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Jakarta Post

Becoming Indonesian: Ending the never-ending polemic

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Sat, December 21, 2019   /  12:04 pm
Becoming Indonesian: Ending the never-ending polemic Recently, popular singer Agnes Monica was criticized because a statement she made was seen as a rejection of her identity as an Indonesian when she explained that she had German, Japanese and Chinese ancestry. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

When Historia.id and the Education and Culture Ministry organized the Asal Usul Orang Indonesia (Origins of Indonesians) exhibition in October, many were surprised to find we have mixed origins. Thus, no one can claim that he or she is a pure-blood. Recently, popular singer Agnes Monica was criticized because a statement she made was seen as a rejection of her identity as an Indonesian when she explained that she had German, Japanese and Chinese ancestry. The legal construction of our citizenship does not support the concept that being Indonesian is not about blood but is about the land and soil called Ibu Pertiwi. We are always whining about why it is hard to quell radicalism, racism, intolerance and discrimination even though we claim to be one nation. We try things like religion or using Indonesian-sounding names to unify us but always fail to do so. ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.