The Youth of Today

Oct 31st, 2007, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

Janma wonders about the spirit of nationalism among young people today.

Janma wonders about the spirit of nationalism among young people today.

Many Indonesians (and indeed many of us here on IM!) have been taking a rather dim view of Indonesia and Indonesians of late. It sometimes seems that Indonesia as a nation, besides it's sterling reputation as a recruitment ground for terrorist organizations, is being filed under "powerless and apathetic" on one end of the spectrum or "greedy and hypocritical" on the other, with anyone in between having hot tailed it out of there before you can say "banjir lagi".

Since the 28th of October and Hari Sumpah Pemuda (Youth Pledge Day), I've been thinking quite a lot about the youth of Indonesia today and about Indonesia's existence and identity as a nation. This naturally lead me to thinking about where on earth Indonesia will dredge up worthy leaders for the future, - at least people that have even a remotely fighting chance of saving their country from her hand basket ride to hell. The more I thought about it the less hopeful I became. It went from leaders to someone, anyone, that cares about more than the seat of his own pants at least. Plus they'll need friends of like mind to back them up. Lots of them. So where is Indonesia going to find them, if indeed they exist? If they don't already exist then how will Indonesia cultivate them so they don't run off to the neighbouring vassal state of Australia or to America (vassal state of China) to try their luck in places that reward real intellect and creativity?

That having been said there are of course, the apologists; who reason that the effects of 300 years of colonization have caused this weakness in character. Or they rightly refer to 30 years of mind numbing fear that was the "Orde Baru". It's true that neither of these things were helpful in creating a people who were used to standing up for themselves. But how was it that those young men in 1928, when Indonesia was no more than a gleam in their collective eyes, could do it? Indonesia had been under the control of the Dutch for nearly 300 years, times were hard and they were only 18 to 21 years old! You see university students these days and they still have their hankies pinned to their blazers! (Istilah masih bau kencur). So afraid to stand out in the crowd, unless it's in a group.

Those young men, who swore Indonesia into existence twenty years before it ever happened, understood on a deep and instinctive level what a nation was and they believed in its right to exist and their right to govern themselves. You could say there wasn't really much gray area, which helps when one needs to fire the heart and inflame the righteous, but it wasn't exactly an easy fight either, yet they persisted and won. The concepts they believed in (and had the foresight to commit their new nation to) is what keeps Indonesia together as a nation today. So how to create that sense of nationhood and pride in the "boil, boil, toil and trouble" Indonesia of today? I think you could safely say national pride and identity is not at an all time high these days. I mean you wouldn't feel you were going out on a limb saying that really would you?

So I thought about what could possibly be the reason or reasons for this? Since it seems to me that Indonesia as a nation is not inherently helpless or apathetic. Nor are Indonesians worthless or stupid by nature. But nationalism does seem to be relegated to rhetoric and ritual and little more. It no longer fires the heart of rich and poor alike, and it no longer unites its people.

Some nowadays would see Indonesia belong to certain groups, defined by religion or beliefs. Others would split Indonesia into separate states or countries and still others would just keep the status quo and keep bleeding her dry while giving speeches at Pemuda meetings where they are least 50 years out of credibility. So, is that it? Is there no one else? Just us here whining and shaking the dust of our "shouldbecouldbelogues" into empty skulls?

Or a few Indonesian activists who get poisoned for their trouble? If that is so, then what's to be done? Apart from revolutionary zeal, the only thing that those boys had that the youth of Indonesia today don't have is an education. So is education only way? I have had kids in the school systems here and I must ask are they serious? It's an absolute shambles! How to get the intelligent, creative thinkers who go into the education system here to come out the other end of the system educated and creative and with a real sense of what their nation is and what its value is to them?

I sound like some pedantic nationalist and I'm not really. Sometimes I think nationhood just creates wars and separation among people, and maybe sometimes that's what it is. But for Indonesia it just feels like the only safe way forward, where everyone regardless of their race or religion has the same rights as Indonesians. (Except if you're utterly filthy rotten rich! I think in any country that gets you more.) But the filthy rich aside, you get what I mean, - race, religion, culture, - Indonesia is famous for its tolerance and willingness to accept differences. The loss of that tolerance would be devastating for Indonesia as a nation. Sumpah Pemuda was all about tolerance and a national identity, now it's simply rhetoric. What can be done to stop this backslide, apart from whining about it as we are already doing?


22 Comments on “The Youth of Today”

  1. avatar ulma haryanto says:
    October 31st, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    All I can say is: “Don’t loose the hope!” :D

  2. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    October 31st, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    Janma,

    I think it’s a bit of a Jakarta-centric argument. But there are a lot of good things happening in the regions, in the NGOs, and at some Unis and media outlets. It’s true the generation of ’98 was a bit of a disappointment.

    But the main thing is that in historical terms, Indonesia’s achievements have been spectacular, in an understated, undersold, kind of Indonesian way. It’s true, Indonesia’s learned from the world’s experience, and had some help from our friends. But Indonesia’s achieved much in a decade that it took the West hundreds of years to do. No hundred-years war, no post-French revolution terror, no civil war (U.S.). It hasn’t been easy.

    That’s the glass half-full view.

    But all-in-all, things are chugging along right now. Jeez, the Indonesian Rakyat elected SBY. That says a lot, given the alternatives.

  3. avatar iamisaid says:
    October 31st, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Janma, I must admit, that is a good essay.

    You said : “Indonesia is famous for its tolerance and willingness to accept differences.”

    I say : Going by comparison vis-a-vis other neigbouring countries, I would agree.

    You said : “Sumpah Pemuda was all about tolerance and a national identity, now it’s simply rhetoric. What can be done to stop this backslide, apart from whining about it as we are already doing?”

    I say : Although I frequently visit Indonesia, I have not heard about this “Sumpah Pemuda” event.

    Nevertheless, the backslide in Indonesia (in this context, I assume you refer mainly to the Indonesian youth) will not be arrested unless and until the current political and quality of Indonesian leadership change for the better.

    If at all there is any progress being gained today, it is offset by a larger retrogression. It bears down heavily and it feeds a sense of hopelessness amongst Indonesian youth.

    I have said it elsewhere at IM that upgrading the quality of life in Indonesia is key towards making a start and eventually making the difference.

    What can be expected from Indonesian youth who see their parents mired in poverty, or jobless and clueless about tomorrow, whilst the leaders delve in frivolous and trifling issues?

    Having said that much I have restrained from mentioning about what is known the world over about the intergrity of Indonesian leaders.

    The “system” per se does not provide Indonesia’s youth with much to believe in.

    Hence, simply put, if there is nothing to spur a forward movement, the position is either stagnant or worser still, backsliding.

  4. avatar spew-it-all says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 5:59 am

    I think it’s a mistake to expect more from the 98 generation. They were products of a failure national-building carried out by New Order. As we all know how Orde Baru viewed and built Indonesia, significantly impacted on how we all see and define nationalism. History during Orde Baru is all about pride: remembering glorious moments that happened in the past is necessary–from the success of ousting the Dutch, defending the nation from imperialist powers to wiping out communism.

    Never did Indonesia view and define nationalism within democratic atmosphere like today. We get used to seeing the nation through the eyes of authoritarian leader, be it Sukarno or Suharto. Once their periods came to end, exacerbated by other factors, severe disillusion is an inevitable outcome. When things happened to us today as in the dispute over the folk song Rasa Sayange or Papua refugees, we lamented that these things could not have happened when Sukarno and Suharto were in power. This is the pitfall of romantic view of nationalism. Should we get angry if other countries belittle us? Or perhaps just laugh and carry on.

    It is a challenge, however, for Indonesians today to redefine what is it to be Indonesian.

    Ahmad is right that this sort of vision is Jakarta-centris, or perhaps a typical Jakartan middle-classes. I believe there are many things happening on the ground outside Jakarta, which are out of range of our eyes. I know someone who worked so hard to prevent some of young people from his village to go to Palu for Jihad mission. He said if you want Jihad, lets do it from here: help out all of IDPs and empower them. Surely, this guy had a different vision of nationalism which is based on tolerance and humanity.

  5. avatar Dragonwall says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 7:16 am

    I somewhat find it amusing that, that much was being bickered about and the overall analysis of Indonesia is as mentioned.

    Indonesia’s achievements have been spectacular, in an understated, undersold, kind of Indonesian way. It’s true, Indonesia’s learned from the world’s experience, and had some help from our friends. But Indonesia’s achieved much in a decade that it took the West hundreds of years to do. No hundred-years war, no post-French revolution terror, no civil war (U.S.). It hasn’t been easy

    Do you mean now? Before 98 I can agree, but after that until now!… What..

    Many buildings that were burnt were given a new paint job to make it look nice. Have you seen a volcano! It is just waiting to crack and spew. So those building were going to be like a massive tomb for people going in and out. Bahari, Yogja, Matahari etc..
    What Indonesia had achieve decades of achievements were destroyed in the period commencing from 98 to now that includes Lapindo.

    So no hundred years war camparing to genocide commencing 64/65 and continuous civil commotions! How about Kalimantan, it had commence starting in early years till recent. And you are comparing no civil war (U.S.).

    Of course it hasn’t been easy, but for who? You!

  6. avatar Arema says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Janma, that is a good essay indeed. Well done! =)

    It is a very complex issue indeed, in my humble opinion.

    Tolerance
    It is the base of our nation. Without this, Indonesia will fall apart, we know that. It is not good enough, but not that bad either. Not only the often-highlighted friction between Indonesian pribumi and the chinese, but lately there’s fight even among pribumis of different origins. Probably the easiest example that come to mind is the Madura vs Dayak in Kalimantan. Conflict between religion, especially Islam vs Christianity also becoming more common nowadays, which is a sad thing indeed.

    Indonesians are inherently tolerant. That’s a brave statement by me, but I think that’s what inherently and implicitly taught within our culture. So what makes these tolerant beings into hyper-sensitive “Nazi” (*my group* uber allez)? First thing I want to point out is jealousy and provocation. We all know there’s a big gap between the rich and the poor, and this guy (you know who) put all the blame to the chinese. The chinese are generally hardworker and shrewd businessman, so they are also generally more successful than the laid-back pribumis. Rather than making the pribumi wake up and start catching up, the chinese become the scapegoat because of their success, and the hate game begin. It goes downhill from there. I do think other conflict between pribumis also have this jealousy and provocation element present.

    Secondly, is the rise of radical Islam. This self-proclaimed peaceful religion is not peaceful, no matter from which angle you look at it, except from inside. Islam is submissive and peaceful when they are minorities (Singapore, America, Europe), but turned to monstrosities once they become the big enough to challenge (Indonesia, south Thailand, Philippines). I don’t know why but they seem to have extreme uneasiness living with the rest of the world. Please forgive me if what I said is a bit rude, but I’m just saying what I’ve observed thus far.

    We as educated Indonesian should know that these two things will only hit uneducated Indonesian. So, we should be among them, working with them, be a good example, and try our best to bring them back to their senses. Not all of us can be a president or influential figure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our part. We can influence our surroundings, and if every good Indonesian do that, we have hope.

    National Pride and Identity
    Inherently, our national pride and identity is strong and established. Another brave statement by me. What badly erode it is our lack of national achievement. Last time, we are known to be extremely rich in natural resources, but why until now the country is poor? Because we did well to reach the top of the table. What table? Top corrupted countries. Our “starting capital” that has been given generously by God went down the drain. More than 50 years after independence, we have not improved. The people are sick of the government, not only because they are corrupt but also because they are incompetent. In the end, people don’t really think much about election (everyone is branded as hopeless), and don’t pay tax (it will be corrupted anyway).

    A few years back, Indonesia is known to the king in badminton. We’re now badly overtaken by China, Malaysia, Korea, etc. Why? Because of improper practices in PBSI. Our soccer also does not improve much, although I admit PSSI has become a lot better now. We are outperformed by Singapore in SEA Games, what the hell is that? Sure you can say that most of Singapore athletes are foreign imports, but don’t tell me among 200 millions +++ Indonesian, not even one can beat them? Even if they are foreign imports, they are not the top athletes in their home country, and that’s why they go to Singapore, although I admit the money involved is huge as well. Sport is what I called war in the modern era. Sport is a “peaceful war” between countries, where a lot of national pride is at stake. Look at the fanatical soccer supporters in Gelora Bung Karno and you’ll know what I mean.

    I’ve met a lot of very successful Indonesian working overseas, but most of them did not attribute their success to Indonesia. Not only that, some even embarrassed to admit that they are Indonesian. When Indonesians did well, no one knows, when Indonesian do bad things, it’s in the news headline. Our country image has been associated with losers and hopeless people. C’mon people, start wearing that invisible Indonesian flag behind your back, with pride, so when Indonesians are doing well, others know that actually our country is not just a collection of good-for-nothings. When we’re overseas, we are representing our beloved country to the world. So why not make a good impression?

    With achievement after achievement, our national pride (and thus identity) can be restored. Every little bit helps.

    Last but not least: pray. Pray that God will lend His hand to lift up Indonesia to where it should be. It seems like a monumental task, but for Him nothing is impossible.

  7. avatar Pakmantri says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Janma,

    That’s what I call Indonesia matters’ essay. thank you.

    Arema,

    Hear ya, hear ya …….

    One village at a time. I think it has to start from the bottom up, since the top are too corrupt to care about the health of the nation.

    Merdeka bung!

    Bangun pemuda-pemudi Indonesia
    Lengan bajumu singsingkan untuk negara
    Masa yang akan datang kewajiban mu lah
    Menjadi tanggungan mu terhadap nusa

  8. avatar Janma says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Ahmad is right that this sort of vision is Jakarta-centris, or perhaps a typical Jakartan middle-classes. I believe there are many things happening on the ground outside Jakarta, which are out of range of our eyes. I know someone who worked so hard to prevent some of young people from his village to go to Palu for Jihad mission. He said if you want Jihad, lets do it from here: help out all of IDPs and empower them. Surely, this guy had a different vision of nationalism which is based on tolerance and humanity.

    I was thinking about this statement, about being jakarta centris, and indeed while writing I knew in the back of my mind that there are many people changing things on a micro scale in Indonesia, that has nothing to do with the government. One example is the Wangan Aji Hydro electricity project in central java; http://www.adb.org/Projects/PEP/papers/proposal-ino-wangan.pdf I love this project!
    I know there are many other community based changes happening on a micro level. I found the electricity project really exciting, because in villages that have no or limited electricity could create their own hydro electric system, they were being trained how to run it themselves, they could sell excess electricity to PLN and make money for their communities.
    Seeing that the indonesian government, in jakarta or even locally had no intention of advancing the plight of rural areas, I decided that changes may be more possible on the level of the local communtiy. I decided to start with my local school. This is just a village school that only a hundred or so kids from our village go to, but it’s such a disgrace! The teachers sit on the verandah’s smoking and gossiping the whole day while the kids run amok. At the end of the school year not a single one of the year 6 kids had high enough marks to go into a national junior high (smp negeri). While they spend all their time hanging around the ice man outside the school gate and at the warung down the road, rubbish builds up in a huge pile outside the school. Students and teachers alike throw everything into a pile outside the school gates. The parents know their children aren’t being educated but no one is willing to say anything about it. When asked they replied that this was the governments responsibility.
    I went to the school and talked to the teachers about the environment and about throwing rubbish in the street. The kids needed to be educated about their environment and their responsibility towards it. In the Ubud area there is a great yayasan run by westerners that runs an incredibly successful recycling project. They pick up twice your trash for recycling twice a week. So far mostly ex-pats and westereners are the most common users of this facility. The Balinese are still not seeing why they can’t throw everything into the river.
    I talked to the teachers about educating the children about rubbishing their environment. The teachers laughed at me…. “you know kids,” they said shrugging… “you can’t tell ‘em”.
    “But you are the teachers!” I exclaimed, “it’s your duty to educate them!”
    “Why don’t you tell them yourself?!” was the reply.
    So I did.. I went to the yayasan and got together a little course on recycling and the efffects of pollution and plastic rubbish on their community, their environment and their own futures. The yayasan already had a little course set up for school children, with laminated cartoons to help teach recycling and to explain the effects of bad practices etc. Then I went to the school and had a chat with the kids and the teachers for about an hour and we discussed solutions and why and what they should/could do something about it.
    At first they just stared at me like an alien had just arrived in their midst, even though I’ve lived in this village for 8 years and they all see me all the time! But after I started interacting with them, asking them questions and getting responses, it seemed to settle into a worthwhile discussion. I provided them with the bins for recycling and paid the yayasan to collect the recyclables every week.
    The kids had a big gotong royong the next day and cleaned up the rubbish pile outside their school. The teachers stood by smoking and watching. So far so good. They started to use the bins and it all went according to plan for the first week.
    On the next monday as I walked my dog past the school, the kids were standing gathered around the ice seller yet again and the smouldering rubbish pile had begun to grow again. The recycling bins were nowhere to be seen and the laminated sheets on recycling were smoking, half destroyed on top of the pile of trash.

  9. avatar Cukurungan says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Last but not least: pray. Pray that God will lend His hand to lift up Indonesia to where it should be.

    I am just wondering what kind of pray you will submit to God because He already gave us everything to make “Great Indonesia”.

    We have cement, brick, stone, water, sand, land and manpower …..now decision is on our own hand whether we make it to build a home for all of us or to use it for “stone war” among us.

  10. avatar Tuan says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Secondly, is the rise of radical Islam. This self-proclaimed peaceful religion is not peaceful, no matter from which angle you look at it, except from inside. Islam is submissive and peaceful when they are minorities (Singapore, America, Europe), but turned to monstrosities once they become the big enough to challenge (Indonesia, south Thailand, Philippines). I don’t know why but they seem to have extreme uneasiness living with the rest of the world. Please forgive me if what I said is a bit rude, but I’m just saying what I’ve observed thus far.

    Not rude.. but I think mis-observed. In general, the majority (whatever ethno-religious groups they belong to) will always be unfair in some ways to the minority. Or that power corrupts absolutely.

    The uneasiness you describe is mainly because of economics. All of the well educated and well off Muslims are moving to America and Canada, leaving their “motherland” country to fend for its own.

    With regards, to Thailand and the Philippines…read your history books.

    In others word..it has nothing to do with religion and more to do with politics and economics.

  11. avatar Ryan_H says:
    November 3rd, 2007 at 3:00 am

    I agree. The Philippines was rather peaceful until the Spanish decided to come and try evangelizing everyone into submission. Now THAT is a monstrosity don’t even go there.

    I wouldn’t say all of the well-off Muslims are moving to America and Canada, leaving their “motherland” to fend for itself. A lot want to come back after working and remit quite generously back home. Its the conditions in Indonesia (yes, I know you mentioned politics and economics) that makes it unfavorable to work there. But thats not to say they don’t have deeply rooted interests to come back home and contribute.

  12. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    November 3rd, 2007 at 3:51 am

    I don’t think the Indonesian concept of ‘Bhineka Tunggal Ika’ will ever work. The peoples of Indonesia are culturally and ethnically too diverse to form a real nation. The only thing we have in common is our colonial past. As long as our common goal was to get rid of the Dutch and take matters into our own hands we were motivated and driven by a sense of unity. Thanks to Bung Karno’s charisma and Pak Harto’s iron fist the delusion could be prolonged for a while but soon schismatic tendencies started to emerge. We did our best to make bahasa Indonesia a unifying force but in the end we still use our bahasa daerah for communication in daily life.
    Reformasi couldn’t prevent that this country is incessantly getting eaten out from within by KKN (corruption, collusion, nepotism). The practice is so persistent and widespread that it almost seems genetically ingrained. Politically there is no common vision and this is probably one of the reasons people seek refuge in religions and radical ideologies that promise certainty and equality before the law.
    Like a ‘giant on clay feet’ the fate of Indonesia will in the end become the same as that of the Soviet Union. Unless a federalist solution founded in ‘Realpolitik’ is elaborated the republic will disintegrate into smaller units that hopefully will be able to achieve genuine nation-building and stand on their own feet under the guidance of leaders chosen from their own midst and to whom the people have a feeling of allegiance.
    To avoid dramatic social and economic disruptions let us hope the transitions will go smooth and peacefully and without violence and bloodshed as we have already too often been forced to witness.

  13. avatar Arema says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    I am just wondering what kind of pray you will submit to God because He already gave us everything to make “Great Indonesia”.

    We have cement, brick, stone, water, sand, land and manpower “¦..now decision is on our own hand whether we make it to build a home for all of us or to use it for “stone war” among us.

    Cuku, are you serious or just joking? If you are serious, I think that’s arrogant, to say the least. I’m shocked that you, someone who believe in God, said that. Even atheists will pray to whatever God for help if the aircraft they’re currently in is going to crash.

    Well, we can pray for a lot of things, really…
    1) Pray for forgiveness. As you said, we (or Indonesians, to say in general) take the generous blessings upon our land for granted, and didn’t make use of it for the prosperity of our country.
    2) Pray for the government, so they will rule the country well, make sound decisions calmly, and most importantly putting Indonesia’s interest above their own.
    3) Pray for our fellow countrymen, so they open their eyes to what happening in the country, and start reacting, with the best interest of Indonesia always in their mind.
    4) Pray for more specific problems in your hometown or those problems that burdened you.

    The list continues….

  14. avatar Janma says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Praying for a new government that will sort indonesia out will do nothing. you get the government you deserve. You create your own reality.

  15. avatar Cukurungan says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Cuku, are you serious or just joking? If you are serious, I think that’s arrogant, to say the least. I’m shocked that you, someone who believe in God, said that. Even atheists will pray to whatever God for help if the aircraft they’re currently in is going to crash.

    I am not arrogant but I do not want to put “Pray to God ” in wrong context because…..like you said we hope God to lift up our condition…..my understanding “God” has been running the universe in “Automatic Mode” not in “Manual Mode” … It mean GOD do not need to take action anymore every time mankind make a maneuver or move…..God has gave us 90% the controllable factor in our hand and left 10% of the remaining in His hand…..if you do not want to get “Car Accident” just drive carefully(90% if yours) but it is not a guarantee you will not get accident because it could be other careless car driver may collide with your car (10% )…if you are hungry just take food and eat it….it will be useless if we pray to GOD make us full while we know God will never send a food to us from heaven…..yes we pray to God to get His blessing so the food we eat will become our energy to do a good deeds instead of the bad deeds…It is the same we want to have a nice home for all of us but we never move or work to make foundation, roofing and carpenter…because we are still in “Stone War” to determine the type of “Architect” of our home….Tropical Style, Arabian Style or European Style….how can we ask God to lift up our condition while we are still doing nothing to lift-up our condition….

  16. avatar Janma says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Dear God,
    We paid for and made this food ourselves…. So thanks for nothing. ;)

  17. avatar Tuan says:
    November 6th, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I wouldn’t say all of the well-off Muslims are moving to America and Canada, leaving their “motherland” to fend for itself. A lot want to come back after working and remit quite generously back home. Its the conditions in Indonesia (yes, I know you mentioned politics and economics) that makes it unfavorable to work there. But thats not to say they don’t have deeply rooted interests to come back home and contribute.

    I am not sure of the well-off Indonesians, even thought many of the students I spoke to want to stay and live here and score a good paying corporate job. Generally the Indonesian who have kids born here tend to stay here permanently. But I do know a large majority of the Muslims in the USA are from what most people call elite and usually make a home here. According to Zogby poll, roughly 60% hold a college degree and higher, not to mention employment in the professional field and with 1 in 3 making 75,000 USD or more – all figures higher than national average.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslm

  18. avatar Ryan_H says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Well I’ve been in the United States my whole life. But I’m in the UK now for college, and just about every Indonesian here would like to go back (not sure if they will) including myself. I wouldn’t say they or myself are elite or anything by any means, but decent so whatever.

  19. avatar Danny says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    To Janma: Thanks for the great essay, keep it coming man!! And having read about your work on that recycling things, I have to say that we need more people like you. We need a doer, not just a thinker and especially a (just) talker.

    To Dewaratugedeanom: I cannot say that Im agree that to keep this country together we need to apply “federalist solution”. The OTDA (otonomi daerah) work just fine for me. And if you mean that it has to be apply so we can get a good leader, nation-wise, even now I can point on one man, a governor, product of OTDA, that will get my vote if he run for presidential seat.
    I REALLY dont mean this for a promotion, campaign or anything. Just to make my point clear. How about this Fadel Mohammad, the Gorontalo’s governor. I dont want to say anything about his works here, but one thing that I have to say is.. he did GREAT.

    Back to the topic.. Sad to say.. its true that many Indonesians feel ashamed of his/her culture. I have this one case;

    We (Me and someone) talked about Turkey – Iraq conflict recently, then she said “all my chat room friends from Turkey are really nationalist. They.. (do something that proclaim their nationalist view), how about if we (Indonesia) at war; I will jump on the first plane and go to some other country..”

    Really broke my heart, and Im cold blooded type of person. Sadly.. this is someone in my inner, close circle. Its not the person that makes me sad, its the thought of “How come a WNI HATE our country that much? What have we (Indonesia) done?”
    This is just one story. Im sure there are many more ‘WNIthathateIndonesia’ around.

    I just want to say one more thing..
    ‘ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country’
    JFK.

  20. avatar Janma says:
    November 9th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Yesterday was the graveyard shift.
    There are two graveyards near where I live. One belongs to our banjar and one to our neighbouring banjar. The one that belongs to our neighbouring banjar is much bigger, and is absolutely filthy. Aqua cups and bottles, plastic bags, wrappers… you name it. So at midnight the night before last, I drafted my son to help me paint a sign which read “Kami, leluhurmu mengharap tempat istirahat kami di hormati dan di jaga kebersihannya.”
    My husband was sort of horrified, saying that mentioning the leluhur’s was a bit much, but this morning they had a big gotong royong out there cleaning it up. They even straightened my sign.

  21. avatar Danny says:
    November 9th, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    And the connection with this topic is…?
    Really sorry, it must be the fact that English isnt my first languagge, but.. you mean that you’re dead?
    If that’s what you mean, then cool.. I can talk with the dead!!
    How’s it going in the underworld girl? Say hello to everybody.. :P

  22. avatar Marisa says:
    February 17th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Have the youth been respected for their opinions, intellect, and creativity so far?
    Have the system regard it as a significance, or merely to justify anti-americanism?
    Have the educational system lead them to think, and challenge their individual ideas?

    That having been said there are of course, the apologists; who reason that the effects of 300 years of colonization have caused this weakness in character. Or they rightly refer to 30 years of mind numbing fear that was the “Orde Baru”. It’s true that neither of these things were helpful in creating a people who were used to standing up for themselves. But how was it that those young men in 1928, when Indonesia was no more than a gleam in their collective eyes, could do it? Indonesia had been under the control of the Dutch for nearly 300 years, times were hard and they were only 18 to 21 years old! You see university students these days and they still have their hankies pinned to their blazers! (Istilah masih bau kencur). So afraid to stand out in the crowd, unless it’s in a group.

    True.



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