Unity in Diversity?
I might have blogged about it but, unlike Agam and his Gecko
, I was unable to watch the signing of the Helsinki Peace Pact on TV as I was working.
I'll be working tomorrow too even though I've notionally got the day off for Independence Day. Mind you, I won't be disturbed by the painter and handyman spending some of my hard-earned dosh around the house, so there are compensations and if you're in Ya Udah for lunch, do drop by and say 'hi, you must be Jakartass'.
You won't win a prize, but I'll be very polite to you in keeping with the community spirit and goodwill which seems to be generated every year on this day. However, whether true independence and genuine unity has been achieved yet is a matter of conjecture
.We are united as a nation, but inequalities in many areas are the order of the day. And justice for most people remains a distant dream. We have yet to learn that genuine unity is based on visible social justice and appreciation of each other's ethnical background and religious affiliation.
Our unity is more symbolic, and statements like "Unitary Republic of Indonesia to the death" only serve once again to divert attention away from the real and substantive nation-building issues to the question of national unity. If a part of the nation-building process is the formation of national character, then pity Indonesia for what we have become.
Today, the characteristics most typify Indonesians range from corruption and greed, cruelty and intolerance, to laziness, unreliableness and incompetence. Add hypocrisy for good measure given that we keep proclaiming ourselves to be very religious in spite of all these negative characteristics.
Still we have done our bit; our flag is getting its annual airing.