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Sumpah Aroengbinang

Since Sumpah Pemuda (The Youth Oath ) was declared on Sunday, October 28, 1928, no other oath had ever been registered in my memory, at least as strong as the Sumpah Pemuda. There was Tritura (Tri Tuntutan Rakyat, Three People's Demands, at the dawn of the New Order regime), but it was not an oath.

Sumpah Pemuda is a simple but a very powerful one. The youth pledged: "one motherland, one nation, one language: Indonesia". Sumpah Pemuda is still relevant today, and hopefully it will still be relevant until many years to come. I am in need of another oath though. For now let's just call it Sumpah Aroengbinang.

The reason why I call it Sumpah Aroengbinang because it's just an individual oath, not (yet) an oath declared by a group of people who share the idea. The oath says one motherland: Indonesia, two nations: Indonesia and Universe, three languages: Mother's Tongue, Indonesian and English.

The country where my passport or ID Card is issued, and hence I'm recognized as one of its citizens, is my motherland. The land where my duties as citizens shall be delivered. The city where I'm working now to make a living is my livingland, and I have an obligation to contribute something to the land, to the community. If I'm now working in New York, that will be my livingland.

I was born from a mother and father of Javanese origin. I accept it. My allegiance is, however, to the Indonesian, my national identity. I may say, I am an Indonesian of Javanese origin. I'm fine with it. I'm also citizen of the Universe, however, not only the earth. There are obligations and rights that I shall deliver and get as citizen of the Universe. Global warming may only affect earth, but outer space explorations and nuclear testings, may affect the whole Universe.

I speak Javanese, albeit rarely. It's my mother's tongue. I shall keep using it. I have learned Javanese script, the "hanacaraka". I shall keep it alive as well. The language and the alphabet shall be maintained. It's a precious heritage.
I accept Indonesian as the language of my motherland, and use it to communicate with fellow citizens at work and in other social occasions. As a citizen of Universe, however, I also acknowledge English as the main language to connect me with fellow citizens of the Universe.

The three languages have to be used in daily basis, as language can be mastered if it is practiced everyday. I need TV and radio stations fully broadcasted in Javanese without the need to fly to Jogja. For those who are not from Javanese origin, just replace "Javanese" with your mother's tongue, you need the same thing. TV-stations at each province that use local language shall therefore be broadcasted nationwide. We have so many languages and dialects in Indonesia, and all of those precious heritage shall stay alive and grow.

I also need TV channels and radio stations fully broadcasted in English. It will certainly help people like me a lot. I can buy books written in English easily, but they are still quite expensive for ordinary people. I can watch evening news and programs in English, but I still have to subscribe to a cable-TV, or just satisfy with a short news at a couple of local stations. Local newspaper and magazine written in English are available, but still rare for reasons that can be easily understood.

Well, I was just wondering whether there are fellow Indonesian citizens who will be willing to join me to make a declaration. If all ethnics are represented, then I will propose to name it Sumpah Indonesia.

, seorang pejalan musiman dan penyuka sejarah. Penduduk Jakarta yang sedang tinggal di Cikarang Utara. Diperbarui: November 04, 2007.

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