Strengthening national awareness of people in the border region of Indonesia needs to be done. It is important to maintain the integrity of the nation, because the border region is very prone to conflicts with other countries.
A group of UGM students were intrigued to find out more about the concept of nationalism in border regions. Therefore, they conducted a research on the concept of nationalism in the border community of Temajuk Village, District Paloh, Sambas, West Kalimantan. The village is located next to the Teluk Melanau village, Malaysia. The students are Deta Wijayanti, Andika Putri Firdausy, Indah Miftakhul Janah, Aqmal Nur Jihad, and Luqman Fikri Amrullah.
In the present study Deta and friends involve 5th graders of SDN 16 and SDN 19 Temajuk Village as research subjects. They examined the concept of nationalism through three indicators, namely nationality awareness, nationhood and national spirit.
According to the research, it is found that national awareness of students of SDN 16 Temajuk is classified as moderate while students of SDN 19 Temajuk as high. This quantitative study was able to reveal that there is no correlation that was found between the nationality awareness and national spirit.
"Nationality awareness in both schools is relatively low compared to the score of national spirit," she said, Tuesday (19/7) at UGM.
Deta explained that there are varieties of backgrounds contributing to the scores. This phenomenon can be explained through habits and behavior modification theory. Several factors are influential among actors including teacher and student, family, school, and the community.
"Environmental factors can be very important, especially in border areas," she explained.
According to Deta, the concept of nationalism in the region needs to be increased. Not only that, equitable development, particularly education, should be enhanced and expanded to remote areas.
"With the distribution of development, it is expected to reduce the dependence of life to other country and to minimize the possibility of citizens to change citizenship," she concluded.