Unity In Diverity Essay

2041 words - 9 pages

Did Suharto’s New Order successfully construct a homogenous Pancasila national identity for Indonesia?

- Why would they want to homogenise culture?
o Ethnic tensions and loyalties viewed as a threat
• Regional rebellions as examples
o Under Suharto especially, seen as a way to
o Manipulate cultures to fit into a broader policy of nation-building and modernization
o Utilise ‘ethnic identities’ to boost tourism and development
- Appropriation of cultural traditions in the aim to unify the nation through diversity
- Focus on regional vs ethnic differentiation led to the imposion of standardized regional cultural identities

What is culture??

For the purposes of this essay, culture ...view middle of the document...

The promotion of Indonesia as a tourist site results in a situation where the government shapes and controls the tourist encounter (Adams 2003;Picard & Wood 1997). As a result, culture can become a political weapon when the dominant role of the state is threatened. Yet, culture can also provide a source for the revival of selected traditions as a way of unifying a group or several groups of people. The development and re-use of historic public places not only reconstructs the past but also part of the present economy (Nuriyanti 1999).

The Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board (ITPB) was created in 1989 to undertake the task of promoting Indonesian and Indonesian products both internationally and domestically (Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism 2007;Tan, McCahon, & Miller 2002).

from Stephanie Steels, On Being Indonesian: Heritage Tourism at Borobudur Temple

‘There is a relationship between the arena of state activity – culture as narrowly defined by the state, and the assumptions and practices of Indonesians – culture as broadly defined as a way of life.’ (Todd Jones Indonesian Cultural Policy 147-148)

Cultural policy research may be used to find conclusions about how the state understands and conceptualizes Indonesian identity - Jones 148

Particular activities have been defined as ‘cultural’ by the Indonesian state, and designed to influence the behavior of Indonesians – Jones 148

Some key questions or foci to consider when analyzing cultural policy:

‘the relationships among narrowly defined cultural policies established by the state, the practices of practitioners and audiences, the ambitions of policy makers to influence characteristics and behaviors, and the ways in which these policies have changed Indonesian “cultures,” broadly defined as ways of life.’ Jones 148

The Changing World of Bali: Religion, Society and Tourism: Leo Howe

Balinese culture, founded on ‘Balinese religion and affirmed by tourist fascination with Balinese culture, may be a source of pride to Balinese people, but in the context of the Indonesian state it can become a threat to national integration’ (139 Howe)

“Ever since independence in 1950 the Indonesian state has endeavoured to create a national unity out of the disparate cultures, religions and ethnic groups of the archipelago’ (140)
‘A significant feature of the state’s attemptto forge unity out of diversity…has been its manipulation of local cultures to adapt them to the requirements of nation-building and the construction of a national culture’ (140 + citing Foulcher 1990; Yampolsky 1995)

Strategies to do so?
- pre-independence – using Bahasa Indonesia as the national language
- post Independence – Sukarno uses:
o military might to crush regional rebellions
o confrontations with neigboruing powers to generate national solidarity
o extension of a school system with central curriculum and uniform structure
o language of tuition and school dress Indonesia wide
o invocation of new national...

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