'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' in Jakarta's Dharma Bakti Temple

'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' in Jakarta's Dharma Bakti Temple

Members of the congregation release birds as a form of prayer, a day ahead of the Chinese New Year at Dharma Bhakti Temple, Petak Sembilan, West Jakarta, Friday (24/1/2020) (ANTARA / Prisca Triferna/ac)

Many of the people who work here are Muslims, as well as Buddhists. We are here working to assist those who have come to pray
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), Indonesia's national motto, came to life and became more than a slogan in the Dharma Bakti Temple in West Jakarta's Petak Sembilan area. "Many of the people who work here are Muslims, as well as Buddhists. We are here working to assist those who have come to pray," said Santaya, who is also known as Kim Tek Le, a Muslim officer working at the monastery, in Jakarta Friday.

Working for 42 years at the Dharma Bhakti Temple, he is quite comfortably helping people when they pray to the Almighty.

The man, who originated from Pandeglang, Banten, has been working since 1978 in the monastery. He started from doing paintings and became a permanent worker at Dharma Bhakti until today.

The management of the monastery has changed in the past, yet he remained faithful in helping people carry out their worship rituals there, he had even memorized the God names that are worshipped as part of the ritual in welcoming the Chinese New Year.

Working to serve the congregation did not mean that he neglected his religious activities and prayers, especially with the support from the monastery. He said that religious tolerance can be seen in his workplace, for example, during the fasting month of Ramadan, they would always provide takjil or small bites for him and his friends to break their fast.

"Humans are the most important thing here. We simply respect each other, it is not rocket science," he said.

Similarly in Santaya, a worker named Sutoyo also expressed his contentment after working for 10 years at the Dharma Bhakti Temple.

"When we are fasting, they provide everything. The temple provides almost 200 takjil during the fasting months. It is an ordinary sight here," Sutoyo said.

When the time comes for Friday prayers, Sutoyo said that Muslim employees will take turns with other workers of different beliefs. Likewise, when the Eid holidays come around, they will arrange work schedules to allow Santaya, Sutoyo and other Muslim workers to return to their hometowns. 

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