Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Indonesia Raya

Do we able to memorize the text of Indonesia Raya? Do we know, the story behind the creation of the National Anthem of Indonesia by Wage Rudolf Supratman? How many times in a year we sing it ? Or, try to recall, when was the last time you sang the song solemnly?
Perhaps, to answer these questions, in the ceremony of the 58th National Independence Day in Presidential Palace, Sunday, August 17, the coordinator distributed a book on National Anthem Indonesia Raya, written by Bondan Winarno.

This book, which prelude written by President Megawati Soekarnoputri is not only discuss the history of Indonesia Raya, also a search of the actuality of this song in the context of being a nation and a country at present day.

In the midst of economy and political turmoil today, and the prominent threat of disintegration, we seemed as in the dire needs of ’instruments to bond’ the sense of nationalism.
And one of those ’instruments’ is the National Anthem Indonesia Raya, which lyric was written by WR. Soepratman in 1924, and played for the first time two years later.

During colonialism period, the Dutch government prohibited the display of Indonesia Raya, and prohibited the reference as National Anthem. But this prohibition was the element that pumped the sense of patriotism amongst Indonesian youth to fight the Dutch colonialism.

Indonesia Raya was even sung with such pride and gusto – to accompany the departure and victory of the fighters of independence.

Such fond memories on courage and sincerity of the fighters shall be treasured and planted till now. But us – who should be grateful on the fruit of independence presented by those fighters – remain apathyst.

Many of us only sing Indonesia Raya during celebration of August 17, in our workplaces, if not performed half-heartedly.

Even though, when we were still schooling – from elementary school to high school – we used to sing Indonesia Raya once a week during flag-raising ceremony every Monday.

After we left school, there are no more liabilities to attent such ceremony. Even private TV stations, seldomly play national and patriotic songs. It’s lack of wonder, when we grow up as adults, we oftenly forget Indonesia Raya, literally or metaphoric.

Build the Nationalism

The absence of such obligation will indirectly crush our nationalism. To prevent similar things, in few countries, for example Phillipines, the government rules that National Anthem should be played before and after movie screening in cinemas.
In neighboring countries, Singapore and Malaysia, videoclips of national anthem are aired frequently.

To preserve nationalism, perhaps we shall sing Indonesia Raya more often – especially in special occassions. For example, in the inauguration of People Consultative Assembly summit, big or small.

At least, this could remain the parliament members, that they stand there to fight for the interests and aspirations of people that they represent.

Perhaps Indonesia also need to implement national service like in other countries ? May be not that extreme, for ’Penataran P4’ made our young generation felt allergic. Because of the tendency to ’enforce’ rather than persuasive process to ’nurture’ or to ’sell’.

To nurture the sense of nationalism is not an easy task. Even though in real sense it shall be not too difficult. In the perspective of communication, to encourage nationalism should not be much different from the efforts to cultivate consumer fanatism to certain brands.

It means, to nurture the love and pride to own nation, is not effective if done sporadically, with methods that tend to be symbolic.

Ceremonial occassions still needed, but there are needs for communication forms that persuasive and ’trendy’ that love is cultivated not forced.

The same ways producers use to seduce consumers into using their products. These are done with well planned marketing and promotion strategies.

In other words, to cultivate the nationalism, should be conducted in persuasive ways which could nurture the sense of belongings and pride – proud of being Indonesian, proud of singing Indonesia Raya in international stages, proud of using Indonesian products, and the list continues.

Obviously for these to succeed, the precise strategies are needed. Thus, people will not think twice, when asked to sacrifice for their nation and country. And this scenario will made easier – as what I have stated above – if there are ’bonding instruments’, one of which the National Anthem Indonesia Raya.

In the context of the period of the struggle for independence, President Soekarno was a brilliant strategic communicator, he was a high-skilled world communicator.

Soekarno had precise understanding on the conditions of Indonesia people at that time. He understood precisely what messages should be delivered and how to deliver them. He was able to optimize all available media, both locally and foreign media.

Even with the limited media, Soekarno was able to deliver his messages to the whole nation in such clarity. To build the strong patriotism, even though attacked by various disinformation by the colonial government.

Soekarno understood well the formation of reputation of Indonesia, both in the eyes of world and its own people. Probably Soekarno’s technics and strategies are still relevant, but they should be adapted accordingly to the current context of Indonesia and the development of communications in present day.

There’s missing feeling to hear Indonesia Raya sung with love and pride.

1 comment:

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