Nyepi Celebration Will Strengthen Unity and Diversity: Religious Affairs Minister


MARCH 28, 2017

Jakarta. The celebration of Nyepi, mainly centered on Bali, is expected to strengthen unity and diversity in Indonesia, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said.

Speaking at a religious ceremony dubbed Tawur Agung Kesanga in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Monday (27/03), Lukman said Hindu people are known to have reacted peacefully to recent conditions in Indonesia.

This, according to Lukman, may strengthen their tolerance for diversity.

The government has undertaken various efforts to promote tolerance and peace among different religious groups in the country.

"I think tolerance is part of all religious people. This year's theme is about how we can encourage greater tolerance, so Indonesia will remain a strong nation without being disgraced by selfish and egotistical behavior. Nevertheless, Indonesia is a diverse country. Therefore, we should all be aware of the need to appreciate and respect other people's differences to maintain our unity as a nation," Lukman said on Monday.

Lukman also expressed hope that the theme of the Nyepi celebration this year would not only serve as a philosophical guideline, but also lead to concrete action to ensure religious tolerance and harmony.

Tawur Agung Kesanga is one of the four main rituals that form part of the Nyepi celebration. The others are Melasti, Catur Brata Penyepian and Ngembak Geni.

The ritual is meant to neutralize negative energy from greed – to ensure prosperity, comfort and security for all people.

The ritual involves devotees, led by a priest and accompanied by a traditional Balinese gamelan, making offerings to the gods.

Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about Nyepi celebration in Indonesian regions.