The Urantia Book and its teachings in Bahasa Indonesia
by Henk Mylanus, Trustee, Urantia Foundation, Brittany, France
My place of birth was Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia, before the Second World War.
We moved to Bandung in West Java, and before leaving Indonesia in 1950, I spent two years in a high school where, besides other languages, Bahasa Indonesia―the language that became the official language for the entire archipelago in 1945―was a mandatory course.
In 1981 I returned to Indonesia for business, mainly staying in Djakarta, but enjoying very much the contact with Indonesians and getting back in touch with my roots.
In 1992 I went back for an extensive one-month trip through the main islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. What an experience: to see Bandung again; to see Yogyakarta with trips to the Borobudur and the Prambanan temples; to see Bromo and Merapi―two of the 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia; and to see the island of Bali and breathtaking Sulawesi! And so much more to visit and to enjoy!
If you have never been to Indonesia, I give you this advice: take a trip and get to know the friendly Indonesians and savor the incredibly beautiful landscapes and the rich, old culture.
In July, when the Board of Trustees discussed translating The Urantia Book into Bahasa Indonesia, I was very much in favor of doing so for the following reasons:
- Indonesia declared its independence from the Dutch on August 17, 1945, and after a decades-long transitory period, it became a true Republic with executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The capital is Djakarta on the island of Java.
- Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago with more than 17,500 islands of which 6,000 are inhabited. It is the fourth most populous nation in the world with 250 million people consisting of many ethnic groups, mainly Javanese and Sundanese.
- It has the largest Muslim population, 86.1%, of any nation. Protestants account for 5.7%, Catholics for 3%, and Hindu and other religions make up the remainder.
- The official language is Bahasa Indonesia, which is a modified form of the Malay language. It is spoken throughout the archipelago, while English, Dutch, and about 400 local dialects are also spoken, the most widely spoken being Javanese.
- The literacy rate is over 90%.
- Indonesia's heraldic saying is, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika"―meaning "Unity in Diversity" or literally "many, yet one"―and connotes the diversity and the one-ness that shapes the country.
- "Belief in the one and only God" is the first of five principals constituting the Pancasila, which is the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state. According to the translator, "a number of different religions are practiced in the country, and their collective influence on the country's political, economic and cultural life is significant. The Indonesian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. However, the government only recognizes six official religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism) and Indonesian law requires that every Indonesian citizen have an identity card that identifies that person with one of these six religions. Indonesia does not recognize agnosticism or atheism, and blasphemy is illegal."
The translator has already translated 60 Papers into Bahasa Indonesia as a "work of love". His proposal is to translate the remaining 136 Papers in a relatively short time, and he is requesting a modest remuneration. The Board of Trustees has approved his proposal if sufficient funds become available.
Urantia Foundation is operating on a restricted budget during these economically difficult times, so we are in need of donors to provide funding for this translation.
If 50 donors contribute $500 per donor, Urantia Foundation could give the green light to the translator to continue his work, knowing that the Foundation will compensate him what he has requested.
Please consider a donation and send your gift to Urantia Foundation earmarked for the Indonesian translation. Help us present to the people of Indonesia The Urantia Book and its teachings in Bahasa Indonesia!
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