top of page

In Different Echoes

As I glance at my hand, rich with melanin, my friend's hand appears pale white. Passing an elderly woman, I murmur "Punten," while in a different corner of my land, they express kindness with "Nyuwun Sewu." Diverse paths converge in a shared moment of reverence— hands ascends, opened in supplication or clasped in prayers. "Bhineka Tunggal Ika" isn't just a motto; it's a poignant reminder of what it means to be Indonesian; that amidst these differences we belong in this land. We’re blessed with such colors , textures, and tones which blend seamlessly into the sky we call our own. Our tongues dances to different melodies that echoes songs of different tales. But there will always be those hesitations, in the pauses between diverse perspectives, there will always be the sotto voce discordance that hums beneath. Yes we’re blessed, but our threads of diversity has always been a little bit of a delicate waltz, teetering on the edge of fragility.

Let me correct myself— no, It's not our differences that sow chaos; wars only exist in the minds of men. We speak of skin hues and sacred scripts, comparing histories like a contest of tales. Yet, within this diversity lies a blessed tapestry that binds us together, if only we glimpse its threads. In this place I call home, sunlight dances on ancient temples and the echoes of prayers intertwine with the rustles of palm leaves. The spice-scented air bore witness to a syncretic dialogue that transcends this rigid borders of differences as our sky painted with the hues of myriad beliefs and languages that have danced together through centuries.

Through the aromatic spices of Padang cuisine and the delicate artistry of batik, we see the manifestation of a cultural mosaic, it should be our delicate reminder that this uniqueness shouldn't breed discord but harmonizes in the rhythm of acceptance. In the shadow of historical temples and the echoes of call to prayer, our shared history is etched into the very soul of the land. An acknowledgment of understanding— no, of humanity is woven into the laughter of children playing, irrespective of the dialects that color their words. In our quest for divine truth, we sprint through the chapters of holy books, forgetting that each verse, in essence, cradles the pursuit of peace and love.

In the diverse landscape where I tread, mountains and soil resonate with varied prayers, uniting in a shared desire for peace. Amidst our differences, the enchanting Adhan melody graces the city, and Christian friends open their churches for Eid Prayers, during the day marking the end of Ramadan. Last June, the luminous Vesak Day marked by Hindus illuminated the sky with lantern-like stars. It’s amazing that we search for answers in pursuit of peace, yet my land, Indonesia, graciously bestows it upon us. From the tranquil rice terraces in Bali to the bustling streets of Jakarta, a profound sense of serenity permeates the diverse landscapes. In Indonesia, diversity isn't just coexistence; it's a celebration of shared spaces, festivals, and a collective respect that forms the very fabric of the nation. In the dance of dialogue, we've woven bridges, unraveling threads of understanding previously unseen. Imperfect, we stumble, a fraction may veer into hatred or division, yet in our collective effort, we strive.

Hues diverge like poetry, a spectrum of colors woven into the fabric of existence. Yet, why this fear of distinctions, as if diversity were a tempest rather than a gentle breeze? We dance on the precipice of faith, oblivious to the unity that threads through the fabric of belief. Underneath different skies, we breathe the same air, exhaling whispers of our shared humanity. Why then do we measure the worth of our souls in the prism of color and creed? Let not fear be the brush that blurs our lines, the lines that connect us all. In this place I call home; a nation of 18,000 islands, 1,300 ethnic group, and 700 living language, I will never stop saying this; from Sabang to Merauke, we’ll always be one.


In the archipelago of voices, an intricate sonnet unfolds,

Mountains bear witness, the silent confessors of stories untold.

Temples rise like dreams, ornate and fleeting,

A dance of shadows where diverse echoes are meeting.

Through rice terraces and coral reefs,

Indonesia's spirit, resilient beliefs.

In every dialect, a sacred vow,

A nation's strength, here and now.

Christian spires puncture the sky, sharp and poignant,

A hymn of love, a melody both fierce and resonant.

Mosques stand tall, sturdy verses etched in stone,

Each call to prayer, a testament, a plea, a drone.

Buddha's gaze, a still point in the chaotic stream,

Confucian threads, woven whispers in the moonbeam.

Cultural nuances echo in the jasmine-scented air,

In this narrative of resilience, tales declare.

Yet, in this nuanced tale, twilight's embrace in hue,

Diversity blooms, an ever-shifting view.

In the heartbeat of islands, each sacred pew,

A kaleidoscope of voices, an eternal ado

Temples, dreams sculpted in stone,

Whispers of a past, in the present, still known.

In the dance of shadows where echoes converge,

The archipelago's heartbeat, an eternal surge.

In Jakarta's hustle, a city's heartbeat,

Lombok's serenade, where mountains meet.

Timor's rhythm, a cultural feat

, Celebes' chorus, traditions fleet.

From Moluccas' spices to Kalimantan's roar,

Sumba's woven stories on folklore's floor.

In diversity's bounty, we explore,

Indonesia's symphony, forevermore.


bottom of page