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    Selasa, 03 November 2015

    Chillin' with the Gusdurians

     By: Mrs Charlotte Blackburn

    "Gitu aja kok repot" is one of the most popular quotes from Abdurrahman Wahid, President of Indonesia from 1999 until 2001. I've heard it translated as "take it easy", but I've also seen it as "don't sweat it". I prefer the latter because it seems that in English, the closest things that reflect the intention is "Don't get your panties in a wad!" or maybe even "chill out". While those two are not particularly presidential, the English equivalent of  "don't sweat it" seems fine to me.

    Affectionately known as Gus Dur, the former president was an outspoken advocate for peace and pluralism. He was a respected religious leader and scholar, humorist and humanitarian. He wrote hundreds of essays on topics ranging from the mundane, day-to-day happenings in pop culture to complex reflections on international affairs and democracy.

    Gus Dur passed away in 2009, but his spirit lives on in the many intellectuals, students and scholars, as well as everyday people, who  continue to reflect on his ideas and philosophy.

    One such group is the Gusdurians. The Gusdurians are a national body with local chapters and international affiliates who focus on nine, primary points of Gus Dur's thinking. These nine points are: the unity of God, humanitarianism, justice, egalitarianism, liberation, brotherhood, simplicity, noble acts (this one is harder to translate as the Indonesian word, keksatriaan, refers to the qualities expected of a knight), and finally, local/traditional wisdom.

    Gusdurians do not worship Gus Dur, but rather consider and apply his thinking to everyday life; especially in how to best serve our communities, as well as each other, acting from the foundations of our own respective religions. It is a value-based community composed primarily of students, but also a goodly portion of adults, that reflects respectful scholarship, community engagement, and empowerment, and most of all, friendship and brotherhood (and sisterhood!)  in a real-life example of pluralism and unity.

    It is my honor and happiness to be a part of the Gusdurian community of Malang, Garuda, as we all seek to learn, grow, and serve together in doing what we can where we are to make the world a better place.

    Over the past year, we have participated in multiple interfaith peace-building events ranging from workshops and informal group discussions to musical performances and advocacy initiatives that reflect the principles of the Gusdurians.

    Gusdurians Malang lead the way by not only talking about peace, but living it, as well.
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