A Melanesian Dilemma
It is a human tragedy today is that “the REAL Melanesian community think they are unreal, and then they believe and treat the “unreal Indonesian community” as a real one,
They think un-real Indonesia poses real threats and danger, that therefore it is a sensitive issue that should be treated cautiously. They are fearful that supporting and defending the Real Melanesia means offending the “unreal Indonesia”. What are human tragedy. And this tragedy is imposed by Melanesians ourselves, because we Melanesians do not have a clear self-image ourselves. That is why we cannot see the image of other humans as they are. We are believing on what they told us about who they are.
It is Benedict Anderson that branded Indonesia as an un-real community because “Indonesia” only exists as a country, not not as a people. There is no Indonesian island, Indonesian tribe, Indonesian village to this date, but there is Indonesian state called the Colonial Unitary Republic of Indonesia (CURI). In other words, Indonesia does not exist as a people, but only as a nation-state.
An imagined community is a concept developed by Benedict Anderson in his 1983 book Imagined Communities, to analyze nationalism. Anderson depicts a nation as a socially constructed community, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group.:6–7 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagined_community>
The first Note:
- There is no single tribe called Indonesian tribe;
- There is no single village called Indonesian village;
- There is no single island called Indonesian island; and
- Therefore, in fact, there is no single person called Indonesian.
The second Note:
- There are Java tribe; Batal Tribe, Bugis Tribe, Bali Tribe, Lani Tribe, Yali Tribe, Mee Tribe, etc.
- There are villages like Genyem, Banyuwangi (Java), Sragen (Java), Bogor (Java), Bogia (PNG), Eratap (Vanuatu), GabaGaba (PNG).
- There are islands like New Guinea Java, Bali, Eromanggo, and Borneo.
- There are peoples like Javanese, Sumatran, Dayak, Bugis, Melanesian, Balinese
The third Note:
- Indonesia is not a real identity of human being, it is just an identity of a country, a colonial boundary created for the sake of their economic interests, disregarding and undermining human beings who live in islands included into Indonesia.
- Melanesia is a real identity, but we are divided up by colonised by different masters at different times, and finally we were given independence, but still following the maps of our colonial masters. Consequently, we are identifying ourselves according to colonial map, not according to the truth of our own identity.
- Indonesia has declared the country as “one people – one land” (sebangsa setanah air), either foolishly or cleverly ignoring the matter of fact that there are MANY nations and MANY islands included into Indonesia.
- Melanesia never declared herself as “One People – One Origin, One Destiny”,
- that is really why we are thinking Melanesia is not real but West Papua is real,
- therefore I am West Papuan, Melanesia is not real but PNG is real, therefore I am Papua New Guinean,
- that is why I am ni-Vanuatu, not Melanesian.
- therefore I am a Fijian, and West Papua issue is an internal Indonesian issue, I am as Fijian stay outside, West Papuans are Indonesians.
- In fact, it is not difficult for Melanesians to say to ourselves and to the world, “We are Melanesians”:, “Yes We are ONE, Melanesian People!” and
- WE ARE NOT West Papuans;
- WE ARE NOT Papuan New Guineans;
- WE ARE NOT Fijians;
- WE ARE NOT ni-Vanuatu;
- WE ARE NOT Solomon Islanders;
- WE ARE NOT NEW CALEDONIANS,
Therefore, Free West Papua is not to Free West Papuans, but Free West Papua is to Free Melanesians from colonial power. Occupying West Papua is occupying Melanesian ancestral land.
We should not be fooled by colonial-made governments of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and think that West Papua issue is an internal affair of Indonesian peoples.
We Melanesians a Facing Dilemma on our Own Self-Image
Our Melanesian our self-image is already over-painted by foreign powers. We are holding our image made-up by foreign colonialists. And today we are thinking according to what our colonial powers want.
They told us you are NOT Melanesians, and we are agreeing that we are not so. They told us West Papua is part of Indonesia and governments of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) are thinking the that way too.
Finally Indonesians themselves told us this
If you cannot figure out your own self-image, then let me tell you, “YOU ARE MONKEY!”
So right now, this struggle is not between West Papuan people and Indonesia anymore. This is a struggle between us all “monkeys” from Melanesia against those “imagined human community” of Indonesia.
Let us unite! Let us declare our image: Yes we are monkeys! Let monkeys stay in our own forests, and let imagined humans go back to their homes.
We are ONE: 1 Ancestor, 1 Land, 1 People, 1 Destiny.
We are not West Papuans, We are not Papua New Guineans, We are not Fijians, We are not Solomon Islanders, we are not Ni-Vanuatu, we are not New Caledonians, “WE ARE MELANESIANS!”
This is all about Melanesian nationalism! The nationalism of the “monkeys” against imagined society of Indonesia.