Coming up with Pancasila during exile, Bung Karno: “In this city, I found five pearls”

Bung Karno
The breadfruit tree and the statue of Sukarno in Ende, Flores. (Source: Instagram @journey.waytoexplore)

It is said on Friday night, Sukarno often contemplated for hours under a breadfruit tree, about 700 meters from his residence, gazing at the Ende Beach. At that place, Sukarno claimed he thought about the idea of Pancasila from the five branches of the breadfruit tree.

“In this city I found five pearls, under this breadfruit tree, I contemplated the noble values of Pancasila,” Soekarno said at the time.

On June 1, 1945 at 09.00 am, the Agency for the Preparatory Work for Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI) session was opened. Sukarno stepped firmly to the podium. Without a script, Sukarno outlined the five principles, which he called the five precious pearls, namely Nationality, Internationalism or Humanity, Democracy, Social Justice, and Belief in One Supreme God.

“Let us organize an independent Indonesia through fear of the God Almighty, but let each Indonesian believe in his own God,” Sukarno said at the end of his speech, as per Liputan6.

Sukarno called the five precious pearls Pancasila. The five principles that form the foundation of the state, such as the five pillars of Islam, five fingers on one hand, and the five heroes of the Mahabharata. (rr)