This paper examines how education in Indonesia can help create tolerant and multicultural citizens through the analysis of policies and practices. After the political shift in 1998, Indonesia issued education law No. 20 in 2003 which contains, though vague, a couple of articles that can underpin the development and implementation of multicultural education. This is a ‘spirit’ of multicultural education, which has been interpreted in subsequent regulations and decrees. In this paper, the author explores how these policies and school curricula have been translated into practices. The author conducted a series of ethnographic fieldwork in two provinces, Yogyakarta and Central Kalimantan, visiting six different schools: four religious (three Islamic and one Catholic), one state secular and one state vocational. The findings suggest that there were inconsistencies between policies and practices of multicultural education due to a lack of explicit policies and incapable education decision-makers and teachers.