This paper will briefly introduce South Africa’s and Indonesia’s geographical, economic, political, demographic, and linguistic histories. Considering the background of cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity, both countries have had to deal with questions of managing diversity and unity in the process of becoming sovereign states. They have inherited colonial or settler inspired national boarders unifying distinct ethnic groups and accompanying regional languages within one national geographic boarder. We will trace the development of Indonesia’s and South Africa’s official national strategies to deal with cultural diversity not as a band-aid measure, but rather as a positive resource to foster coexistence and unity. The paper examines the successes and failures of these national strategies against the backdrop of immense diversity, with 11 official languages and barely a sign of homogeneous culture in South Africa, and more than 300 ethnic groups and over 700 living regional languages in Indonesia.
|Keywords:||Diversity, Unity, Coexistence, Postcolonialism, Language, Culture|
Lecturing Staff, Chair of Sociology of Education and Culture, Institute for Comparative Educational Research and Social Science, University of Cologne, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Professor, Chair for Sociology of Education and Culture, Institute for Comparative Educational Research and Social Science, University of Cologne, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany