Ceritanya kemarin saya membongkar memori komputer untuk megumpulkan portofolio tulisan yang pernah ditulis. Sayangnya nihil, tulisannya banyak yang tidak jelas hehe. Dan, saya kok baru ingat pernah menulis ini. Tulisan jaman mahasiswa dulu yang nganggur. Hmmmm blog ini sudah lama tidak di-update tulisan jadi share di sini saja. Mungkin ada yang menemukan sesuatu hikmah dari tulisan ini yang entah mau ngomong apa si penulis sebenarnya. Hehe.

Edward Burnett Tylor’s (1971), on his perspective of social anthropology in the UK, describes culture in the following way, “Culture or civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole; which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”

The philosophy of culture as a scientific process defines the specific character of society. Meanwhile, the nature of the existing culture is humanism itself. The popular thought by a classic Economist, Adam Smith in his legendary writing called Wealth of Nations, was previously enforced by his prior thought of social needs of becoming human by his Theory of Moral Sentiment. His two different writings show that there is a relevant connection between human beings as independent living organism who acquires freedom and achievement in life. On the other hand, human depends on other people, having the needs to interact and socialize. The interaction of society and environment creates values and tools, namely as culture.

A comprehensive scientific approach of culture was introduced by Daoed Joesoef, an artist and nationalist who once served as Minister of Education of Indonesia through his memoir Dia dan Aku.  Joesoef (2006) stated that the value of knowledge is wisdom. The wisdom finally enroots the soul of culture. Wisdom values goodness and moral ethics as a consequence of self-control and emotional harmony to be well balanced with sophisticated mind.

The Challenges and Opportunities of Cultural Dynamism

In this digital age, rapid cultural interactions come across the globe more frequently. Every human has characteristics and local wisdom. The message of wisdom is delivered through the media. The personal background becomes significant as it becomes cultural mission whether consciously or not, it is disseminated through the social media and received by the global society from various backgrounds.

Social interactions create the opportunity of cultural shock. Consequently, it could create conflicts. However, social interaction built in the name of mutual understanding will develop strong ties. As Kofi Annan-the former United Nations president said, “Arguing against globalization is like arguing against the law of gravity.” Difference is something certainly given. It is a gift that we can embrace in creating beautiful diversity and determining the values of wisdom. Understanding each other is the key to develop harmonized environment in order to embrace the difference and to encounter the threat of conflicts. Eventually, by mutual understanding, peace upon cultural differences can be achieved. There is this anonymous saying, a favorite one I found from Yayasan Bina Antarbudaya, “We love each other because we are similar. We learn from each other because we are different.”

Culture is as if our parents. We inherited our ancestors’ culture and wisdom as the babies born having the heritance in term of biological physics, genes, talent, and character. This is the origin of the diverse inheritance as it is to the nature of diverse culture. Thus, it is common to have differences among each other. All we need is to understand the nature and build the bridge of understanding to create positive communication through its dynamic nature.

Culture is a social asset of society. As a case study, Indonesia is an archipelago with more than 17,000 islands lie over the oceans. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika which means “unity in diversity” is the motto of the nation as it is home of various ethnics and cultures. Indonesian potential of culture also contributes to the economy of the state, mainly in creative industries and local tourism.  According to Indonesian’s statistical bureau, creative industries contribute 7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 9.5 percent of export in 2011. There are 7.5 million of people employed in this sector, mainly in the areas of fashion, crafts, advertising, design, architecture, broadcasting, publishing, music, and software development.

The creative industries and cultures face challenges in terms of competitiveness and sustainability. The challenge should be answered by the right strategy such as empowering bottom-up movement to preserve culture. The culture of volunteerism and community development has become a social trend. Social-driven projects emerge with youth as the main power. These typical bottom-up movements are great awakening movements in building rooted-massive awareness. This gives good signal to the development of society. However, there needs to be improvement, knowledge sharing, and good maintenance in its development through synergies of multiple parties related to the movements; i.e. government, private sector, and society in order to create sustainable harmony.