“Being here is truly about becoming a (global) citizen in world-wide community equipped with sufficient understanding, awareness and appreciation for own culture and the world.”
The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines nationalism as the loyalty and devotion to a nation.
It is a form of exalting one nation above all others and placing emphasis on promotion of its culture and interest. Looking from this 21st century perspective, nationalism seems to have gradually lost its luster and appeal especially among us millennial with the beguiling distractions of technology and globalization.
Indeed, it is a herculean effort to rouse and uplift our generation’s sense of nationalism from its stupor. It is an undeniable fact that technology and pop culture have gradually overshadowed our interest and appreciation for our own culture, heritage and even history. These trends, both having innovative and disruptive impacts, could sidetrack us from our vision of becoming formidable Asian nation.
This challenge, daunting it may seem, has kept MIS in the loop especially when it comes to preserving and promoting our rich cultural heritage and at the same time heeding the demands of our highly globalized world. As a student of MIS, I have experienced the great benefits of an academic program that actually enhances not only our sense of internationalism but also our sense of nationalism. We are molded to be well-rounded students not only by the blended international curricula of Cambridge (UK) and A Beka (USA) but also by our extra studies focused on increasing our cultural awareness such as kolintang/angklung, Bengkel Bahasa, Indonesian Grammar, Civics and traditional dance classes.
This balanced sense of nationalism and internationalism is also shown in our unique opportunity to be conversant in both Bahasa Indonesia, my mother tongue and of course, English, the global language. Most of our programs, especially those that welcome guests from institutions abroad, always features a kolintang performance which is uniquely Minahasan. The approach to strengthen our nationalism and patriotism and appreciation for the bravery of our heroes who fought for our freedom is also shown in our consistent observance of the annual celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day through a formal flag-raising ceremony.
Being part of the flag-raising ceremony for more than three times and other national day activities has given me precious experiences as a student and has strengthen my appreciation for that long-sought and hard-fought freedom.
Last year, I was also part of the ceremony in observance of Indonesia’s maiden celebration of the Pancasila Day. The beautiful line “Saya Indonesia, Saya Pancasila” still echoes in my mind. People usually think that being in an international school gives less opportunities for students to develop their sense of nationalism and patriotism. However, it is quite a different story in MIS. Being here is about striking a good balance between nationalism and internationalism as both have important position in our modern and technologically-driven world.
Being here is truly about becoming a (global) citizen in world-wide community equipped with sufficient understanding, awareness and appreciation for own culture and the world. It is about getting ready for the world emboldened by a sense of pride and loyalty to my own country and culture. MIS constantly aspires to shape students for their future realm. It supports students ’ interest in planning ahead for their future by realizing their potentials and strengths along with building their sense of nationalism and patriotism so that wherever MIS students may go, whether to pursue their studies or jobs, their love for their nation will forever abloom.
By Bella Muaja (Gr. 11 Science C3, Student Association President year 2018)