National Character

Aug 20th, 2007, in News, by

The character of Indonesians is at its lowest point ever.

Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, the governor of Yogyakarta, and the head of the special region’s royal house, said on 18th August that since the fall of Suharto and the beginning of the reform era the national character of Indonesia and the behaviour of its people had taken a sharp turn for the worse, becoming quarrelsome, disharmonious, easily provoked into violence, and lacking in good manners, and in particular relations between religious groups had become dire.

Inter-faith and inter-group relations have reached their lowest point in our history.

Speaking to a gathering of the Flag Bearers’ Squad (Pasukan Pengibar Bendera Pusaka (Paskibraka, see Wearing Jilbab)), he said everyone had gotten to the point where the smallest problem could result in physical confrontation and fighting, and he hoped the flag raisers’ organisation could help keep Indonesia non-fanatical, a place of Unity in Diversity, where differences were viewed as a blessing, not an irritant and a source of conflict, and instead perhaps of being historically doomed.

Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X
Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X

The most important task for the Paskibraka was to spread the spirit of inter-faith and inter-ethnic brotherliness, he said. mediaindo


14 Comments on “National Character”

  1. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Huahuahua…so true sultan, so true. It’s a pity people with common sense are very scarce. Blinded by stupid religious believes. Gitu ngaku orang beragama. malu-maluin!! Long live the sultan.

  2. avatar Tomaculum says:

    Ihaknt,
    it seems that we can find many anatomical wonders in Indonesia: human being with brain in their fist or between their legs (and most of them are male, oh my god!!!).
    Marx once said: “Religion is opium for the folk” (he forgot, that communism is also a religion. 🙂 )
    I say: it is alcohol for them. If you drink too much you will be incalculable.
    Cheers!

  3. avatar Dimp says:

    I don’t quite understand this:

    “The most important task for the Paskibraka was to spread the spirit of inter-faith and inter-ethnic brotherliness, he said.”

    Why is it the task of Paskibraka to spread tolerance, shouldn’t the government be the one spreading this? Paskibraka are only Flag Bearers, their main task is to bear flag.

    If the government cannot handle its own task then don’t pass the buck.

  4. avatar Falcon says:

    Indonesia is Indonesia and has not even a close resemblance to the Arab face, nor blood relative to the Arab. Independence is fought and sacrificed by Indonesian blood, no Arab blood. So, 17th of August is by and for all Indonesian and these are the true facts. No Arab leaders will be offended when some Paskibrata girls do not wear jilbab at the independence day ceremony, because they are aware that they are Indonesians and none are Arab looking girls. Historically Indonesia never wore Jilbab, not until the belief was brought by Arab and other foreign traders to Indonesia. So lets be true Indonesians. Indonesia must have its own true Identity.

  5. avatar ausdag says:

    Sounds a lot like a novel my students are reading at the moment – Lord of the Flies. Says something about humanity, not just Indonesians in particular, when there’s a decided lack of leadership, or unwillingness to follow an elected leader.

  6. avatar Julita says:

    Good, very good, excellent, super! He said it to the flag bearer (that is not his only intention) but the whole nation and we here in the far away land hear it.

  7. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Julita,

    My point exactly, if his intention is to relay the message to the whole country, then he should explicitly said that every Indonesian need to embrace tolerance. As you know not all Indonesians have the brain capacity to interpret these type of messages.

  8. avatar Julita says:

    Hi Dimp,

    Let’s give him a credit. Perhaps, he wanted to play it save. Still he expressed it. Good for him.

  9. avatar Tom Muller says:

    since the fall of Suharto and the beginning of the reform era the national character of Indonesia and the behaviour of its people had taken a sharp turn for the worse, becoming quarrelsome, disharmonious, easily provoked into violence, and lacking in good manners

    Isn’t this an argument for another “strong hand”?

  10. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Julita,

    I don’t mind giving him credit, so far he is much better than the rest of the Indonesian politicians out there, much ‘cleaner’ too. I do hope these ‘good guys’ won’t be too afraid to sound their voice, there must be other clean politicians out there, ones with sane mind and body. Unfortunately they just don’t have the courage to sound their opinion.

  11. avatar Jokoboyo says:

    Sri sultan is just a legend, his authority is even less than some bigger provinces governor, what can he do? He is outnumber by the Muslim mass, he certainly affraid of the Jogja kesultanan rich cultures & tradition will be soon dissapear & overwhelming with the trendy syairah law.
    He doesn’t like to see Indonesian ladies wearing jilbab because he will no longer able to see how sexy is the Indonesian Javanese woman wearing the sexy sarung kebaya.
    When syairah law established in Jogjakarta, it is the time for him to migrate to Australia which is the country who can accept diversity unlike Indonesia

  12. avatar Peter says:

    Gusti Sultan benar sekali. Dalam negeri saya, presiden-presiden sering pernah adalah governors. Mungkin Pak Sultan bisa menjadi presiden Indonesia. Too bad probably not, in this case.

  13. avatar Susi says:

    Well, I think the Indonesian character is a good subject for discussion. Begin with Mochtar Lubis’ classic Manusia Indonesia, which is also published in English as The Indonesian Character.

    What he said was true then, and is true now, only has passed through further phases of evolution or degradation . . .

    Wish more had listened and tried to understand his wisdom back then. Much suffering would have been averted . . .

  14. avatar Rio says:

    I want to add something to this topic.., indonesia I think is a bad country as a whole (rakyat)…. I say this because indonesians are super sensitif, I was born in manado grew up in america where people wont hate you if you are not in the mood to smile, I mean that in a positif way ok…, I don’t like free sex, don’t like alcohol or drugs… that is the bad western lifestyle…, we just take the good example…, there character…how they treat each other… I wont call myself indonesian because of the mindset indonesians are used too…, budaya timur mindset…, that is the most sensitif way to live…, there is no freedoom in that way of live… long live the sultan and may jesus bless indonesia and her people to find true happyness and peace amongst each other!

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