About Me

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

“The Importance of Diversity and Sharing of Culture in Today’s World”

ImageIn the midst of media’s coverage on Indonesia regarding Barrack Obama’s election victory as the US President and the plan of executing the Bali Bombers, the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York, Trie Edi Mulyani, had the honor to deliver a presentation in front of over 150 academicians in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University, New York, on Thursday night (13/11). Taking place at The Dag Hammarskjold Hall, the event was also attended by Dr. Robert Garris, Senior Associate Dean SIPA, and Ms. Cassandra Simmons, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Columbia University.
In her presentation entitled “The Importance of Diversity and Sharing of Culture in Today’s World”, the Consul General shared Indonesia’s experience in managing the diversity of ethnic and culture of its people. Grounded by the principles of diversity, the values became fostered and embedded within the society since long time ago. The values comprise of respecting, accepting differences and giving tolerance to others. These values highly appreciate pluralism and the diversity of the whole nation, and it indeed became the ultimate visions of our founding fathers, concluded in the motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika”, which means “unity in diversity”.

The Consul General also mentioned that those values could also be applied by international community in the global era nowadays. The act of respecting culture diversity and be familiar with other country’s culture will enhance a better understanding and evade misperceptions among countries in the world.

Regarding religious tolerance, the Consul General described that even though Islam is a majority religion in Indonesia, it is a faith to 85% of its citizens, Indonesian Muslims could live hand in hand peacefully with other religious faiths such as Christian, Catholic, Hindu and Buddha. “Except a handful of militants, we are moderate Muslim”, the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia stressed out.

The presentation was delivered in the event of Multicultural Night: a Taste of Diversity in Columbia University. The debut event hosted by the School of Public and International Affairs, Columbia University was endeavored to know each other, cherish understandings and enhance cooperation as well as tolerance among cultures.

14 student organizations and institutes in Columbia University also participated in the event, among them are: Arab Student Association, Balkan Club, Eurasia Initiative, South Asia Association, Asia Pacific Affairs Council, Nordic American Student Association, Turkish Initiative, Institute of African Studies, Arts Initiative, The European African Institute and The Middle East Institute.

After the Consul General’s presentation, the event was continued by observance of two short movies made by SIPA students, respectively titled Casa de Paz and Documentary Short Afghanistan, which brought into play the backgrounds of Columbian and Afghanistan society.

During the art and culture performance, besides Indonesia, who was performing the beauty of Merak Dance from West Java and Piring Dance from West Sumatra, there were also traditional dances and song from various countries like Argentina, Ireland, Vietnam, Palestine, Egypt, and India.

Plate Dance was one of the favorite that night. The audiences were amazed by the performance of Wina Wilanisa Wirsatyo, Najunda Jusuf and Kiki Suhadi from Saung Budaya Group of the Indonesian Consulate General in New York. The sense of multiculturalism that night was also deepened by the delicious taste of dishes from various countries, including Indonesia, which were served in a number of stands.

In the event, the Consulate General in New York not only promoted Indonesia’s positive image to the education institutions circle, especially in Columbia University, but also took the opportunity to promote Indonesia’s tourism by spreading brochures about Indonesia’s beauty and places to visit in Indonesia and giving out "Visit Indonesia 2008" souvenirs, as well as introducing Dharmasiswa scholarship to the students of Columbia University.

Columbia University is one of the 10 best universities in United States of America. It was founded in 1754 with the name King’s College. Columbia University is one of the eldest universities in the state of New York and had composed a number of world leaders, such as President Roosevelt and elected President Barack Obama. As a university with an international vision, at this very moment, Columbia University is a place to study for 9.813 international students from 153 countries, a number which represents a high diversity of ethnic, language and culture. There is also the School of International and Public Affairs or SIPA, which is one of post-graduate programs in Columbia University with an international color: over 14.000 of its graduates derive from 150 countries. (Source: The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York).

About Me

Template by KangNoval & Abdul Munir | blog Blogger Templates