan, bahwa saya akan mengatakan hal yang persis sama dengan orang-orang barat.

American journalist Ron Suskind, writing about the gap between Muslims and others, said: “Making contact with people who are not like you is one of the best things a person can do.”

Jurnalis Amerika Ron Suskind, menulis tentang gap antara orang-orang Islam dan lainnya, mengatakan: “Untuk berhubungan dengan orang yang tidak seperti kamu adalah salah satu cara yang terbaik seseorang dapat lakukan.”
Thank you for inviting me to talk to you today.

Terima kasih telah mengundang saya untuk berbicara dengan Anda hari ini.

(An edited version of a speech given at an international seminar at Bukittinggi, Sumatra on 18 July. sponsored by Muhamadiyah University, Pos Indonesia and Bank BTN)
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FAITH IN INDONESIA


(Above: Victoria University's gamelan orchestra performing at St Andrew's on the Terrace in Wellington NZ before an audience including many local Muslims.)

Easter marked our first year at St Andrew’s since shifting from an Anglican parish where we’d worshipped since arriving in Wellington in 2007.

Erlinawati and I come from Indonesia where religion is heavy duty. The standard media tag is ‘the world’s most populous Muslim nation.’ That claim rests on statistics showing almost 88 per cent adhere to Islam.

Every Indonesian has to follow one of the government’s six approved religions – Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism and ‘Christian’, meaning Protestantism.
During his term as president between 1999 and 2001 the late Abdurrahman Wahid, better known as Gus Dur, allowed Confucianism to be recognised.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion.

Every citizen’s religion is stamped on her or his compulsory ID card. Islam is the default. So the millions who follow Kebatinan, the original religion of Java, or any other unrecognised faith – or no faith – get listed as Muslims.

The Minister for Religious Affairs recently opposed a law revision because this “could spark unlimited freedom of religion.”

Protestants and Catholics form ten per cent. That’s 24 million – more than the population of Australia.

At last count there were 80 plus Protestant denominations, many formed when congregations split over theological interpretations and personality clashes – something not exclusive to Indonesia.

Richard Daulay, head of the Communion of Churches, jokes of a liner rescuing a shipwrecked Indonesian. As the ship steams away the captain asks the lone castaway about the three buildings on his island.

The man replies: “The first was my house, the second my church.”

“And the third?” asks the captain.

The Protestant responds with contempt: “That’s the church I used to belong to.”

Churches are always packed in Indonesia and only early birds get a perch near a window, door or air conditioner, necessary because services can be marathons. At Easter and Christmas, marquees in carparks and streets accommodate overflow crowds following services on closed circuit TV.

The heartland of Indonesian Protestantism is North Sulawesi, Erlinawati’s homeland. When Dutch colonialists arrived in the 17th century with guns and Bibles the Minahasa people of this remote area converted en masse.
Their rewards were higher education opportunities, jobs in the public service and places in the army where they were used to put down Muslim rebellions in Java. Not a good start for inter-faith relationships.

The Catholics carved off the Eastern islands but Protestants can be found in most regions, often funding ostentatious palaces of worship.

Foremost is Bethany with the slogan ‘successful families’. Its Surabaya church is like an H G Wells’ flying saucer that’s landed among the slums. It can seat 20,000 and has five-star fittings and d├ęcor.

These and other factors have led to a common view that Protestants are rich and mainly ethnic Chinese, keen to ‘Christianise’ poor Muslims. This became a serious charge after the 2004 tsunami clean up in Aceh where some US aid agencies were allegedly proselytising.

Early this century church burnings in Java and open warfare between Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas stoked tensions nationwide. Although the big conflagrations have died down, the embers of hate still glow, particularly in West Java and Sumatra where churches have been torched this year.

The targets aren’t always Christians. Muslim mobs have razed mosques and compounds belonging to Ahmadiah, a sect that claims other prophets followed Muhammad.

By NZ standards most church services are sterile events where the God of joy is sadly absent. Puritanism is widespread and the hunt for sinners can be spirited.

Fundamentalism is not exclusive to Islam. Evangelists have been blamed for inter-faith strife by shouting hallelujahs in crowded Muslim neighbourhoods. Others have used religious differences as excuses to settle ethnic, political and business feuds.

Dr Paul Tahalele, chair of the Indonesian Christian Communication Forum, argues that Christian survival in Indonesia means taking a low profile, wearing plain clothes on Sundays, not driving Mercedes to church and doing welfare work among the poor without banging the Bible.

The Catholics have been better at this than the Protestants, running hospitals and schools attracting large numbers of middle-class Muslim students seeking high quality education with discipline.

In the East Java town of Malang where we retain a home, a progressive Muslim teacher called Yusman Roy, an Indonesian version of John Wycliffe, was jailed for two years for reading the Koran in Indonesian.

Roy reasoned few in his congregation understood Arabic and the crowds agreed. But his popularity attracted truckloads of fundamentalists from afar claiming he was a blasphemer.

Still in prison in the same city are 40 members of a Christian student group that videotaped a training session. This included abusing the Koran. Police saw the DVD. Mainstream Christian leaders gave fulsome public apologies and riots were averted.

There are many parallels with the Reformation making Indonesia an exciting place for a journalist. Leading the movement is the Jaringan Islam Liberal, (Liberal Islamic Network) a small group of Jakarta-based intellectuals pushing uphill against the mighty weight of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (Indonesian Islamic Scholars).

This conservative group is opposed to pluralism. It’s also the body seeking to control halal meat imports from NZ.

There’s nothing half-hearted about faith in Indonesia. Military dictator Soeharto kept a tight rein on all religions for 32 years with intelligence agents vetting sermons. Public discussions of issues involving race, religion and ethnicity were banned.

Following the strongman’s fall in 1998 the leash has been off and fundamentalists have been getting a free run. Their targets are ‘neo-liberals’, meaning anyone who thinks differently. There’s been a welding of radical Islam with nationalism.

The death of Gus Dur last December deprived Indonesians of an outstanding Islamic scholar and democrat, a champion of tolerance by word and deed – and an exceptionally funny and decent man.

So far no one of his intellect and standing has filled the gap, leading many Christians to fear a resurgence of persecution. The growth of Sharia law, financially backed by Saudi oil money is an issue, though so far mainly impacting on moderate Muslims.

The propensity for mob violence simmers just below the surface, threatening the nation’s claim to be the custodian of moderate Islam.


(First published in St Andrew's on the Terrace News, July 2010)