Skip to main content

SUSI on Religious Pluralism (RPA) 2011

In the last five weeks, I joined a group of 19 students from across Indonesia in a program sponsored by US Department of State, Study of United States Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Religious Pluralism 2011. This program took place mainly at Temple University, Philadelphia. It was organized by Dialogue Institute of Temple University (DI) and also International Centre for Contemporary Education (ICCE).

In this post, I will only just state what this program is all about. My whole experience there will be divided into some posts as it is so valuable to be included in one post.

About the Program
As the title goes ‘SUSI for Student Leaders on Religious Pluralism’, this program selects 20 young Indonesian student leaders. I met 19 other extraordinary students from all across Indonesia. They are the brightest students I ever met. In this program, we studied Religious Pluralism in US. We learned about the position and the role of religion in a-proclaimed-as secular country. We learned about how each religion interacts to each other whether in peace or in conflict. We learned how to resolve conflict with dialogue. We learned that dialogue is not a debate. We learned so many things and none of this leads to syncretism.

During the five week experience, we were introduced to various houses of worship from many religions. For most of us, it was a very first experience entering church, synagogue or temple. The reason of this activity is nonetheless to introduce to us about the tradition within each religion. There is no other agenda except to let others know about the tradition within the ‘other’s religion. By doing this, I especially know more about the others and it minimizes the lack of knowledge about the others that stem from ignorance to them.

And who says that this program offers you only seriousness and tense thoughts all day long? I really had fun during my five weeks. The class was so much fun. We were taught with teaching methods I never experienced before. It really was a two way teaching that included both teachers and students.

We also had fun when we had ‘holiday’ at the end of the program to either Disney Magic Kingdom or Islands of Adventure, Universal Studio, Orlando, Florida. I preferred to go to the Islands of Adventure where I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

(Yuyu, Fitri, Ratna, Febe, Zeva, Shuresj, Dr. Racell, Jessica, Ilham, Ridwan, Gufron, Rizqi, Asep, Fajrin, Ms. Eugene, Ms. Nina, Hayati, Awa, Elaine, Hamli, Iman, Gugun, Safrin)
But the true fun was when I could gather with friends from various area in Indonesia also with my friendly professors, American friends, and my American host family.


Popular posts from this blog

The Two Most Influential Postmodernist Thinkers

This second post about postmodernism will consist of two greatest postmodernist thinkers and their contribution to postmodernism.
1. Jean Fran├žois Lyotard.
Lyotard is a French philosopher. He opened the discussion for postmodernism in social theory with his groundbreaking publication ‘La Condition Postmoderne’ (The Condition Postmodern). His works stress the decline of meta-narratives or grand-narratives, as some scholars refer it. Meta-Narratives as defined in the previous post are sets of ideas governing what is right and wrong. For example, religion defines how to live a good life. By doing so, people who do not appeal to the characteristics of good man as defined by religion will be considered unfaithful, as bad people. Lyotard argues that this way of legitimating declines in a postmodern society. What is considered good can no longer be clearly separated from what is considered bad.

The decline of meta-narratives was triggered by communication development. Traditional communicatio…

Movie Review | Stream of Tears in Wedding Dress

Last Saturday, I got a runny nose -kind of severe, as I recalled- not because of sick, but because I watched a Korean movie entitled WeddingDress.
I have frequently watched Korean movies. In my opinion, they are much better than Indonesian movies. Not that I dislike my country (I just dislike Indonesia’s movies), but yeah, Korean movies have a wide range of preference. You can watch cheesy-funny-romantic movie that make you feel happy and smile all the time. Or try to watch a horror-romanticmovie that makes you laugh and scared. You can also find cool action movie! Some movies even make me cry a lot. I really mean it when I say some Korean movies really make me cry so badly. Wedding Dress is one that makes me cry. I am a boy and I cry. So what? I don’t buy the ubiquitous saying ‘Boys don’t cry’.

Wedding Dress narrates the life of a single mother, Go-eun, played by Song Yun Ah. Her husband dies already, leaving her only with her young daughter, So-ra, nicely played by Kim Hyang-gi. …

People Behind Pendekar Tongkat Emas Could Have Fought Better

There was a time when martial arts movies or television series were very popular in Indonesia.

At such time, I really loved watching Saur Sepuh movies on local television. I also really enjoyed watching popular TV series such as Si Buta dari Goa Hantu, Wiro Sableng or Misteri dari Gunung Merapi.

Therefore, I was very excited when I heard that Mira Lesmana and Riri Reza would produce an Indonesian martial art movie called Pendekar Tongkat Emas (The Golden Cane Warrior). “About time,” I said to myself."Can't wait to see it!"

Since its resurrection in 2000, Indonesian film industries have never paid much attention to martial arts movie. They have mostly produced crappy horror movies, or romantic comedy, which frankly deserved no place on the big screen. Thus, I thought that PTE could rekindle my lost joy of watching martial arts movie.

I became more excited when I learned that Ifa Isfansyah, the man behind an acclaimed movie,Sang Penari, would direct PTE. My expectations f…