Let's Celebrate Differences!*

Welcome to the 21st century! As we know that, for the first time of human history, our world is getting smaller and smaller. Because of high technology, it is not so odd when we listen to the Korean Pop while eating croissants, after taking a Japanese spa, or after watching a cowboy movie. Yep, this is our changing world, where everything is getting closer.

 



There are a lot of cultures around the world. In my opinion, there are at least three giant civilizations in this world, there are: West, East and the Middle East. Each of those civilizations has different pattern of their own. And today, those civilizations have been contacted each other. Since they are different, those contacts have made a lot of conflicts.

For instance, today West has a bad relation with the Middle East according to the terrorism issues. Many Western people recognize word ‘Jihad’ in Islam as a military activity. It is wrong. There are no verse in the Muslim’s Quran about doing such thing.

In a smaller scope, like my country Indonesia, there a lot of such prejudices. For instance, many Sundanese see Bataknese as a rude, bad and impolite people just because Bataknese talk in a high intonation. In other hand, Bataknese see Sundanese as insincere, slow and indecisive people just because Sundanese talk in a low intonation.

In religion, many Muslims in my country are doing some discriminations to other religions. The construction of a church, for example, has been dissolved by some Muslims. They even often shout a religious verse while doing that [1]. While Christians see Muslims as a poor people and come from a low society.

Peranakan (a Chinese-Malay descent) in my country also get such discrimination. They often threatened verbally rude as a gadget-seller or a pork eater. Some people of my neighborhood even talk about Peranakan’s physical appearances as a slanting eyes. While Peranakan people itself do not want to get involved, they prefer to take care of their business.

From the explanations above, clearly, we must agree that a lot of worldviews in this world, and all of them have met each other. So, in today’s world, we will never survive if we only use our own culture to measure all things. We have seen a lot of people hurt, both physically and psycologically, because of those contacts between cultures. Why we are still be a narrow-minded person?

So many lives and so much money has been burned up for promoting several cultures and views (read: fundamentalists). Why are we so willing to pay that expensive? Isn’t it will be much better for us to make an understanding between us, instead of doing a lot of efforts promoting our views?

We need to be open-minded to all cultures. We need to know all the views, and be friend with them. Let’s be an intercultural person. Let’s celebrate differences! []

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*Sorry if my English hasn't good enough

[1] Whereas the Quran doesn’t tell to do that. In fact, Muslim prophet Muhammad, in his era, has made a well-developed city ‘Maddinah’ by tolerance between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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