Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, unity in diversity. Th e motto should mean that we can be diff erent, and indeed diversity is a necessity, but we do not need to quarrel. We can remain at peace. In practice, in Indonesia diff erence and diversity has been forced to fi t into a national project of unity. Article 32 of the 1945 constitution reads, “…culture must work towards development of civilisation, culture and unity.
Besides unity being seen as identical to uniformity, unity is often forced. For instance, under the New Order regime ethnic Chinese were forced to change their names, and if necessary, their religion. Discrimination continues to occur, with ethnic Chinese not considered native Indonesians.