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Jakarta Post

Insight: Papua and the need to revisit nationalism

  • Fachry Ali

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 26 2019   /  12:10 am

Recent protests in Papua as detailed in the front page of The Jakarta Post on Aug. 20 and/ 21 should encourage us to revisit the prevailing concept of nationalism. What exactly is its nature? To tell you the truth, the concept is a blur to me. But just as a starting point, the recent Papua protests, triggered by racial abuse against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, reminds me of my father’s decades-old message: “Katuleh phat teumpat Aceh dalam perjuangan kemerdekaan Indonesia. Mangat bandum thee Indonesia kon ji peudong dek saboh kaum mantong.” (Write down Aceh’s place in the Indonesian independence struggle. Let it be public knowledge that Indonesia was not established by one group of people only). My late father was one of the independent fighters in Aceh during the 1945-1949 Indonesian Revolution. Today, it seems to me that his “instruction” reflects an idea of “e...