Pandu’s Story

Eric Olsen
January 13, 2014

Gede Pandu Wirawan

My name is Gede Pandu Wirawan.  I am the current president of Global Peace Youth Corps of Indonesia, one of the founders of CINTA Indonesia (Committee for Interfaith Tolerance in Indonesia), youth representative at the Youth Event in Global Forum UNAOC, speaker at the Youth Forum Community of Democracies in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and advocate and participant of numerous of other interfaith and youth initiatives.

At the start of December, I was among the youth delegation that traveled across the Strait of Malacca for the Global Peace Convention 2013. We traveled from Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I have been involved with Global Peace Foundation since my time in University, through the Global Peace Volunteer Program. GPV engages university students in volunteer and service projects both nationally and internationally. And since my early participation, my passion for transforming the world into One Family under God has grown and inspires me each day.

My position as the local leader and President of the Global Peace Youth Corps of Indonesia started at a Leadership Development Workshop, but interfaith has always been important to me.

When GPF introduced the ideals of One Family under God something just clicked.  It is an undeniable truth and has always been a part of my life and who I am.

See, my father is Hindu and my mother is Protestant, but Indonesian martial law makes it difficult for inter-religious marriage. In order for their marriage to be recognized by the government, my mother had to legally convert to Hinduism. While the law recognizes her as Hindu, she is still a practicing Christian, which to me, reflects her faith’s maturity.  I have seen in my own family, that a legal paper is not what dictates how you relate to God, it is your personal life choices and values that do that.

My parents have showed me that faith and love are more powerful and can overcome all odds. Their faith traditions may be different but have never been points of division. Rather it is their personal beliefs that bring a richness to our home and strength to their relationship. Their relationship makes GPF’s motto more than just a catchy string of words.

For me, it is my everyday reality; and it is beautiful.

Through respect and love, my parents have shown me that we are all part of the same humanity. Our faith is something that is meant to enrich us and to guide us in loving one another, not to keep us separated. They are champions of interfaith and much of my inspiration.

As there are challenges in each family, I understand that there will always be obstacles when bringing together our human family. However, as I have experienced in my personal family and at the Global Peace Convention 2013, all obstacles can be conquered if we can recognize our mutual destiny.

At the International Multifaith Youth Assembly of Indonesia, Ms. Yor Ching Tokuda said, it is our responsibility to, “Spread the message [we] have gotten, generate a new leader within our self and others and to make change in our community.”

I believe and love the vision of One Family under God as I have experienced it throughout my life.  

It is beautiful, powerful and timeless. The Global Peace Convention 2013 was an amazing illustration of the possibilities that our future holds.

I am hopeful and determined to continue my work to establish a stronger family through my community, Indonesia and the World.

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