Senin 23 Oct 2023 12:22 WIB

Embracing Indonesian Unique Diversity in Parigi

Students from different areas in Indonesia can get free tuition at SMK Bakti Karya.

Rep: Bayu Adji P/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
Chairman of Darma Bakti Karya Foundation, Ai Nurhidayat, communicates with the multicultural class students at Bakti Karya Junior High School, Cintakarya Village, Parigi District, Pangandaran Regency, West Java.
Foto: Dok Ai Nurhidayat.
Chairman of Darma Bakti Karya Foundation, Ai Nurhidayat, communicates with the multicultural class students at Bakti Karya Junior High School, Cintakarya Village, Parigi District, Pangandaran Regency, West Java.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, PANGANDARAN — The sun was quite hot in Parigi District, Pangandaran Regency, West Java, on Wednesday (11/10/2023). The dry season, which is accompanied by the El Nino weather phenomenon, makes those afternoons feel hotter than usual.

Even so, a number of students of Bakti Karya Vocational High School (SMK) still see the spirit of activity in the backyard of the school, after class. Hilmi Nurul Latipah is one of them. Deftly he used a saw to cut wood. “This is for standing of the chair,” the 15-year-old student told Republika.

The chair was prepared as a decoration for a miniature of the traditional house of West Java, parahu kumureb. Parahu kumureb became one of five indigenous houses featured at the 2023 28 Languages Festival. The festival is an annual activity of SMK Bakti Karya, which this year was held on Saturday (21/10/2023).

Hilmi enthusiastically welcomes the Festival of 28 Languages. This year is the first opportunity for students of class 2023 or Keumalahayati SMK Bakti Karya to participate in the festival directly. He earnestly prepared everything so that the festival could go on merrily.

In the 2023 28 Languages Festival, Hilmi and her bandmates also performed a creative dance. While for individual performances, the schoolgirl from Cikubang Village, Cintakarya Village, Parigi District, recited a poem titled “Basa Indung Nyorang Jaga”.

For 15-year-old Alfredo Yance Sama, known as Edo, this year's Festival of 28 Languages is his second time participating. He remains enthusiastic. Together with a number of her colleagues, students from Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Mountains, she prepared to perform wisisi dance. “It's from Papua. Almost every city in Papua knows the dance,” said the student of class 2022 or Ki Hadjar Dewantara SMK Bakti Karya.

For Edo, performing wisisi dance was a challenge. Because, at previous festivals, students from Papua at their school usually performed yospan dance. “I want something different than before,” he said.

At the 2023 28 Languages Festival, other Papuan cultures are also displayed, such as honai custom homes. The students of Papuan origin at SMK Bakti Karya also serve food in the traditional way of burning stones.

The surge of diversity

SMK Bakti Karya is located at Jalan Cikubang, Cintakarya Village, Parigi District, Pangandaran Regency. Students of SMK Bakti Karya are not only from Pangandaran Regency, but from various regions in Indonesia. Today there are at least 70 students in SMK who have majors in multimedia, broadcasting, and film.

Hilmi Nurul Latipah, who just graduated from junior high school in mid-2023, had not previously thought of continuing her schooling at Bakti Karya Junior High School. Hilmi's house is not far from the SMK. However, he initially wanted to continue his education at another school.

“However, it was fitting that there was a socialization to my junior high school, so I was interested. You see, students here are not just from one island. So, the diversity is there,” said the student who wore the veil.

Hilmi has long been interested in knowing more about diversity in Indonesia, to which many textbooks have delivered. Be it the diversity of tribes, customs, languages, food, and so on. Hilmi's interest in getting into SMK Bakti Karya, which has a multicultural classroom program, received support from parents, especially her older brother is also an alumnus of the school.

Only about four months of sitting on the SMK bench, Hilmi admits that she has learned a lot about differences. At school he became acquainted with students of different skin color, language, manner of speaking, logat, and habits. Hilmi learned how to appreciate that difference, tolerance, also "gotong royong" an Indonesian term for collective effort.

“I was surprised, especially at the Easterners. People are usually speaking softly here, but the Easterners have a rather harser tone. However, when you get to know them, it's just normal. I also really enjoyed it. I realize what Indonesia truly like,” said the student who aspires to be a psychologist.

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