Advocating for Harmony for Indonesia: A Lesson from the People of Karyabumi Village, Papua


Living in harmony is the estuary of the accumulation of processes of moderation and tolerance. These two attitudes are also part of efforts to create a peaceful, calm, and safe life even though there are many differences. Living in harmony will give birth to unity, and harmony so that cooperation and mutual assistance can be established for the progress of living together. Living in harmony is the result of the moderate attitude of the multicultural Indonesian people. All potential conflicts and divisions will be hindered by harmony. The call is to continue to strengthen moderation, be tolerant, and respect each other not only for harmony in Indonesian society but for all human beings. Because strengthening moderation and tolerance is urgent. 

Karyabumi Village is a transmigrant village from Java Island which is in Nambluong District, Jayapura Regency, Papua. This village has existed since 1976 with a population of 525 families covering more than 30,000 residents. Ethnic and religious diversity requires that the people live side by side both internally and with indigenous Papuans. Karyabumi village is flanked by two indigenous villages, namely Gresi village and Sumbe village, and is also flanked by two rivers, namely the Grimi River and the Nawa River. Karyabumi became one of the first villages for the transmigration community in Papua Province. After that, it was followed by other villages, such as Nimbokrang Village, Benyom Jaya 1 Village, Benyom Jaya 2 Village, Sabron Sari Village, and Dosai Village.

During its 46 years of existence, Kampung Karyabumi has lived peacefully without any conflicts between tribes, cultures, or religions. The transmigration community respects the rights of local communities and teaches indigenous people how to manage rice fields properly. On the other hand, local people help transmigration communities to provide land for rice fields. They collaborate for progress. The values ​​of tolerance have been embedded in transmigration communities and indigenous peoples. Even religious differences are not an obstacle for the people of Kampung Karyabumi to live in harmony.

The concept and practice of Karyabumi community harmony have made me and several friends who were involved in the Nusantara Real Work Lecture of Religious Higher Education strive to voice it widely as a strong social capital for Moderation in Indonesia. Our presence in the land of Papua since July 20 2022 or for approximately 30 days to study the existing social situation, trying to broadcast Karyabumi as an example of a harmonious area for other villages, both in Papua and elsewhere in Indonesia.


According to Naim (2015), a strategic step to build harmony is by maximizing the five elements that exist in a society which include: the role of government, intensive communication, increasing human resources, the role of community leaders, and exploring tolerance in doctrine. There are five potential qualities of harmony that need to be developed, namely; the value of religiosity, harmony, dynamics, creativity, and productivity.

Harmony is also part of the social system which according to Parson (1980) must have four functions, namely: adaptation, goal attainment, integration, latency, or the so-called pattern maintenance (AGIL scheme). To survive and achieve harmony in society, the system must carry out these four functions. In a multicultural society, human interaction is quite high in intensity so the social skills of citizens in interacting with humans need to be owned by every member of society.

The multicultural community in Kampung Karyabumi shows various strengthening attitudes toward moderation. The process that creates harmony between people of different ethnicities, religions, and cultures, according to the author, is important to be made an example in various places. 

Learn from Karyabumi

At first, Kampung Karyabumi was still one with Kampung Besum. In 1976 there was division so that Kampung Karyabumi was born. The naming of this village during the New Order regime was the possibility of uniting two symbols of community groups: transmigration people who work in agriculture and indigenous people who provide space. Karyabumi village is located in the Grimi area which is the large Grimi Nawa valley, between the Grimi and Nawa rivers. The two rivers flow into Kali Mambramo. Now the Grimi Nawa valley is being fought for by the government for a new autonomous region to become a regency.

Based on the observation results, on August 6 2022 Kampung Karyabumi held a shadow puppet performance in commemoration of the 46th birthday as well as 1 Muharram 1444 H. Then in the evening they came and gathered together to watch the shadow puppet performance by inviting the Ondoafi or tribal chiefs of indigenous Papuans. During the tumpeng-cutting ceremony, the village head, ondoafi, and several other government elements in Karyabumi Village cut the tumpeng together by holding hands, a sign that in any case, they will continue to forge good relations, live in harmony, putting aside all forms of differences.

In addition, the Namblong District Government also holds Papeda meals together every Friday at 1 pm. The joint meal event invited all elements of society from various religions and ethnicities, including transmigrants and indigenous Papuans. This meeting is to stay in touch as well as absorb aspirations. This program is an effort of tolerance and upholds moderation in diversity. One of the pastors, Isaac Wellem Wadi, S.Th, in an interview, stated that the existence of Muslims in their lives is not something foreign anymore because both of them are in the same country, the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). The existence of Muslims in Karyabumi Village began with the arrival of the transmigrant community into the Grimi Nawa Valley, since then Muslim migrants began building mosques and building good relations with Christian communities.

The Christian community living in Kampung Karyabumi also strongly supports all forms of religion they practice. The closeness of this relationship is like that of a family, it was also explained that during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the Papuan people who are Christians come to shake hands, then at Christmas the transmigrant people who are Muslim also come to visit as a form of respect for their religious holiday. Pastor Wellem stated that the transmigration community who came to visit were prayed for by the Pastor, as a form of his ministry regardless of background. The ways and attitudes he employs are a form of appreciating, respecting, and accepting the existence of the transmigrant community with open arms.

In the field of education, the arrival of transmigrant people to the land of Papua also brought changes, many of the migrants participated in becoming teachers in schools to teach children, they taught how the education system in Indonesia had developed, and taught Papuan children to read and write. The establishment of the Inpres School as a heterogeneous school by accepting students from a variety of different backgrounds. Mr. Sarimun, Head of Customs at the Village Consultative Body, revealed that since they arrived in Karyabumi Village, they have respected their customs and opinions, both in village elections oandin other fields.

They also form a close relationship with the indigenous Papuan people by helping each other and working together. It was explained that when the village of Hamongrang was planting rice, the migrants helped to plant it to avoid trouble and they also helped. In 2021 there was a case of misfortune, the people of Hamongrang Village helped with rice field activities, and livestock continued and always flowed. They also maintain an approach with ondoafi to create a harmonious relationship between the two. 

Moderation in Karyabumi Village is also in the form of mutual respect and maintaining all the culture that has become a tradition in this village. In 2020 when covid happened, echoing the call to prayer with speakers outside the mosque still existed. Indigenous people also don't object to this, even with the sound of the call to prayer it can be a sign of when to sleep, wake up, and rest and at certain other times, most of the responses from the community are very supportive if the call to prayer continues without any restrictions.

Kampung Karyabumi has never had a conflict that is directly related to the indigenous people they feel like family to each other because after all, they are family here, and the family should continue to maintain good relations to achieve harmony in life, above all forms of difference, the most important thing is to keep together. The brotherhood that exists there among the waru, yaram, bamei, and many more, is maintained. Putting forward an attitude of tolerance is very important here, from 1976 to 2022 there has never been a conflict.

Moderation is key at Karyabumi

The attitude of moderation is an attitude that is highly respected by the people in Kampung Karyabumi, both immigrant communities and indigenous people alike promote mutual respect, be friendly and love each other, and help each other, both from government agencies and the community both work together to advancing Kampung Karyabumi.


One example of moderation that occurs in Karyabumi Village is by appreciating if one of them, whether Christian or Muslim, has his religious activity, not infrequently the two of them invite each other to be able to attend together, visit sick people, help neighbors or the surrounding community. when you are in trouble, work together to clean up the village, prepare for the birthday of Karyabumi village, prepare for Indonesia's independence day and commemorate it together. All activities are carried out together regardless of ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds. To achieve a harmonious, safe and peaceful life, they always maintain and uphold the values ​​of tolerance and togetherness for sake of a harmonious and prosperous life. We continue to try to advocate social facts in Karyabumi by way of publication in the public space.

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