The Jakarta Post
A number of students — with paint-stained clothes, hands and feet — were busy decorating the walls of Santo Albertus Catholic senior high school in Dempo, Malang.
The students were taking part in a mural competition on Aug. 1.
The main theme for the competition was “Diversity in Indonesia” and was part of a simultaneous celebration of the school’s 81st anniversary and Indonesia’s 72nd Independence Day, which falls on Aug. 17.
Nur Kristian from the Intra School Students Organization (OSIS) said that to mark both events, the school students were assigned to paint murals on their school’s walls measuring 3 meters wide and 2 meters high each. The mural painting exercise aimed to promote mutual assistance and creativity.
Winning the contest was a second priority for the students. What was most important to them was the feeling of togetherness, cohesion and mutual assistance.
“The students will also share their mural works on social media so they can show the beauty of ‘Diversity in Indonesia’ to their peers,” Nur said.
There were 33 murals in total, accentuating different cultures, religions and the importance of tolerance. The students worked on them from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The school, which was established in 1936, has also embraced diversity by accepting students with different religious beliefs other than Catholicism. This policy has managed to embed a sense of tolerance and appreciation of diversity among students.
Adinda Sukma, a second-year Muslim student for example, said that by being a minority, she learned how to carry herself as part of the majority when she was not in school.
“To enhance the sense of pluralism and tolerance among students, our school has organized this mural contest. We have worked together through self-help to buy wall paint and brushes,” she said.
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