The Need for a Comprehensive Approach: Integrating Multiculturalism and National Identity in Indonesian Education
The recent awareness of multicultural reality, diversity, and national pluralism, including ethnicity, religion, culture, economic status, and politics, requires sensitivity. Multicultural education is considered an appropriate way to instill the ability of society to live in diversity. The core of multiculturalism is the willingness to accept other groups equally as a unit without considering cultural, ethnic, gender, language, or religious differences. Multiculturalism refers to cultural plurality and a certain way of responding to pluralism. Therefore, multiculturalism is not a pragmatic political doctrine but a way of life. The character of a nation is a characteristic and attitude of a nation reflected in the behavior and personality of its citizens. The nation's character can be influenced by something given and also willed for the progress of the nation and the country. Therefore, the national character depends heavily on the political will of the government or ruler of a country built in accordance with the vision of a country. There are three main pillars of the Indonesian national identity that must not be eroded in any way, namely, Indonesia as a nationality, a proclaimed state, and a territory bound by the slogan "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika". The shared goal of realizing democracy requires an appreciation of cultural diversity and a synergistic approach to managing diversity. If managed properly, conflicts that often afflict Indonesia and its people can be minimized through the ability to manage existing diversity.