Universitas Nahdlatul Ulama (UNU) Jogja hosts the ASEAN Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Conference (IIDC) 2023 Cultural Visit, thus drawing interreligious activists from ASEAN countries to embark on a spiritual and cultural journey to Borobudur.
In an earnest effort to foster peace, harmony, and global stability through the role of religion, the ASEAN Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Conference (IIDC) 2023 recently unfolded in Yogyakarta and its surrounding regions. This significant event brought together activists representing various faiths and beliefs from different ASEAN nations with the intention of engaging in a series of cross-cultural exchanges and intellectual collaborations.
A Spiritual and Cultural Pilgrimage to Borobudur
During the IIDC 2023 Cultural Visit, which spanned from August 4th to 5th, 2023, an enriching visit to the iconic Borobudur Temple was a highlight. In attendance were approximately 30 delegates, comprising religious leaders, university rectors, and academics from ASEAN countries. Invaluable support for this event was extended by PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko (TWC), the host institution, while Universitas Nahdlatul Ulama (UNU) Jogja played a pivotal role in facilitating the initiative.
Strengthening Cultural Understanding and Heritage Preservation
Rektor UNU Jogja, Widya Priyahita, expressed hope that this visit would provide valuable insights to the ASEAN IIDC delegates. The visit aimed to deepen their understanding of history and culture, promote cultural preservation, nurture an appreciation for art and architecture, offer spiritual experiences, and encourage tourism development. Furthermore, it was an opportunity for delegates to strengthen their networks and enhance international relations.
Priyahita went on to emphasize the paramount significance of the Borobudur visit. During this remarkable experience, delegates were granted the unique opportunity to explore this cultural treasure firsthand. As a result, they could fully immerse themselves in the historical richness, artistic expressions, and spiritual essence that underpin this historic site.
“Our hope is that this visit will serve as an important bridge to strengthen international relations, promote peaceful friendships, encourage ongoing scientific cooperation within the ASEAN region, and foster a spirit of collaboration, inclusivity, and mutual understanding,” Priyahita stated.
Harmony in Diversity: Borobudur as a Symbol
Febrina Intan, the CEO of PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko (TWC), warmly welcomed the ASEAN IIDC delegation. Borobudur Temple stands as a symbol of unity and tolerance, embodying the spirit of harmony in diversity.
She reaffirmed her commitment to providing a representative and professional tourism destination for the Indonesian community, rooted in the ethos of Heritage in Harmony. This approach aims to create a tourism destination that reflects Indonesia’s cultural diversity, emphasizing heritage values, spirituality, and a spirit of tolerance.
“We are fully committing to the quality and sustainability of heritage and cultural destination management. Intan explained that TWC builds its approach to destination management on four pillars: conservation, spirituality, education, and tourism.
The ASEAN Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue Conference (IIDC) 2023 Cultural Visit to Borobudur served as a transformative journey for interreligious activists from ASEAN nations. It allowed them to connect with the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of Indonesia, fostering mutual understanding and promoting the importance of preserving cultural treasures for future generations.
Through initiatives like this, the region continues to build bridges of cooperation and peace, emphasizing the significance of unity amid diversity. As Borobudur stands tall, it symbolizes the shared aspirations of ASEAN nations to harmonize diverse cultures and beliefs, creating a brighter and more inclusive future for all.