I remember well how Matt, our country’s representative, kept reminding us to submit the article about what we have learned during the homestay program in Australia. I did not do it earlier not because I was lazy, but because I did not capture the AHA moment, yet. I am writing it now, the last day of it. I got enlightened yesterday, 1st April 2016, which maybe an April fools. I even still do not believe it. Hahaha.
Yesterday was the last session. Days before, Matt was doubtful whether it was necessary to have this discussion. But we insisted to join the discussion, even probably it was not new issue in Indonesia: talk between Islam and Christian. I was skeptic that the discussion will be just like another boring, typical one. At first, I fell asleep for a couple minutes, got carried away by their lullaby-alike voice. Well, just like their voice, their characters could be known from their first warm, peaceful impression by the way they deliver the matters, the way they are sincerely share the experience.
Meet Dave and Nora, two persons with very different background, different religion: Islam and Christian, religions that are well known to often have conflicts. But instead of doing what the stream goes, they become a partner, collaborate, learn, understand each other religions, and spread the real value of religion: peace.
Nora and Dave shared their experience in a humble way, without telling that “I am the guru, I am right, and you must listen.”
They listen; learn about each other’s religions. They focus on the good, not the bad. They look for the similarities, not the differences. Because they know, if they see otherwise, it will be likely never-ending conflicts. Learning other religions do not mean that we automatically lose our faith. It is more than that. It is about understanding and finally respecting. You will be in love even more with yours.
Reflecting what they were sharing, I realized well that I believe in God, but I chose to not to be religious one, or even know Islam more because I have never known anybody who shows the real Islam I am seeking, the peace itself. All of them are only showing that they are the ultimate right, while others are always wrong. Telling that they will go to heaven while other go to hell because they are kafir. Everything that should be a very personal thing becomes a must, they force us to wear hijab, to pray 5 times a day, that, this. But see, in reality their acts are only about the horrible things: corruption, gossiping, judging, you name it. It seems that people count someone as religious ones from their ceremonial or ritual, not the actual deeds. The only thing I witness is hatred, hatred, and hatred. Even the ulamas that are trusted by many people without any critical thinking. What could I summarize? The hatred will spread and the world will be filled only with hatred.
Indeed, it is so sad and ironic. The true value seems so utopian. I ended up at a state that I do not want to know about Islam more, do not want to be religious. I have never had a role model that truly delivering the core value.
But because of Dave and Nora, for the first time something happened to me. Hearing and experiencing such beautiful and touching stories, I burst into tears uncontrollably. Even my body trembled.I did not why, but for sure, deep inside me was shaken. This is what I have been searching! This is the dream I always have been dreaming: peace!I know, unconsciously I really want to experience, to prove by my own that religion is about peace, love, and harmony.And for the first time, I want to know about my religion.
This is kind of funny, but I found the real Islam in a non-Islam country. One thing imprinted in my mind: God is BIGGER than our religions, then why fight each other?
I imagine how if the world is filled with people like them? Definitely, it will be such a beautiful place to live. J
Destania Ika Putri
Participant of GMB Homestay Program 2016