Today, November 10th 2010, President Obama gave a public lecture in my campus, Universitas Indonesia. After postponing his visit to Indonesia twice, he actually kept his promise by visiting his so-called-hometown and promised that it won’t be the last time he visited Indonesia. Although he didn’t promise he will visit Indonesia again in short time administration (who knows). Anyway, it was a huge moment for all of us, especially it’s the chance for people could actually see and hear his speech, which well known as always amazing, inspiring, and charismatic.
Yet, no, I didn’t have the chance to attend, since everything is too complicated and bureaucratic, and not everyone can attend because the White House, US Embassy, and Indonesian government, including my university, has been very selective in inviting people to come. I was disappointed but thank God I had the chance to see him last June in Toronto at G20 Summit, so I was not that disappointed. And anyway, his speech was aired live by all the national TV in Indonesia.
Well basically, he talked about enhancing cooperation in many sectors with Indonesia, including economy, security, terrorism, anti-corruption, development, education, and so on, which pretty much issues discussed in G20 Summit. But then he mentioned about the pluralism that Indonesia has. He reminded us with the multi-etnics, pluralism, multiculturalism, which were the Indonesian identity. We recognize 5 religions, hundreds of ethnics and local languages, with millions of characters we have here in Indonesia. And that’s what Obama tried to emphasize to Indonesian citizen. We have been hit by the wave of globalization that increased the number of “debates” that sometimes doesn’t end well.
He pushed us, the government and the people, to always remember the constituent we should protect, the principle we have, and who we really are, (reflected by everytime he mentioned Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika), in order to reduce the number of extrimists thus we can achieve the stability, which is very important for Indonesia. Indonesia is really important for United States, in terms of Indonesia as the largest Moslem’s population country but not a Moslem country, so Indonesia would be the ideal model for the world that shows how United States is friendly with Moslem people/countries.
The bad thing I found from his speech, nonetheless, was my expectation that my own President SBY, would give that speech in emphasizing who we, as a nation, really are. We shouldn’t be reminded by an outsider to tell us who we really are, what we should do, and how we deal with our own people. Yet, to learn something, sometimes we should hear from other people. To learn something, sometimes we should be hit extremely hard. Well I just hope that Indonesia could be really learnt something from this visit. Not because the President of United States is coming, yet because (like what Gunawan Moehamad tweet this afternoon) “there is a country that hasn’t been forgotten, Indonesia”.
I surely see this as a great momentum for myself to really believe in Indonesia, not because President Obama said so, yet because there are people out there who believe in Indonesia. We should overcome all the issues we have. Hopefully the earthquake, the tsunami, the development we achieved this far, the brilliant Indonesian youth people who won academic titles all over the world, will make us learn a lot, in building a new perspective and strategy, in reaching a more prosper lives of people inside. Not because people tell us so, yet because we actually can.
Future next, will President Ahmadinedjad come to Indonesia and give a public lecture in my campus like the last time he did 2006? I would be dying to come, I would love to see his thoughts about things. He never failed me everytime he gave speech.
Anyway I found myself thinking more and more about my wildest dream. I want to be a President. Not because the title, not because the coolness, not because the bureaucracy (of course), yet because I want to take part of changing and emerging Indonesia. And I hope I can take Indonesia to the next level.
It was my own opinion, and I know I’m a dreamy. Let’s just live the life and see how life takes you, and me.