UNITY IN DIVERSITY
Canada’s 149th Birthday
Referencing to Wikipedia, the definition of Unity in diversity is a concept of “unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation” that shifts focus from unity based on a mere tolerance of physical, cultural, linguistic, social, religious, political, ideological and/or psychological differences towards a more complex unity based on an understanding”.
A unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.
Something within this philosophy is what was stated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the celebration of Canadian Multiculturalism Day, on 27 June 2016 past, at Ottawa, Ontario.
Trudeau stressed the fact that diversity has been a concrete base for the lives of Canadians, and have been the source of strength for the continuance of this country.
“I join Canadians across the country today to celebrate multiculturalism, and our long and proud tradition of inclusion and diversity. As Canadians, we appreciate the immense freedom we have to show pride in our individual identities and ancestries. No matter our religion, where we born, what color our skin, or what language we speak, we are equal members of this great country”.
As a country with the second largest landmass in the world, Canada is now home to 200 languages. The most numbers of arrivals have come from China. This is followed by India, Philippines, Pakistan, America, Britain, Iran, South Korea, Colombia, Sri Lanka, France, Morocco, Romania, Russia, and Algeria.
Canada now is home to 26,000 Syrian refugees. As other countries construct tall walls to prevent them from coming in, a beautiful gesture is shown by Justin Trudeau to welcome their arrival in Toronto by exclaiming, “You are home. Welcome Home”.
Life is surrounded by many different ideas, habits, traditions, beliefs, and understanding, which truly challenges the pores of our mind.
These exposures shape the personality and character of us being human, that will not be easily broken, through acquiring a wealth of perspective based on experience in finding, socializing and touching things that we may or may not yet understand.
If we believe that sugar is sweet, then one day we found sugar that is not sweet, then we may conclude that the substance is not sugar. However, with the experience of life in an environment of diversity, we will understand that sweetness can come not only from sugar.
In Indonesia herself, diversity is a root and not a new concept.
With more than 200 million people on 17000 different islands, the country has 737 different languages amongst 300 ethnic groups. So on traditional customs, clothing, fine arts, and heterogeneous local wisdom, as well as different flavors of food is where, truly, the strength of the nation of Indonesia stands.
There are no identical fingerprints between one person and another.
Not even an individual’s right hand and left hand is identical.
This includes the snowflakes on the whole of the earth.
Never is it identical.
And the language that transcends all boundaries, a language without knowing the alphabet and punctuation, is also a language, which is the language in understanding.
God keep our land glorious and free!
Happy Canada Day!
(Written by Pinky Brotodiningrat Translation M. Akbar Arief)