Located in the Mojorejo Village Hall, Batu City, the FGD was held between researchers from the Faculty of Cultural Studies, Universitas Brawijaya (FCS UB) with several parties who have the same interests and goals to develop the inclusive village of Mojorejo, Batu City. The research partners in the FGD were the Gus Durian Community, the FKUB Community, the Mojorejo Village Government, and the Mojorejo Village Community itself.
Dr. Hipolitus Kristoforus Kewuel, M.Hum., as the Head of the Research Team, revealed that this FGD was s very natural and not coincidental because all parties who met in this forum were observers of multiculturalism. “This meeting is necessary to strengthen each other because the issue of multiculturalism is currently facing many internal and external challenges. Hopefully, Mojorejo Village, Batu City will be a meeting point for these multicultural caring communities,” said Dr. Hipo.
“Why Mojorejo? Because the people in this village have their awareness to live inclusively. This phenomenon is interesting to be used as a model for inclusive living. What motivates the community to initiate this inclusive village themselves? And what is being done as an effort to brand this village? Those are research questions that are still at the descriptive level as the foundation for the development of this inclusive village in the future,” he continued.
A research member, Dr. Aji Setyanto, added that this research is the basis for further research for the development of the Mojorejo inclusive village in the future. “Steps to develop an inclusive village like this need to be preceded by mapping the situation and conditions as a basic strength. Without knowing the actual situation and conditions, we cannot make good efforts to improve and advance. These efforts need to be based on solid data and this initial research is an attempt to build on that foundation,” said Dr. Aji.
Another member of the researcher, Fredy Nugroho, M. Hum., said that the involvement and cooperation of all parties in the development of the Mojorejo inclusive village, Batu City is something that must be done. “The presence and involvement of these diversity-observing communities is a very powerful force for an effort to develop a multicultural village. So far, we know that many people are encouraged or given intervention from outside to build awareness of the reality of diversity, in Mojorejo Village we meet people who take the initiative to build their villages in the branding of being aware of diversity. This is an extraordinary phenomenon that must be supported. The existence of communities which observe this kind of harmony is already a strength and support in itself,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Head of Mojorejo Village, Batu City, Rudjito admitted that this village has long lived in an atmosphere of inclusion. It’s been there for generations. “The acknowledgment or label ‘Village Awareness of Harmony’ given to Mojorejo Village is not something made up. It is more of a tribute to the people of Mojorejo Village, who have been living naturally like that all this time. They have lived that way since their ancestors. They are used to that because of the marriage factor among the people themselves. So, if we want to take a deeper look, they live in harmony and cohesion because of their brotherly relationship. As brothers, they live without distinguishing one another. As a small example, in other places, people question the graves that must be separated based on religion. In this Mojorejo Village, there is only one grave. Everyone who died was buried in the same place,” he said. [dts/PR FCS]