People & Culture

Be Yours, Respect Mine and Let Celebrate Differences:A perspective on Pluralism

pluralismPluralism has translated as diversity views of culture, religion, ideology and politics. It is a social process of society in which every person or every group of people should respect and tolerant to other. Although, pluralism has been interpreted in various disciplines but mostly pluralism strongly connected to religions and cultures as identities of a community group, as through these identities, they define themselves, express themselves to be recognized in society. Further, they will maintain their identity as social and cultural capital in their access to other capital resources, including state power. However, pluralism is not only about respect and tolerant to other, it is also about recognizing the existence of other within their differences, and at the upper level of respect, tolerant, pluralism is celebrating the diversity as social reality, and it is now become phenomenal global ideology of globalization.

Since globalization starts, marking by the innovation of communication and transportation technology, massive number of information from one part of the world can be easily exposed and accessed from other part of the world. On the other hand, migration of people from one country to other increase massively and unstoppable. Huge number of people migrations to different places on earth in searching for better life has affected changing on demographical composition of society, as well as reshaping cultural and religious composition in a society. Consequently, a society or a country, which is laid on the domination of monoculture or monotheistic view, then facing challenging whether to stand and defend their domination or turn into multicultural, and multi-faith society. Movement of people will also bring with them their culture and religion to other part of the world, while easier accessible to vast number of information have also brought new ideology, perspectives that potential in reshaping perspectives and mindset of society. As the result, contestation among social group is an undeniable fact. For some reason, it could be seen as social process in society at one side, but on the other side it could be seen as value conflict in society.

More effort will be done by the sub-ordinate group in defending their religion and culture as parts of their identity by creating resistance toward dominant group. Resistance of sub-ordinate groups of culture, and religion could be seen through social movements and even could be acted out in frontal conflicts. It could be even worse when the dominant group could not recognize, respects the existence of those sub-ordinate groups, or when dominant group is being utilised by state power as political driven. In Papuan context, the Incident of Tolikara in July 2015 is a clear example of resistance movement against domination of Muslim and the state intervention through dominant group (Islam). Although in hegemonic perspective of Gramsci, the resistances appear could reach equilibrium compromise, it is obviously a long process in which the ideas of cultural pluralism, religious pluralism and so forth can be well understood by civil society as whole. Within this context, education (both formal and informal) hold crucial role in process of socialisation, and process of developing awareness of social reality. Education curriculum such as civic education must be approach from multicultural perspective to prepare society to live and participate in pluralistic society. Let say in Religious Education, it is an obligation to every Muslim students to learn Islamic Religious Education, but they also need to learn other religions, at least at basic ideas of other religions. By learning from and learning about other culture, religion and even ideology, will enable individual to understand the differences and similarity of other. When they know other religions and cultures, they could accept differences and even they could celebrate the differences in community as a part of democracy in society, and as a social reality that of must be respect.