Along with the rapid progress of the times, people must be more critical to balance the flow of globalization.
Not only the progress of science and technology continues to move, but socio-cultural problems also continue to develop following the changing times, especially in the era of the millennial generation. Responding to cultural issues that arise in society, the Indonesian Literature Study Program, Faculty of Cultural Studies (FIB), Diponegoro University (Undip) held a Public Lecture on Language, Literature, and Culture with the theme “Multiculturalism in Indonesia in the Contemporary Era”, inviting three speakers who are experts humanities from various universities in Indonesia.

Officially opening this event, the Dean of FIB UNDIP, Dr. Nurhayati, M. Hum. said that the topics raised in this public lecture were interesting topics, especially for academics. “This theme is very relevant to the current situation, our task as social humanities academics is to solve social problems in multicultural Indonesia. Hopefully, this public lecture can answer these problems and add new insights for all of us,” said Dr. Nurhayati.

The first speaker, Prof. Dr. Munirah, M.Pd. from the University of Muhammadiyah Makassar, discussed “The Role of Multiculturalism in Indonesian Education in the Contemporary Era”. According to him, cultural diversity needs to be introduced to the millennial generation to form awareness of multiculturalism, one of which is through education. The society’s culture that continues to move and change can be used as an object of study. The existence of an education reform movement, for example through learning texts that introduce the characteristics of various ethnic groups and races in Indonesia. “The understanding of multiculturalism fosters tolerance beneficial when individuals are involved in social interactions. I really support the student exchange program held by the government, because from that program students can learn about Diversity (Kebhinekaan),” said Prof. Munirah.

Then the second speaker, Prof. Dr. Benny Ridwan, M. Hum. from IAIN Salatiga explained “Multiculturalism in Indonesia in the Contemporary Era”. Prof. Benny said that multiculturalism is a culture in which we must form a positive image, where in the process it is not enough just to live side by side, but to know and respect each other’s differences. Multiculturalism includes universal human values so that Indonesia with a pluralistic society should not be separated because of the classification of social class, ethnicity, religion, race, and class. “There are two challenges, namely globalism and fundamentalism. The importance of unity must be instilled, one of which is mutual respect (others),” said Prof. Benny.

While the third speaker, Prof. Dr. Muhadjirin Tohir, M.A. from Diponegoro University delivered material on “Multiculturalism in Indonesian Construction”. Multiculturalism in Indonesia shows the diversity in diversity as the way of life-based on Pancasila as the moral order. In anthropological construction, humans can live decently if their needs are met, including basic needs, social needs, and civility needs.

Multiculturalism will be difficult to form in a society that is still poor and even difficult to fulfill its basic needs. Culture can be used as a reference source of truth, constitutively through fairy tales, mythology, and religion; cognitive through local knowledge and scientific knowledge; evaluatively in the form of a “lucky” tradition; and expressive through ethical and aesthetic values. “What is different from our belief does not mean that it is wrong, for example, rain handlers can be categorized as local wisdom,” concluded Muhadjirin.

At the end of the event, the Head of the Indonesian Literature Study Program, Dr. Sukarjo Waluyo, M. Hum. as the moderator concluded that culture has both tangible and intangible aspects, so that understanding multiculturalism is a continuous process that continues to move following changing eras. (Titis – Public Relations)