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Interculturality In Islamic Boarding School

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By: A'yuni Sabila Khusna

Do you know what is meant by interculturality? According to the author herself, interculturality is where there are two cultures where the cultures interact with each other so that the two cultures become mingling and are accepted by the two parties. Then if we refer to the book Intercultuality in Education - A Theoretical and Methodological Toolbox by Fred Dervin, Interculturality is defined as the existence and interaction of groups having two or more diverse cultural backgrounds like ethnicity, nationality even tradition, with the goal of promoting international thought , and communication. We must often find the phenomenon of interculturality in our daily lives.

Interculturality occurs and is present in our daily lives because in this world there must be a lot of culture that we will find in it. Without a variety of cultures, the world feels empty and tasteless because life will surely run monotonously and there will be nothing interesting to live. Interdulturality comes with bringing two or more cultures so that it makes the world feel interesting and it is also very unfortunate if these cultures are not observed because every culture must have its own values ​​contained in it. As the author will analyze from his personal experience when the author was studying science at the Islamic Boarding School. As we know, in the Islamic Boarding School there are various kinds of people who also come from various regions. They come to the Islamic Boarding School with their own culture from their respective regions. Because at the Islamic Boarding School, all students are required to always live side by side, doing all activities together with other students who are also from different regions, all activities together are carried out every day for twenty-four hours, so a phenomenon interculturality is definitely present at the Islamic Boarding School. This is an interesting phenomenon for the author of the analysis of the intercultural experience experienced during the author's life at the Islamic Boarding School. Therefore, in this essay the author will write about the phenomenon of interculturality that is present in the lives of students who live in Islamic Boarding Schools.

In the Islamic Boarding School in which there are lots of various people from various regions, for example, some are from East Java, Central Java, West Java, from Bima, Lampung, Bali, and some are even from neighboring countries, for example, there are students who come from Malaysia. Therefore, in it also very many various characters of habits that occur in the Islamic Boarding School. For the case of the first phenomenon, there must be a student whose habit is to keep very strict in maintaining the privacy that he had when he lived at the Islamic Boarding School, even though at the Islamic Boarding School all students are required to be able to live side by side and also do things together. , but a student who had the character of strictly maintaining his privacy wouldn't be swayed by that. Students with this habit instill in him that privacy is something that must be maintained even though he lives in an Islamic Boarding School. Then the second type of student is a student who is loyal to other students when he lives at the Islamic Boarding School. Students with this habit do not really care about privacy when they live side by side with their friends at the Islamic Boarding School. Students who have this habit have the opinion that, because we live side by side in the Islamic Boarding School, whichever he wants or not, he must always share with his friends. He doesn't think much about privacy because he trusts all his friends at Islamic Boarding School, and there's nothing to worry about when he shares things with his friends.

Then for the second case of the phenomenon of interculturality in the Islamic Boarding School is the phenomenon of language. As we all know and the author also experienced during her life at the Islamic Boarding School, in language all students are required to use the language that has become a separate regulation of the institution. There are several Islamic Boarding Schools that require their students to speak Arabic and English, then there are also those that require their students to use polite Javanese or commonly called "Krama Alus" in Javanese. Due to the fact that at Islamic Boarding School the students come from different regions, there are many phenomena of interculturality that the author gets. For example, although in their daily activities they use the language that has been determined by the institution, but they cannot eliminate "Mother Tongue" from their area of ​​origin, there are those who are fluent in Arabic and English but with Javanese tones or commonly referred to as " Medhok”, there are also people from outside Java whose polite Javanese vocabulary is good but their Javanese accent is not good. Those are all things that are natural to encounter when someone learns a language. 

When we learn a language, the accent that is attached to us is not something that should be a problem in language, because the most important thing in communicating is that we can convey our message to the other person even though our accent is not exactly the same as the language we are learning. Then referring to the Canagajarian article (2003) it was explained that there was a health worker (Zimbabwe National Park, male, Sheffield Health Officer) who argued that in language, especially the use of English in communicating, it would still be accepted even though they had a different accent. That's because, the accent itself also comes from various regions and the accent cannot be removed, then for the next opinion coming from (Gabra, Ethiopia, male, administrator of a dental school in Seattle) he also argues that although there are cultural differences when someone speaks the language or English in particular, as long as the message and its meaning can be received well then all is right and there is nothing wrong with the difference between people who speak English.

Furthermore, for the case of the third interculturality phenomenon in the Islamic Boarding School, it is in terms of emotional disposition. As we know and the author experienced while studying at the Islamic Boarding School. When we live side by side with one another, when we socialize with people around us there must be problems concerning emotions. The problem can come when maybe our treatment is considered disrespectful by others, maybe also because of our jokes that are unacceptable to our interlocutor, and maybe it can come from our tone of voice that is considered rude. For example, people who are originally from Lamongan, Surabaya, and Sidoarjo are known for their rough tone of voice or can be understood by using a high intonation when they speak. But when they talk like that, it's not because they're angry with the other person, but it's their culture to be like that when they speak using a high intonation. When someone from outside Java then communicates with people from Lamongan, Surabaya or Sidoarjo they will be surprised at first because they think they are angry.

Referring to the article from Bennet, Janet M. on "Developing Intercultural Competence in the Language Classroom", the initial phase experienced by outsiders in communicating with the Lamongan, Surabaya and Sidoarjo people is called Denial, which at this stage people find it difficult to accept cultural differences. They only focus on their own culture, and if this continues for those who are "isolated" without interacting with other cultures, the worst thing that will happen is the ongoing rejection in the long term. Therefore, people outside Java and people from Lamongan, Suarabaya and Sidoarjo need to adapt to other cultures or can be called "Defense" until they finally reach the last stage, namely the "Minimization" stage where people begin to accept other cultures and consider it as a unit. Then here they begin to have an interest in the existing cultures so that they begin to understand and understand every difference that exists.
From this it can be concluded that. 

There are many phenomena of interculturality that we can find in the Islamic Boarding School environment. For example, the difference in terms of maintaining privacy, because there are types of people who make privacy a mandatory thing to be maintained and there are also people who are not too concerned about privacy because they already trust their friends in the Islamic Boarding School. Then the next interculturality phenomenon is that there are differences in the pronunciation of accents when speaking the language, but that is not a big problem because the most important thing is that the message is conveyed to the opponent who is invited to communicate. And lastly, even though there are differences in terms of culture, we must be willing to adapt to that culture and finally we can accept one culture from another. That difference is not a sign of destruction, that difference is not something that should be disputed, but that difference is something that must be united in understanding so that it can make one another happy. Moreover, living in an Islamic Boarding School environment where we must always maintain unity between brothers and sisters with one another. Like the wise words that the author has read, namely "United we stand, divided we fall".

Bennett, J. M., Bennett, M. J., & Allen, W. (2003). Developing intercultural competence in the language classroom. Culture as the core: Perspectives on culture in second language learning, 237-270.

Canagarajah, S. (2013). Agency and power in intercultural communication: Negotiating English in translocal spaces. Language and Intercultural Communication, 13(2), 202-224. 
Dervin, F. (2016). Interculturality in education: A theoretical and methodological toolbox. Springer.

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