Frans Seda Seminar 2016: Day 2

The day starts with a fun activity. Karen splits us in to two groups, Indonesia and Netherlands.  Each group then draws a picture that represent what other people think about Indonesia or Netherlands. We discuss the pictures. It is interesting to learn how we made assumption about our identity. Sometimes, we can over-criticize our self or become too defensive and tend to put a good image about our self.

After coffee break, the participants shared some of their personal photographs that reflect their identity. Some pictures are glued to the wall, photo of a sandwich, family, camera, etc. One by one, the person who owned the photo told a story on why the picture reflects her/his identity, for example, the sandwich for Joris is part of his identity as a Dutch that usually eats sandwich for lunch, the camera and a picture of war veteran for Marjolein is part of her identity as a photographer and historian, or Garuda Pancasila picture–symbol of Indonesia –also part of Eric identity.

The Indonesian novel writer, Ayu Utami, then gave a presentation about identity. In her opinion, identity is a mental border, but not a mental block. The way we perceive identity is defined by context and history.  She believes that identity has a border. The identity itself is a border, but it is also porous. We need to have a faith to open that border. Common or global values such as human rights, women rights, and social justice can be good reasons to challenge or open our border. Sometime, our identity facing conflict of interest with all those common values.

We also try to establish initiatives/social activity that the Frans Seda Seminar alumni can run after the seminar is over. Karen ask all participants to give any kind of ideas relate to social justice activity. Then, Karen gives each participant six stickers that we can put on the idea we love. Five ideas that get most of the stickers were chosen: intercultural entrepreneurship, social justice heroes, online best practices information, Interreligious education, and happiness index.  Later on, we discussed in the group how to make the idea work and real. Each group present the idea, followed by discussion.