Seperlima Festival: Diversity in the eyes of Indonesian youth

November 24, 2014

86 years ago, a group of Indonesia’s promising young leaders gathered at a conference and pledged to unite their country with all of its richness and diversity. Since then, October 28 is commemorated as ‘Youth Pledge Day’. In the spirit of Youth Pledge Day, Hivos’ Seperlima programme (which stands for ‘Comprehensive Reproductive Health and Teenage Sexuality’ in Indonesian) held a festival on 26 October 2014.

With the theme “being different is an ordinary thing,” Seperlima Festival successfully attracted more than 2,000 visitors to its third edition.

Respect for difference and diversity is becoming more important and relevant to the lives of young people in Indonesia, especially in dealing with issues such as violence (including sexual violence), student fights, bullying, and discrimination between groups – all increasingly prevalent. The violence stems anywhere from a lack of respect for differences of opinion and diverse backgrounds, to the limited space for young people to meet, exchange ideas and express their creativity.

Festival Seperlima 2014 invited young people to ask themselves, “What do you think of diversity? Is it something worth uniting over or celebrating?” in order to make new sense of the principles of difference, diversity and equality. The festival brought together young people with differing interests and hobbies in creative ways, and gave them the space to express themselves and to speak out about their aspirations.

Festival Seperlima was organised by a working group consisting of Pamflet, the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association, Rahima, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Center of the University of Indonesia, and Hivos in Southeast Asia. Since 2012, Seperlima has made every effort to provide information to encourage the involvement of young people and strengthen the advocacy network for the right to incorporate comprehensive reproductive health education in the Indonesian school curriculum.

Seperlima believes that providing full information about reproductive health also promotes equality, critical thinking and non-violence, and helps young people to make responsible choices.