Cultural, ethnic, religious, and racial differences along with tolerant attitudes in Indonesia have been proven to unify people, Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated in his speech at the launch of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC).
"Indonesia is a country where cultural differences have been tested and proven to unite (its people). Through tolerance and moderation, we succeed in developing a very rich culture that reflects cultural and religious enlightenment," Kalla noted during the gala dinner of the ACC Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on Tuesday evening (15 January).
As a country, with more than 300 ethnic groups, 748 languages, and six official religions, Indonesia is able to maintain the people`s unity by prioritizing tolerance. According to Kalla, Indonesia recognizes cultural differences while emphasizing the importance of unity as a reflection of the nation`s motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika," which means unity in diversity.
Such principle is expected to be implemented by people living in the Asia region that has a diverse culture and national character. The launch of ACC is also expected to maintain and intensify cooperation and unity among countries in the region in future.
"The launch of ACC, of course, (shows) that we also care to discuss issues of culture and religion, so it will strengthen relations between Asian countries," Kalla noted.
Through a cultural approach, he said, Asia will witness increased development, especially in terms of peacekeeping.
"The focus is on how culture ties us, so that there is an improvement in peace, rebuilding the Asian region as it is making progress," Kalla remarked. ( ant )