Name: Vicky Ariyanti

Position: PhD student in Cultural Ecological Knowledge in Water Resources Management

Faculty: Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

Religion: Islam


“When I get stuck when writing an academic article, I like to pray. Continually performing the same mandatory movements while saying my prayers calms me down. It’s like meditation. While praying, I get to reflect on what I’m doing and to contemplate what caused me to get stuck. Afterwards I will often have some insights on how to solve the issue.

Religion is a way to learn to understand the world and see it as a world created by God. And if there are any questions Islam cannot answer, science can generally provide the answers. If I come across any things that seem to contradict each other, I will always stick with scripture. Science was created by people and is therefore prone to mistakes. God does not make any mistakes. I am convinced that time will eventually bring them together on the things on which they do not agree.

If I discover things in my research that do not conform to my religious beliefs, and if I cannot explain why they do not conform, I will stick to my results and publish them. Through my field work in Yogyakarta, I am looking into the effect of cultures on water management. Thanks to my background, I am better able to understand the locals’ religious ideas, even when they are Hindus or Buddhists. The various religions have many similarities.

I always have discussions with my colleagues during Ramadan. I think discussions on religion are good for our society, so I greatly enjoy answering people’s questions, thus helping us improve our understanding of each other.”