The Student Magazine of Jakarta Intercultural School

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Bringing It Home

What I Think: Our graduates are ambassadors of Indonesia. Here’s how to be purposeful ones.
Bringing+It+Home
Devyani C.

For the Class of 2024, these next few months will shoulder an abundance of change. A number of us plan to study outside of Indonesia, the place where we have lived for at least a year of our lives—and with that, comes saying goodbye to the little things that have made this country feel like a home. The comforting distance of an Indomaret from our homes,
the taste of Indomie after a long day of school, the smiles of the warung vendor from across the street: these experiences are what make Indonesia Indonesia, and may become the
parts that feel most challenging to leave behind.

However, even though we may be leaving Indonesia, we owe it to ourselves to become conscious ambassadors of the archipelago—so long as we maintain the values that it holds so dear.

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, or unity in diversity, is the tenet we practiced every day at school. When we hear the word “diversity,” we may think of differences in physical appearance, race, class, or nationality. After all, learning about somebody’s background allows us to better understand the reason behind their actions, which cultivates an environment of empathy, compassion, and tolerance.

However, it is important for us to expand our perception of this word to also address more fluid factors, such as work ethic, job experience, and interests. Exposing ourselves to these differences in behavior allows us to grow in the way we study and work, whether it be through discovering a new study method or uncovering practical tips for writing a resume.

For instance, say you may meet a friend who prefers studying within twenty-minute intervals, while you generally focus for hours on the clock. Experimenting with their study method may teach you new ways to go about your work; or, it could leave you confident that your strategy is the best for you. Either way, putting yourself “out there” in your classes can allow us to grow, and learning from each other will only make us more knowledgeable.

Once this understanding of diversity has been instilled, it is also important for us to adopt the five primary values that Indonesia holds, as encapsulated in Pancasila. Religion, democracy, unity, civil behavior, and social justice: these five values govern the way we should live our lives, all while making room for our own unique differences.

Respect the values of your friends, all while staying true to your own; appreciate the invitation to join in prayer, but do not feel pressured to comply. Embrace a meal during Thanksgiving, even if you’re not American; don’t refuse a Christmas gift because you’re Muslim—instead, go ahead and buy one in return. Living our lives by this standard allows us to thrive with a sense of purpose, all while respecting the way others wish to lead theirs.

Through understanding and living out these key values, it may then feel only natural for a culture of gotong royong to ensue. Directly translating to “mutual help,” this saying encapsulates the understanding that we have a duty to help one another—not out of necessity, but out of the privilege of being part of the same community. It demonstrates the importance of forming relationships with the people around us, with an added priority on helping those we may only meet once or twice a week.

Gotong royong means helping a classmate revise their midterm paper, or watching a pet during a roommate’s job interview. It means carrying groceries for an elderly neighbor, or sharing a meal with a mutual friend going through a tough time. These exchanges serve to honor the community you share, and make an impact in bringing it closer together. Not only do you create a chance for others to feel like they belong, but in return, you help yourself feel like you belong.

Whether or not you consider Indonesia your home, it is the place where you have spent a slice of your high school life. And for that, it deserves a place in your heart—whether it has a tainted memory or one filled with warmth. Please remember the roars of IASAS events; the discordant symphony of Friday night traffic; the irksome yet bearable heat that filled the huts.

Whatever your memories may be, I hope that you will adopt the values that this country cherishes so dearly, and bring them with you wherever your journey takes you next.

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About the Contributors
Cahaya R., Editor-in-chief
Cahaya grew up an avid lover of books, constantly scolded by her teachers for secretly reading during class. Today, she is the editor-in-chief of Feedback, and finalizes the publishing of issues that she hopes will entertain, engage, and inspire readers with the same childlike joy felt by her younger self.
Devyani C., Art Director
Ever since her mother taught her and her brother how to draw, Devyani has continuously practiced and tried different mediums and techniques to excel in both creativity and skill. Finding a new passion in digital art, Devyani still seeks to find new ways of ideation and techniques in order to have effective graphic communication for both Feedback and her future works.