National Identity: Definition, Factors, Types and Elements

It is important for us to know the National Identity of the Indonesian Nation , but before that let’s first understand the definition, factors and types of national identity.

Every country has a different national identity. This is just like humans, each individual has a different identity. This identity is certainly useful to distinguish each country.

This identity can be referred to as the nature or identity attached to something. This National Identity is an artificial thing because this national identity is created, and agreed upon by the citizens of a nation as their identity.

The identity of a country is a secondary matter because national identity comes after the identity of a nation has different identities. To understand the national identity of the Indonesian nation, see the article below.

The term natie or nation began to become familiar in 1835. Nation which means nation or nationality, nationalism, or nationalism. The term nation has the meaning of a society whose form has been embodied in history and has elements of one unified language, one regional unit, one economic unit, one unitary economic relationship, and one united soul.

An absolute requirement for the existence of a nation is a mutual agreement that contains the desire to live together and is willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve the goal. If the citizens of a nation are willing to sacrifice their bodies and souls for the existence of their nation, then the nation will remain united.

From a sociological point of view, a nation is a living community in a society that initially stands alone but eventually feels the unity of race, language, belief and culture. From a political point of view, the nation is a community in the same area and they obey the sovereignty of the state, and the sovereignty of the state is the highest authority. In other words, they are bound by political power.

Definition of National Identity

National identity is a term consisting of two words, namely identity and national. Literally, identity is a characteristic, identity or sign attached to someone or something that is used to distinguish it from something else.

The word national is an identity attached to groups that are bound by similarities, whether cultural, religious, physical, desires or aspirations.

National identity is a national personality or national identity that belongs to a nation that distinguishes one nation from another.

Based on that, every nation that exists today has its own identity according to the uniqueness, nature and character of a nation. This depends on how a nation was formed historically. The national identity of a nation cannot be separated from the identity of a nation.

According to Kaelan (2007) , national identity is essentially a manifestation of cultural values ​​that grow and develop in aspects of the life of a nation (nation) with distinctive characteristics, and with these distinctive characteristics a nation is different from other nations in its life. .

National identity reflects the values ​​that exist in society in a country, it is something that is continuously developing and is open.

National identity in the context of the nation tends to refer to the culture, customs and characteristics of a country. Such as regional languages, regional dances, regional music, and so on.

Meanwhile, national identity in the context of the state is reflected in state symbols such as: Pancasila, the Red and White Flag, the National Language, namely Indonesian, the State’s motto, namely Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, the state’s basic philosophy, namely Pancasila, the state’s constitution (basic law), namely the 1945 Constitution and the form The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia which has people’s sovereignty, national heroes during the period of national struggle such as Pattimura, Hasanudin, Prince Antasari and others.

Of the many state symbols, Pancasila is a hallmark of the Indonesian nation itself. Without Pancasila, this country and nation are like a ship without a compass sailing on a wide ocean without a clear purpose. In the book Ideals of the Pancasila State by Sulastomo, he discusses the importance of understanding the basic principles of Pancasila and the experience of Pancasila in the nation and state. How complete? Sinaumed’s can buy it or understand it by clicking “Buy a Book” below.

Formation of National Identity of a Nation

The formation of a country’s national identity certainly goes through a long process and requires a great struggle. This is because national identity is a result of the agreement of the nation’s people. Society disagrees about national identity in a country, of course it can happen.

Generally, every community group wants its identity to be elevated to become a national identity. This is what causes a newly independent country to experience protracted debate and conflict

We can interpret national identity as a unit associated with the values ​​that exist in the homeland. This value shows a characteristic that is different from other nations, or commonly known as nationalism. The essence of Indonesian national identity in the life of the nation and state is Pancasila, the actualization of which is reflected in the lives of Indonesians.

In the Pancasila Citizenship Education Book written by Ani Sri Rahayu, it is said that basically to be able to maintain the identity that belongs to the Indonesian nation is through instilling the values ​​contained in Pancasila into the life of the nation and state. The book compiled by Sri Rahayu is in accordance with the tertiary curriculum and is equipped with a lesson plan. If interested, Sinaumed’s can study it and buy it by clicking “Buy a Book” below.

Factors Forming National Identity

As already explained that national identity is artificial. There are many factors that shape the national identity of a nation. These factors include:

1. Objective Factors

These objective factors include geographic and demographic factors. Geographical conditions that shape Indonesia as an archipelagic country with a tropical climate. Indonesia is also located in the Southeast Asia region, this influences the development of the economic, social and cultural life of the Indonesian people.

2. Subjective Factors

These subjective factors include social, political, cultural and historical factors belonging to the Indonesian people. These factors greatly influence the process of forming Indonesian society and also the identity of the Indonesian nation.

3. Primary Factors

These primary factors include ethnicity, territory, language, and religion. Indonesia itself is a nation that has various cultures, languages ​​and religions. Even though these elements are different and have their own characteristics, they can unite people to become the Indonesian nation.

The unity that occurred did not necessarily eliminate the diversity that already existed in Indonesian society, hence the term Bhinneka Tunggal Ika was born, which has different meanings but is still one.

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4. Driving Factors

This factor includes communication and technology, such as the birth of the armed forces in the life of the state. In this connection, science and technology in a nation is a dynamic national identity.

Therefore, the formation of this dynamic national identity is strongly influenced by the capabilities and achievements of the Indonesian people. It all depends on whether the Indonesian people are willing and able to build a nation to advance the Indonesian nation and state.

5. Attractor Factors

These pull factors include language, a growing bureaucracy and the education system. Indonesian is a language that has been designated as the national language and national unity. Each tribe in Indonesia still uses the language of their respective regions.

6. Reactive Factors

These reactive factors include domination, search for identity and also oppression. As is well known that the Indonesian nation was colonized for hundreds of years by foreign nations. This creates a memory for the Indonesian people. The memory of the struggle, suffering and enthusiasm that was present in the community to fight for independence.

The factors above are basically a process in the formation of a national identity. This of course continues to grow, starting from the pre-independence era, until now.

The Indonesian nation was built from the old society so as to form a unity with modern nationalist principles. Therefore, in the formation of national identity, it is very closely related to social, economic, cultural, geographical and religious elements.

To find out more about the process of forming a more complete national identity, has recommended books on Indonesian national identity. For more on Sinaumed’s, click the banner below!

Types of National Identity

Indonesian national identity is formed due to several elements. Indonesian ethnic groups are diverse and have existed for a long time, there are hundreds of ethnic groups in Indonesia.

Due to the many ethnic groups, of course, the culture in Indonesia is also diverse. This plural culture is one of the elements in the formation of national identity. This diverse culture is the identity of the previous ancestors.

Language is also an important element in the formation of national identity. Ethnic and cultural diversity is one of the factors why Indonesia has a diversity of languages.

Then, how can the Indonesian people unite even though they use various regional languages? This is because Indonesian is set to be the national language. So that the Indonesian people can still live in harmony and unite with the Indonesian language.

In addition to ethnicity, culture and language, diverse religions are one of the elements in forming Indonesia’s national identity. There are five official religions in Indonesia , Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and Hinduism. However, since the administration of President Abdurrahman Wahid , this term of official religion has been omitted. This religious Indonesian society is reflected in the first Pancasila precept, Belief in One Almighty God.

From the elements that form national identity, the types of national identity can be grouped easily, namely:

1. Fundamental Identity

The term fundamental can be interpreted as the main thing. This main thing becomes a support, the establishment of a building. Like building a house, of course the fundamental thing must be solid, namely the foundation.

This fundamental identity has a very important role in the life of the nation and state. Fundamental identity includes the basis of the state, philosophy and ideology.

If referring to the philosophy and foundation of the state, of course it leads to Pancasila. Pancasila, which consists of five precepts, contains fundamental matters to guide the life of the nation and state.

2. Instrumental Identity

The term instrumental can be interpreted as a tool or media. The instrumental identity in Indonesia’s national identity is the 1945 Constitution. In the 1945 Constitution there are already rules regarding other instruments as the national identity of the Indonesian state.

This includes the red and white flag, Garuda Pancasila as the national symbol, the national anthem Indonesia Raya and also the national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. Apart from being the basis and ideology of the state, Pancasila is also one of the four pillars of nationalism, apart from the 1945 Constitution, the Republic of Indonesia, and Bhineka Tunggal Ika.

Of course, the creation of Pancasila as a symbol of the state has had a long process and debate. In the book Pancasila by Prof. Drs H. Achmad Fauzi DH.MA is a portrait of the long process of Pancasila from its initial formulation, philosophical and ideological interpretations. If interested, Sinaumed’s can understand it and also buy it by clicking “Buy a Book” below.

3. Natural Identity

Apart from fundamental and instrumental identities, there are also natural identities. Unlike the two previous identities, this one is a natural one. This natural thing is created by the power of God Almighty. Natural identity includes the Indonesian state in the form of islands with thousands of them.

Functions of National Identity

The function of national identity is divided into three, namely:

1. As a Tool to Unite the Nation

The first function of the first national identity is as a tool to unite the nation, so that the social life that is lived can run safely and peacefully. In other words, without a national identity, it will be difficult for a nation to unite.

2. As the Foundation of the State

Every country certainly has a state foundation in order to make a country continue to develop. The foundation of the state becomes the second function of national identity. The existence of a state foundation can make the ideals of the nation and state come true.

3. As a characteristic of the nation and differentiator from other nations

The third function of the third national identity is as a characteristic of the nation, so it is different from other countries. That way, a country never loses its identity and still maintains its cultural values.

Characteristics of National Identity

The national identity in Indonesia also has several characteristics that you should know about. The characteristics of national identity are as follows.

1. Have a Desire for Independence

All Indonesian people certainly know that the Indonesian nation and state were once colonized by foreign nations. In fact, the colonization took place over a long period of time, giving rise to slavery and forced labor in many places.

With the reason for independence, all Indonesian people tried to fight against all colonialism carried out by other nations. Apart from that, the Indonesian people also wanted to be free from the shackles of the colonialists together. For that reason, the characteristics of national identity emerge.

2. Unity and Unity of Indonesia

Indonesia is an archipelagic country, there are so many islands in Indonesia, from Sabang to Merauke. Each island must have its own customs, culture, language and traditions, so every Indonesian must respect each of these differences. Therefore, the second characteristic of national identity is the unity and oneness of Indonesia.

Elements of Indonesian National Identity

The founding fathers of the Indonesian state agreed on the elements of national identity. The national identity of the Indonesian state is officially written in the 1945 Constitution Articles 35 to 36. The following are the elements of national identity:

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1. Indonesian flag

Article 35 of the 1945 Constitution reads ‘The State Flag of Indonesia is the red and white flag’. Red means brave and white means holy. This red and white emblem has been familiar since the royal era.

Not only used by the Majapahit kingdom, the Kediri kingdom also uses a red and white pennant as a symbol of its greatness. This red and white flag was first used in Java in October 1928, to be precise the Youth Pledge Day.

However, during colonial rule, the red and white flag was prohibited from being raised. Finally, the red and white flag became the official flag on August 17, 1945.

The red and white flag is not just any flag, because it has a special size. The size of the red and white flag is regulated in law number 24 of 2009 article 4 paragraphs 1 and 3.

2. Indonesian

Article 36 of the 1945 Constitution reads ‘The State Language is Indonesian’. Indonesian is the national language or the language of unity. Indonesian comes from the Riau Malay language.

Over time this language is always developing and changing. Indonesian started with the Youth Pledge, October 28, 1928. The use of Indonesian was a suggestion from Muhammad Yamin.

At that time he said that there were only two languages ​​that could become the unifying language, between Javanese and Malay, but in the future, Malay would be the unifying language.

Indonesian is the language of unity, because the Indonesian people have various types of languages.

3. State Emblem of Indonesia

Article 36A of the 1945 Constitution reads “The State Symbol is the Garuda Pancasila with the motto Bhineka Tunggal Ika”. Garuda Pancasila and the motto Bhineka Tunggal Ika were chosen as the national symbol and national motto.

The Garuda bird known from ancient mythology is Vishnu’s vehicle. This Garuda bird illustrates that Indonesia is a big and strong nation. The Garuda bird is a symbol of the bond of unity and the unification of the heterogeneous Indonesian people.

The Garuda Pancasila emblem was designed by the State Badge committee chaired by Sultan Hamid II. This symbol was finally perfected by Soekarno and inaugurated for the first time on February 11, 1950.

Inside the Garuda Pancasila bird there are symbols for each precept. The first precept is a golden star, the second precept is symbolized by a gold chain, the third precept is symbolized by a banyan tree, the fourth precept is symbolized by a bull’s head, and the fifth precept is symbolized by rice and cotton.

Through many things regarding the birth of Pancasila as marked by the speech made by the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno at the meeting of Dokuritsu Junbi Cosakai (Investigating Agency for Preparatory Work for Independence). His speech first put forward the initial concept of Pancasila which became the basis of the Indonesian state on June 1, 1945 so that the birthday of Pancasila was set to fall on June 1. Everything is written in more detail in the book The Birth of Pancasila: Collection of BPUPKI Speeches (2019) by Floriberta Aing and if interested, Sinaumed’s can buy it by clicking “Buy a Book” below.

Read more: History of the Garuda Pancasila Symbol

4. The motto of the Indonesian nation

Meanwhile, the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika means ‘different but still one’. The national motto is a quote from the Sutasoma Book from Mpu Tantular. This motto was chosen to describe the unity of the Indonesian state which has a diversity of ethnicities, races, religions, cultures and languages.

Read more: History of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika

5. Indonesian National Anthem

Article 36B of the 1945 Constitution reads ‘The national anthem is Indonesia Raya’. The Indonesia Raya song was chosen as the Indonesian national anthem. This song was composed by Wage Rudolf Soepratman, and was first introduced at the youth oath, 28 October 1928 in Batavia.

The lyrics of the song Indonesia Raya were first published in the Sin Po newspaper. The Indonesian national anthem was first sung in front of the Second Youth Congress, but after that the colonial government banned the mention of the Indonesia Raya anthem. Even so, Indonesian youths were not afraid and they continued to sing the Indonesia Raya song.

Article 36C of the 1945 Constitution is an article further provisions regarding the elements of national identity. Article 36C reads:

“Further provisions regarding the flag, language and state symbol and national anthem are regulated by law.”

6. Basic Philosophy of the State

Pancasila is the basis of the state philosophy. It consists of five foundations that form the ideology of the Indonesian nation state. Pancasila is Indonesia’s national identity which has a position as the ideology and basis of the state.

Read more: Pancasila as the Foundation of the State

7. Indonesian Constitution

The 1945 Constitution is the constitution or basic law of the country. The 1945 Constitution is a written law and has the highest position in statutory regulations. The 1945 Constitution is used as a guide in life and as a state. The 1945 Constitution has been in use since Indonesia’s independence. The day after the proclamation, or on August 18, 1945, the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI) approved the text which is now the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.

The book of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia With the Advanced Indonesian Cabinet 2019-2024 contains in full the 1945 Constitution, Amendments I-IV and Explanations (Complete with Amendments), Amendment Process and Changes, Composition of the Indonesian Advanced Cabinet 2019-2024, Profiles of Cabinet Ministries Advanced Indonesia, Ministerial Level Institutions, and complete profiles of the President and Vice President from time to time. Sinaumed’s can buy it by clicking “Buy a Book” below.

8. Form of the Indonesian State

The form of the Indonesian state is a unitary state with the sovereignty of the people. Indonesia is a unitary state and has a republican form of government.

9. Indonesian system

The government system used in Indonesia is a democratic system, with a system that upholds people’s sovereignty. Until now it has been agreed that Indonesia will not change its identity as a unitary state.

The meaning or meaning of Pancasila as the way of life of the Indonesian nation is the crystallization of life experiences in the course of the history of the Indonesian nation which has shaped the attitudes, character, behavior, values, views of philosophy, morals, ethics that have given birth to it. With Pancasila as the basis of the State, the founding fathers of the State brilliantly prepared the NKRI constitutional system as an “own system”.

For a complete in-depth study of the democratic system in Indonesia, it has been discussed in the book Pancasila Democracy System (Second Edition) by Tb. Massa Djafar, et al. This book is divided into three parts, namely the Ontology of Pancasila, Epistemology of Pancasila democracy, and its Axiology. The language used is also made simple so that it is easy to understand and of course Sinaumed’s can buy it by clicking “Buy a Book” below.

Example of National Identity

Basically, there are many examples of Indonesian national identity, below we will explain some examples of Indonesian national identity.

  1. Pancasila is the foundation of the Indonesian state
  2. The Red and White Flag is a flag symbolizing unity because it unites the very diverse Indonesian nation.
  3. Indonesia Raya anthem as the national anthem of Indonesia
  4. Bhineka Tunggal Ika is the motto of the Indonesian people
  5. Garuda bird is the national symbol of Indonesia

This is the discussion on national identity, from its definition to examples. After reading this article to the end, I hope we can all become citizens who can maintain unity and oneness.