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Sukmawati is the third daughter of ex-president Sukarno and the younger sister of Indonesia's fifth President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Sukmawati Sukarnoputri daughter of Indonesia's founding father and first president Sukarno, on Tuesday-26th October 2021, underwent ritual to convert from Islam to Hinduism. The Sudhi Wadani ceremony was performed at the Sukarno Centre Heritage Area, named after her father, located inside the Buleleng Regency in Bali. Sudhi Wadani is a ceremony during which an individual professes allegiance to Hinduism and performs self-purification. The ceremony day overlapped with Sukmawati's 70th birthday.

Sukmawati is the third daughter of ex-president Sukarno and the younger sister of Indonesia's fifth President Megawati Sukarnoputri. She was married to Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkunegara IX of the Mangkenegara royal family of Solo but later got divorced in 1984. She started her political career after her divorce. She founded the Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia-PNI), which contested several national elections.

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Her lawyers informed the media that Sukmawati's Balinese grandmother, Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai Srimben, played a major role in influencing her decision to convert to Hinduism. They said that she has extensive knowledge of Hinduism and she is aware of all doctrines and rituals of Hindu theology as well.

Arya Wedakarna, a close friend of Sukmawati and the head of Sukarno Center in Bali, which is a museum dedicated to the founding president, said relatives had given their blessings for her religious conversion. He added that her conversion is a great "demonstration of courage" and a shining example of the Sukarno family's "religious tolerance".

He further informed the public that Sukmawati had been interested in Hinduism for about the last twenty years, and had visited major Hindu temples in Bali and read great Indian epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. She also received spiritual guidance from her grandmother and other ancestors.

It should be noted that Islam is the largest religion of Indonesia and Hinduism is one of the 6 official religions of the country. When asked about her personal view on the conversion, Sukmati said that according to her Hinduism is her religion of choice because it has intimacy with the Balinese people and described the process as going back to her roots. Her decision is also supported by human rights and political observers as evidence of the religious pluralism of the country.

Indonesia religion map It should be noted that Islam is the largest religion of Indonesia and Hinduism is one of the 6 official religions of the countryWikimedia Commons

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Back in 2018, on 28 March Sukmawati recited a poem Ibu Indonesia (Mother Indonesia) that celebrated Indonesian fashion and tradition, which she compared to imported Islamic fashion and tradition. This poem was deemed offensive and blasphemous by some Muslims they said that she purportedly insulted the hijab. She called herself a "proud Muslim" after conservative Islamic groups reported her to the police for blasphemy. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the daughter of Indonesia's former President had apologized. "From the bottom of my heart, I extend an apology to all Muslims of Indonesia, especially those who feel offended by the poem."

Keywords: Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, Indonesia, Indonesia religion, religion, Hinduism, Islam, religious conversion, Sukarno



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