In commemorating International Tolerance Day on November 16, 2018, returnees and volunteers in Bandung, Jakarta, Pontianak, and Yogyakarta are organizing TOLERASEAN (Tolerance in ASEAN), an event to discuss and honoring Tolerance in accordance with the ASEAN framework. Together with Duta Muda ASEAN 2017, a youth group affiliated with ASEAN.
With the rise of intolerance in Indonesia, it is important to open room for discussion on interfaith and intercultural topics. The purpose of this project is to help increasing mutual understanding among youth in Indonesia, as part of the ASEAN community. Most cases of misunderstanding and prejudice occurs due to less interaction between people of different religious and cultural backgrounds. An increased mutual understanding among youth has important role in promoting peace and tolerance, because their voices matter in helping to shape an inclusive society. Youth has role in spreading the message of peace and tolerance to their peers, and even to their communities.
In the TOLERASEAN project, youth of different backgrounds are facilitated to discuss about their cultural and religious identities. During the discussions, they are encouraged to discuss openly about the topic, breaking barriers among them. Participants also gained insights from various individuals from ambassador, religious leaders, academicians, as well as practitioners who shared their views and experiences in promoting tolerance. Some participants also visited several houses of worships, and did a Question and Answer session with the religious leaders.
More than 100 youth participated in this project, representing different religious and cultural groups.
Also involved in the project our program alumni and Chapter volunteers, taking part as the event organizers in their cities. This project is their concrete action as active global citizens in promoting intercultural learning, particularly in helping to cultivate tolerance in their communities. We are also thankful for ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) and ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund for supporting this project.
The need of interaction is becoming more compelling in country or region with multicultural context, especially to be promoted among young people. In accordance with the ASEAN community framework, tolerance is one of the means to promote a culture of prevention for a peaceful, inclusive, resilient, healthy, and harmonious society.