President Jokowi Talks About Plurality in East Java Islamic Boarding School
Date 12 Agustus 2017
Indonesia is a big country with the largest Muslim population in the world and is also a diverse nation; thus, it is important to maintain unity in diversity within the Unitary State of Indonesia.
The statement was made by President Joko Jokowi Widodo in his visit to Nurul Islam Islamic Boarding School, in Antirogo, Jember, East Java, on Saturday (12/8).
Many people, particularly the foreigners, do not know about it (the fact Indonesia is a big country with the largest Muslim population in the world and that it is also a diverse nation), so every time I visit a country, I always mention it, the President added.
With a population totaling around 250 million individuals, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. Indonesia also has 17,000 islands stretching from Sabang to Merauke, from Miangas to Rote. There is no other country which has this much of islands. Not only islands, Indonesia also has 516 regencies and cities, 34 provinces, 714 ethnicities, and 1,100 different local languages, the President said.
The language commonly spoken in East Java is different from that spoken in East Java. In East Java alone, the languages in western and eastern parts are also different. It is all different from Sabang to Merauke. There are also several different versions for word hallo in North Sumatra, President Jokowi added.
This is Indonesia, and we have to guard it because we are all different and diverse. We are plural, we have different religions, ethnicities, and live in different islands. If we are not united and live in harmony, it will be dangerous for us, the President said.
The President added that he would remind the people about this fact wherever he is. According to the President, Indonesia is a big country, thus we must be united, and live in harmony, because we are brothers and sisters, the President said.
For that reason, the President added, it is really important to strengthen brotherhood among fellow Indonesians (ukhuwah Islamiyyah), brotherhood among fellow countrymen (ukhuwah wathoniyah), and brotherhood among human being (ukhuwah basyariyah).
If we do not remind people about it, we will forget that we are a great country, President Jokowi concluded.
Upon his arrival, the President was enthusiastically welcomed by the students.
Also attending the working visit were Minister of Education and Culture Muhadjir Effendy, Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, and East Java Governor Soekarwo.