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By Fr. John Laba, SDB

Tigaraksa, Indonesia, 3 February 2024 -- The Salesians of Don Bosco Tigaraksa Community, located in Tangerang Regency, Indonesia, is known as a formation house in INA Vice Province. There is also a training center called Balai Latihan Kerja Salesian Don Bosco, which is a Salesian concrete ministry for young people in Indonesia in accordance with the Salesian spirit. The Salesian Don Bosco Training Center is unique because, among the 150 current students, about 93.7 percent of them are Muslim young people. The teaching staff and instructors are also 95 percent Muslim. This is the beauty of the Salesians working in a Muslim country.

The students came to know Don Bosco through the presence of Salesians, and they even called themselves the Bosconian Youth. It is certainly a unique thing to see Muslim youth wearing a headscarf and claiming themselves as Bosconian youth. For them, Don Bosco is a great man and a good person who is loyal to helping the small, weak, poor, marginalized, and disabled young people in the world. Don Bosco's presence among Muslims in this area has changed the paradigm of local youth to see universal human values. We are all different in ethnicity, race, and religion, but because we are humans, love is everything. The human person is very valuable because it is a creation that deserves attention.

An annual celebration for the students and alumni of the Training Center is Don Bosco's Day, which is always celebrated every first week of February. The students and alumni organize all these annual events. They are young Muslims and Christians who want to coexist and work together, and Don Bosco is their branding.

According to the Director of the Training Center, Fr. Advent, SDB, the theme of Don Bosco's Day in 2024 is in line with the Rector Major's Strenna, namely, "The dream that makes you dream." The Don Bosco's Day event was filled with modern and traditional dance, drama, games, and live music. Hundreds of students and alumni really enjoyed Don Bosco's Day 2024. Fr. Andang, as the Rector of the Salesian Don Bosco Community of Tigaraksa, invited the students and alumni to dream together with Don Bosco to achieve a better future. He reminded the students and alumni that Don Bosco's first dream at the age of nine had opened a wide path for Don Bosco to become the father, teacher, and friend of youth throughout his life. The students and alumni also need to realize that it is not only Don Bosco who dreams; God also dreams for them. So, they must dream by themselves and dream with Don Bosco. Don Bosco’s Day celebration also binds the bonds of fraternity through diversity.

Don Bosco's Day was attended by all students, some alumni, instructors, and Salesians. The students and alumni of the Training Centre remain determined to do another Don Bosco's Day in 2025.









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