Indonesian Beliefs and Values – (#6 is Important)

The are many aspects that build the foundation of the Indonesian beliefs and values. Most of them are affected by traditional culture passed down from generation to generation. However, most of all, they are affected by the state ideology of Pancasila. Below are the explanation of beliefs and values in the every day lives of Indonesians.

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1. Pluralism and Inclusiveness

Indonesia consists diverse religions, cultures and ethnicity from all kinds of regions. Pluralism is the concept of accepting this diversity. People understand that diversity exist and so they try to maintain equality with one another. Indonesia highly upholds the national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. It means unity in diversity.

Everyone has the right to receive the same treatments and to feel included within the community. The people believe its important to abolish discrimination because people are allowed to have different views. With those different views, they also earn the right to be respected.

See also: History of Jakarta

2. Freedom of Beliefs

There are six officiated religion in Indonesia including Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. People are free to express their beliefs in a way that they do not harm any other people. Religions are important in the working of the societies in Indonesia. They influence values, traditions and cultures.

See also: Misunderstand of Culture in Indonesia

The freedom of beliefs itself is a value that people uphold. The suppression of any belief is considered to be unfair and cruel. People are encouraged to practice their religions without facing any discriminations. However, atheism is still forbidden and strongly frowned upon in society.

3. Being Respectful to Live in Harmony

Indonesians highly believe that respect is an important value to maintain harmony and peace. Due to the different tribes and beliefs that exist in Indonesia, people may have different opinions on certain things. However, the differences do not tear them apart because Indonesians understand that being respectful to one another is necessary.

They put aside those differences and respect other people’s beliefs. Hence, conflict is seen as unnecessary and people try to avoid it. They do not want to cause a scene or trouble that might disturb the community. Once, even there are big differences in order to keep their own religions, Indonesians still try to being democracy first to solve the problems together.

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4. Communal Work

Communal means gotong royong in Bahasa Indonesia. Throughout the generations, this concept is proudly carried out on certain events. It is one of the values that Indonesian believe is important to always remain within society. It works when a group of people are working together to reach a certain goal. Other than that, it can also serve the purpose of helping one another.

Communal work does not ask for anything in return. It strengthens the feeling of community amongst the people. Those who may not really know their neighbors well can begin to introduce themselves. The communal work reminds everyone that people needs other people. They cannot always live only by themselves.

See also: Traditional Indonesian Games

5. Discussion and Consensus

In Indonesia, discussion and consensus are called musyawarah and mufakat. This is a value that people still uphold in different social environments such as school or family. The purpose is to come up with a solution for a specific problem by discussing. Once the people speak out their minds, they can reach a conclusion.

The decision depends on what is best for the situation at hand. Therefore, people usually avoid selfishness because they understand it is for the common good. Since a lot of people are involved, this discussion and consensus is a good way to see a problem from different perspectives too.

See also: Why is Indonesia Important

The common important rules of the discussion and consensus are:

  • The decision is based on what the people agree on.
  • Suggestions and advice are delivered in a way where people can easily understand them.
  • The result of the discussion must be accepted by everyone.
  • During the process of discussion, everybody understands that morality is an important factor when coming up with a solution.

6. Loyalty to Parents

Family is an important aspect in Indonesia. The people believe that one should understand how to respect parents from an early age. A reason for this is because parents provide everything that a child needs even when they are not yet born.

It is common when a grown adult still lives with his or her parents. Even though they can provide for themselves, they still have the duty of taking care for the parents.

The adult can also contribute to the welfare of the whole family. Loyalty to parents is a value that Indonesians take seriously.

See also: Indonesian Mythology

For example, there is a folklore entitled Malin Kundang that Indonesians know so well. It tells the story of a young man who disowns his mother when he achieved greatness and material wealth. The mother cursed him and turned him to stone. Clearly it shows that anybody who disrespects their parents and dismiss their love will face a misfortune.

See also: Festivals in Indonesia

7. Respecting Elders

Indonesians believe in the concept of respecting the elders. The elders are seen as wiser and experienced. Thus, the young ones must not display arrogance. Younger people are encouraged to show their respect for the elders in an open manner. This could be in the form of using polite languages when speaking directly with them.

See also: Indonesian Lifestyle

Another way is to mind body language. The young one must avoid rude gestures and show good manner to the older person.This particular attitude shows the value of humbleness. Humbling oneself in the presence of an older person is a morally right thing to do.


8. Civilized Humanity

In Indonesia, people believe that nobody should be physically or spiritually restrained against their will. In addition, Indonesian also upholds the value whereby the people earn the right to be protected from unjust treatments. Nobody is allowed to be the subject of oppression. The people have the right to be treated fairly and accordingly.

9. Social Justice for Everyone

The people have equal chances to pursue their dreams and happiness while living within their communities. Furthermore, the people can also use natural resources of the nation to improve their livelihoods. Every work and every effort has the purpose of improving the quality of the citizens. In result, people can attain prosperity.

10. Surrender to Almighty God

This belief called Sumarah in Javanese cultures. Sumarah’s attitude implies a total submissive attitude to God. Inner attitude will only manifest in people who have faith about the existence of the almighty God who give us life. As well as believe that the God has created the world in its own way.

See also: Daily Phrases in Indonesia

All these beliefs and values are important to Indonesians because they serve as life guidance for the people living in Indonesia. They will always be present within the community.

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