Jakarta: Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas extended his wishes on Chinese New Year 2573 Kongzili to Chinese Indonesians and expressed the hope that all citizens will continue to live in harmony and respect each other.
"I hope in this Water Tiger year, all issues will be resolved, and we will all live in harmony, peace, and prosperity," Qoumas said in a written statement received in Jakarta on Monday.
According to the minister, the theme of the current Chinese New Year's celebration -"A Junzi (pious person) living in perfection, and a Xiaoren (petty person) living in opposite to perfection," extracted from the Analects of Confucius- encourages people to adhere to religious values by becoming good humans and good citizens.
"The people must seek the way of harmony in their daily activities," he said.
The minister also asked residents to adhere to the Yin and Yang principle that teaches achieving balance in life by seeking a tolerant and moderate way of life.
Maintaining relationships with common people, nature, and the Supreme Creator are ways to achieve a balanced life, he added.
Qoumas highlighted that the Chinese New Year celebrations in the nation have entered their 23rd year since former president Abdurrahman Wahid issued the Presidential Decree No. 6 of 2000 that revoked an earlier presidential instruction restricting the public display of Chinese culture, which was enacted in 1967.
Wahid's decision to extend religious and cultural freedom to Chinese Indonesians demonstrated the country and government's presence in the community, he said.
The essence of the Chinese New Year is to improve oneself by moving in a better direction with a good spirit, as taught by Confucius, as well as to self-introspect and correct past mistakes and properly plan the ongoing year and the future, the minister observed.
"If we can renew ourselves, then we must renew every day and keep renewing forever," he remarked.
"Happy Chinese New Year 2573 Kongzili, Gong He Xin Xi (happy new year), Wan Shi Ru Yi (may your endeavors be successful)," Qoumas added.