Attracting Public Attention Through Dialogue Forums and Festivals

A seminar at the Interfaith Festival in Solo, July 2023

In Surakarta, Central Java, the Sederek Eco Bhinneka community experienced a change in outlook and enthusiasm for maintaining religious harmony that needs to be appreciated. In March 2023, this community, which consists of women and interfaith youth from various religious organizations in Surakarta, successfully held an Interfaith Youth and Women Dialogue Forum which was attended by Senior High School (SMA) students, such as: Muhammadiyah Student Association, Muhammadiyah High School 6 Surakarta, Youth Team from Karang Taruna, SMA Negeri 3 Surakarta, SMA Ursulin (Solo Christian Foundation), and representatives of youth organizations from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Nasyiatul Aisyiyah. Friends with disabilities from SMA Muhammadiyah 6 Surakarta were also involved in this activity. In this forum, participants participate actively and convey their ideas and hopes for a better life and a protected nature.

“Every human being is a leader (Khalifa) on earth. For this reason, Allah commands us to do good to each other, including the surrounding environment, and all religions call for the same thing to be able to preserve the earth,” said Rochani as Chair of the Local Board of Muhammadiyah Surakarta to the forum participants.

Sederek Eco Bhinneka also successfully held the Interfaith Festival in July 2023 at Taman Cerdas, Joyotakan Village, Surakarta, Central Java. This festival aims to facilitate interfaith community meetings through a series of interesting activities such as seminars, exhibitions, and bazaars of products made by Joyotakan Village residents, and angklung music art performances. This festival attracted the attention of the Deputy Mayor of Surakarta, Teguh Prakosa, who enthusiastically attended and officially opened this festival. He hopes that, through this festival, the sense of tolerance will increase in society. Considering that the city of Surakarta has now received the fourth highest tolerance score in the 2022 Tolerant City Index report released by the Setara Institute. What’s more, the city of Surakarta is famous as the most comfortable city in Indonesia.

Success in collaborating with various parties to organize inspiring activities has had an impact on members of the Sederek Eco Bhinneka Surakarta community who are now increasingly confident in voicing the importance of maintaining religious harmony. This change contributes not only to individual members of the Eco Bhinneka community but also to the wider community. Equipped with the creative content creation skills they have been trained, in the future they want to create a variety of other interesting creative content related to maintaining religious harmony to be disseminated widely through the media. So that there will be more interfaith youth who care and want to join in preventing environmental damage in Surakarta.

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