Polima Universal Values of the Buton Community

Dr. H. AS. Tamrin MH, Mayor of Baubau City, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia © Gaura Mancacaritadipura

POLIMA (or PO-5 = 5 PO) is an expression containing five universal values: 1) PO-maamaasiaka, 2) PO-piapiara, 3) PO-maemaeaka, 4) PO-angkaangkataka, and 5) PO-bincibinciki kuli. These values or principles fall within the ICH domain of customs and traditions. The philosophical basis in found in the SARAPAANGUNA (Laws of the Buton Sultanate)

These are messages from the Founding Fathers of the Buton community as guidance in social life interaction They are given to create a peaceful, stable, and conducive atmosphere among the people. It is in such a way that government, development, and social life may go on smoothly in a way that is more effective and successful.

Dr. H. AS. Tamrin MH, Mayor of Baubau City, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia © Gaura Mancacaritadipura

The understanding of these five values may be elaborated as follows:

  1. PO-maamaasiaka (root word maasi, meaning affection or love): understanding mutual love and affection,
  2. PO-piapiara (root word piara, meaning to maintain): understanding mutual maintaining, mutual protection, and mutual nursing.
  3. PO-maemaeaka (root word: maea, meaning shame): understanding mutual feelings of shame. The meaning is that if we do something scandalous or improper, we will surely feel ashamed. In our hearts we must be conscious, and feelings must be cultivated so that it is not just ourselves alone who feel shame, but also our parents, our family, our ethnic community, and the school or university where we studied—all will feel contamination and shame for the improper act that we have done. Therefore, we should not dare commit scandalous or shameful acts in any form.
  4. PO-angka-angkataka (the root word is angka, meaning to lift): understanding to mutually lift up, mutual appreciation, and mutual respect. The day to day implementation of this principle is in the form of politeness, good character in the form of speech, behavior and action that are the measure of a person’s personality.
  5. PO-binci-binciki kuli (the root word is binci meaning to pinch, and kuli meaning skin.) Thus binciki kuli means to pinch the skin) This is a figurative expression for an action that causes pain. We certainly don’t like to be pinched. So, therefore, we should not pinch other. Whatever action that causes pain to others and that we don’t like, we should not do to others. If we don’t like being the object of a hoax, we should not pull a hoax on others. If we don’t like to be the object of false accusations, then we should not target false accusations towards others. If we don’t like being cheated, we should not cheat others. In short, actions that we do not like when done to us, we should not do to others. Everything should be evaluated honestly in our deepest heart.

The word “PO” is a prefix meaning “mutual”, or “a reciprocal action”. This implies the principles of equality, equanimity, honesty, and mutual justice.

The relevance of the application of POLIMO principles is quite broad, for example upliftment of peoples’ mentality, and it has been elaborated in a book POLIMA Gema Pancasila dari Baubau (Polima, the Echo of Pancasila from Baubau), now in its second edition.