Indonesia is a big country. The country stretches from Sabang to Merauke and consists of various islands and is divided into 34 provinces. As a country that has many islands, surely Indonesia has other diversity that should be preserved, one of which is the ethnic group.
So, what is ethnicity? Ethnic groups are a group of people who are related by an awareness of the identity of cultural differences. The ethnic groups that inhabit the territory of Indonesia consist of various races. The race came to Indonesia from 2000 – 3000 years BC. From the races that inhabit the territory of Indonesia, can also be found in a variety of cultures, languages and traditions.
The diversity of cultures, cultures, and traditions also causes differences in terms of the characteristics of each race in Indonesia. In general, there are 3 races that are in the territory of Indonesian equipment, that is the negroid race, the weddoid race, and the Malay race. The following is the explanation:
- Weddoid race has the characteristics of tan skin, medium body, and black hair. The weddoid tribe is equated with a tribe inhabiting the Mentawai Islands region called the Mentawai tribe, Sulawesi called the Toala tribe, the Gayo tribe in Lake Air Tawar, and in Jambi, there is a tribe called the Kubu tribe.
- Malay race has the characteristics of dark brown skin, tall and slender body, and straight hair. Malay race is considered as the ancestor of the Indonesian people, even though they are migrants who occupy Indonesian territory. There are two groups of Malay race, these groups are as follows.
Young Malay group
Young Malay tribes have original cultures which have been influenced by other cultures. Different cultures with young Malay groups were brought by merchants and sailors who were scattered throughout the territory of Indonesia. The Javanese on the island of Java, the Balinese on the island of Bali, and the Minangkabau in West Sumatra are young Malay and their culture has been influenced by other cultures.
Old Malay group
The ethnic groups included in the old Malay group are the Batak who inhabit the Lake Toba region, in South Sulawesi there are the Toraja ethnic group, and the Dayak tribe in Kalimantan. Old Malay ethnic groups adhere to the beliefs of animism and dynamism and their culture can be said to be still original yet influenced by other cultures that are starting to develop.
- Negroid race has the characteristics of curly hair, short body, and black body skin. Negroid race can be found in Papua, precisely the Tapiro tribe.
Indigenous people who inhabit the territory of Indonesia, namely the Weddoid and Negroid tribes. There are more than 300 ethnic groups that occupy the territory of Indonesia and are spread across all regions of the country. Even though the ethnic groups are different, Indonesia continues to be united in Indonesia.
Appreciating Ethnic Diversity
Indonesia as a country whose society is known as a plural society, namely a collection of individuals consisting of diverse cultures, customs, races, religions or beliefs, and languages that differ from one another, it is important to develop an attitude of respect for ethnic groups.
This difference makes individuals unable to choose the desired ethnic group, because it is innate. The diversity of ethnic groups and cultures in Indonesia has been recognized by prominent figures in Indonesia.
This makes Indonesia a country that is rich in culture and ethnicity. But the cultural wealth and ethnicity will be a frightening specter for the integrity of the nation, if each individual cannot respect one another. the motto of Unity in Diversity should be proof that even though it is different, Indonesia is still one.
This means that even though Indonesia has a diversity of both culture and ethnicity, it still must make the people of Indonesia to remain united. The motto also shows the recognition of equal differences between one ethnic group and another. Respect for ethnic groups, among others can be done in the following way.
- Not assessing other ethnic groups with values that apply to their own ethnic group.
- Join the success of activities held by people who are different from our customs.
- Do not consider their own ethnicity the best compared to other ethnic groups.