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The Importance of Culture as the Foundation of the Nation's Character
Tari Aceh Ratoh Jaroe Saman.(SHUTTERSTOCK)
UNPAK - As a tradition, noble values, and local wisdom that are owned and lived together for generations by a certain group of people in a nation, culture can be interpreted as the collective identity or identity of a nation.
Culture has a central and fundamental role and function as the main foundation in the life of the nation and state because a nation will be great if cultural values are rooted (deep-rooted) in the joints of people's lives.
Indonesia as an archipelago is a nation-state that has the richness and diversity of the archipelago's culture which is its own attraction in the eyes of the world.
This should be used as capital to raise the nation's image in the eyes of the world as well as fundamental values that serve to cement unity.
As we know, as a nation-state, Indonesia has noble values that are distinctive and entrenched in society such as mutual cooperation, mutual assistance, friendliness, courtesy, tolerance, and care for others.
These noble values are ultimately used as a reference to form the state ideology, namely Pancasila which is generally built on noble values that have taken root and entrenched in society long before Indonesia became a unitary state.
Since post-reformation until now the culture in Indonesia continues to experience many quite serious challenges, especially the younger generation who have begun to understand much less the local culture. Many of them do not have a special interest in local culture.
Many young people have forgotten that they don't even know the local tales and traditional games.
Not many of them know the glory of the archipelago kingdom in the past such as the greatness of the Srivijaya Kingdom in building its maritime power and the Majapahit Kingdom which succeeded in uniting the archipelago.
Archipelago culture began to fade due to the entry of foreign cultural influences, both from the West and Asia. Technological developments that erase space and time also have a big influence.
There are indications of a crisis of character and identity and integrity among today's young generation.
This is arguably quite alarming because if cultural values are lost and not actualized, our society, especially the younger generation, will lose the ethical foundation and fundamental foundation in the life of the nation and state which potentially will lead to the fragmentation of national unity, and the rise of a culture of corruption. , drugs and terrorism.
Therefore, cultural discourse, especially related to noble values must continue to be voiced to ward off external-negative influences, one of which can be done by preserving, promoting, and developing the cultural values of the archipelago, and internalizing them in society, especially the younger generation.
Efforts are needed from various parties to do this, the government through Law No. 5 of 2017 concerning the Advancement of Culture has shown an effort to advance the diversity of local cultures whose processes are carried out through the protection, development, utilization, and fostering of Indonesia's national culture.
Not only that, the government through the Ministry of Education and Culture will budget an endowment of around 5 trillion from the State Budget for funds for cultural advancement in 2020 and subsequent years.
The role of the king and sultan
Related to the promotion of culture, the role of kings and sultans from all regions of the archipelago in maintaining local culture must also be supported by the government and society.
The kings and sultans and the kraton throughout Indonesia, not only preserving and preserving historical heritage or heritage but also active in building the nation's character by spreading the noble values inherited from the ancestors in their respective territories.
In addition to preserving cultural assets such as ancient manuscripts, heirlooms, historic buildings, and other works of art, these kings and sultans are expected to be able to apply local wisdom values that are adapted to the present context, which means that the palace must be able to organize themselves and adjust the development of the times but still holds the helm of traditional values and culture.
Referring to this, we can emulate the countries of South Korea and Japan, which despite being modern and economically advanced countries, these countries are still able to maintain culture as their identity without worrying about being dominated by foreign cultures.
Therefore, in the current contemporary context, innovation towards cultural promotion needs to be done to affirm the nation's identity in the eyes of the world as a nation state that has diversity and cultural richness.
In addition, building the nation's character can be done by collaborating with noble values that have become a characteristic of the nation's personality, such as friendly and polite, like to work together, merciful, tolerant, and care for others, and like helping with the character of modern society that has hard working, persevering, creative and innovative.
Which must be done
In short, there are three things that must be done by this country to advance the culture and build the nation's character.The first is in terms of capital, in addition to having cultural diversity, Indonesia inherits many ancestral values that can be used as a reference to shape the nation's culture.
The second is collaboration, making culture as the foundation of the nation's character cannot be done by one party alone but by the cooperation of various groups.
The government, academics, educational and research institutions, as well as cultural figures including the kings and the sultans worked together in preserving and advancing the culture of the archipelago and internalizing the noble values of the nation in society, especially the younger generation.
As recently done by the government, namely to hold hearings with hundreds of kings of the archipelago to discuss the advancement of the culture of the archipelago, especially in building the character of the nation so that we have virtuous, hardworking, innovative and creative people.
The last is by building commitment from all parties to implement and adhere to the noble values of the nation to advance this country without having to be carried away by foreign cultural influences that have the potential to erode national cultural values.
In conclusion, efforts, strategies and solid cooperation from various parties are needed in preserving the culture of the archipelago along with noble values that can be referred to in building the nation's character and morals.It is undeniable that culture is one of the central elements for a nation because through culture, identity and identity of a nation can be embodied.
Not only that, cultural preservation and promotion can have many positive impacts on a country because many countries have raised traditions, narratives and other cultural elements to strengthen their economies by developing the tourism industry in this sector.
Indonesia has the potential capital, but all depends on the collaboration and commitment of various parties to manage the preservation, development and promotion of Indonesian culture in a better direction.
Author: Agnes Setyowati
Dean of the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences (FISIB) Pakuan University