When the nation is in grief by the terrorist attack in Kuta and Jimbaran on Saturday October 1, 2005, my mind’s in a hang-over. I dont have a good mood to write a little review this week. I still think of the nation’s future; of the civil society we dream of; of freedom of movement we’ve been enjoying post-Suharto regime up till now; of fear that such luxurious priveleges for all of us will reduce and then eliminated for the sake of security in the wake of such terrorist attacks. all are hovering over my head.
all of a sudden, i remember one blog I just enlisted in the blogger indonesia directory below which we, I and you, can rely on keeping the democratic tradition and the civil society dream still alive. Paras Indonesia – Where the Democratic Minds meet  is the right place for a hang-out with several journalist-pro-democratic-values personalities.
the blog used to be an a kinda rigid-official-website written generally by about six eminent indonesian columnists plus several guest writers. the attractiveness of blogs world as a ‘golden boy’ of media and search engines make the webmaster and the editors behind it change their mind: making it the first collaborative blog written and edited by several Indonesian columnists, journalists and social activists. blog certainly will attract more visitors with its interactiveness and flexibility.
any individual, Indonesian or foreign analysts who need to know indonesia in the form of more thoughtful, analytical and in-depth analysis on Indonesia current issues internally or vis-a-vis other countries, Paras Indonesia is obviously the right place to go.
and as one of Indonesian blogger, it’d be a proper way to welcome and greet their presence with both hands. Blogger Indonesia community will not be more colorful without them. And hopefully, other eminent writers, columnist and journalists could be expected to follow suit in a large numbers.
Blogger Indonesia of the Week (13): Nad’s NoteDo you want know what the Indonesian people, or some of them, feel when the three bomb blast in Bali? Or what they feel when BBM (petrol) and, automatically, all prices in the market hike more than double?
Come to Nad’s Note: the Lesson of Unlearning. He/she seems to be mysterious kind of guy from the gender point of view. yet for convenient consideration I’ll identify it as he.
He looks having many experiences in writings and i suspect he might be a journalist or a columnist from the way he express his opinions so smoothly and in English; and also in quoting some few different sources.
he looks so active in following the current events in indonesia: from political, economical, cultural and religious perspective. by “active” It means following the indonesian events from two different sources: the analytical point of view written by journalist or experts on one hand and by “listening” to the voices of the grass-root; the people on the street, on the other.
Many non-indonesian analyst blogger who are actively following the indonesian events almost on daily basis like Jakartass and Indcoup –both are british stay in Indonesia–often forget the latter. by relying your comments on what media and columnists said, you miss the real point any true analyst and journalist will never do: the interaction with the grass-root people on the street by mingling directly with them talking and listening to what they say and experience. that’s why many international journalist ready to die to go to the hotspot of the world like Iraq, for example, just to get the first hand source right from the mouth of main sources: the people of Iraq and the insurgence; not from the embedded ‘prostitute’ journalists.
I dont wanna lecture anyone here. I’m just a bit disappointed by the way some foreigners in Indonesia see things happening around them are not different with the way their counterparts in across the continents think which only mean that even the physical appearance are here in indonesia; virtually they’re not! The understanding to the real situation is so bleak and i’m sure that they see all that happenings in indonesia from the convenient window of fifth odd floor of their offices. forgive me if i’m wrong, as far as i can recall, the westerners who mingle very closely with the people on the streets are only those who come here for visiting as a tourist. i think they (the tourists) should blog more than those who are sitting behind the desk.
from that point of view, it’s relevant (1) to visit some english blog written by Indonesian (if you’re not familiar with bahasa indonesia) like Nad’s Note blog; or (2) to subscribe to some major indonesian current-event mailing list on yahoogroups like Indonesia Forum, and Apakabar, etc. to have more clear picture, understanding and advantageous as an analyst/commentator who’re so close with the nation and people you ‘re talking about. Unfortunately, all discussion in mailing list are in bahasa Indonesia.
I agree with Neil, that as far as cross-culture goes, you need to be emphatical first and critical later, not the other way round. As he put it in his good blog “hate is not the answer”. “There can be no peace in the world without peace between different religions..”
What the difference between Indonesian teenagers living abroad and those who’re living in the homeland? My assumption is the former have a much more advantages, and therefore they tend to mature (educational and behavioral wise) more quickly than the latter.
You may not agree with this proposition, but that what I’ve seen in several cases during my few travels to some countries.
The advantages could be of plenty: from the language skill (english and others), having a kind of international blend of thinking since their childhood (with global friends of various local languages, religions, races, ethnic, culture), better upbringing (most Indonesian expat kids have a relatively educated and good-earner parents), and hence, more flexibility. Take for example Amalia Sanusi, a 20-year-old wanna be woman who’s born in Cairo, Egypt; doing her 10+2 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Aussie and sitting in her first year university in Brisbane, Australia.Crawl her blog, and you’ll find many interesting stuffs and sometimes insightful opinions many Indonesian teenagers can only do after several years, that’s after they’re reaching their ‘womanhood’. Take for example her comment on one of the internet world giants Yahoo!:
I think Yahoo! is a shopaholic hehe.. They have bought all types of companies/websites; from mail, group, web space, social networking, job, and even voip! Yahoo! Mail was previously known as RocketMail, Yahoo! Groups was eGroups, Yahoo! music was launch.com, and other things that I couldn’t even think of! Well, I personally have became a yahoo user ever since the first time i touched internet. I remember the first website I typed into my browser is Yahoo! and the first email I’ve created was also yahoo…
I’m quite happy with what they have done so far.. all the services are awesome! From music, briefcase, groups, messenger, and address book. The good thing is that I only need one username to access those services. No need further registration. But sometimes it’s a bit annoying to see how they want to dominate all these services and become the best in everything, just like microsoft monopolizes the world. But it shouldn’t be a big deal for me, as long as they provide excellent and free services .. I hope they won’t repeat the same mistake as what they did with Geocities.
About her great experience seeing a symbol of two world religion living side by side in full harmony in Turkey:
There is a huge mosque-like building, i think it’s called Aya Sophia. It WAS a mosque (hundreds years ago), then changed into church, then I think they did the same thing all over again… and now it’s a museum that has Islamic symbols (eg. Allah SWT, Prophet Muhammad PBUH, etc) placed side by side with Christian images. It was so amazing to see that!!
And on the spread of HIV/AIDS:
Another cool website that makes me stunned is Killtown. They claim that AIDS is a human-made disease! It is believed that HIV was first introduced by WHO during the smallpox vaccine program in Africa. The purpose is: to eliminate black people (!!!??).But remember, don’t take it too seriously! We can’t believe 100% of what they say there. Internet is the best place to spread hoaxes and rumours – without any cost! So just b careful. I treat these websites as my second sources.. hmm i don’t exactly sure what it means :p.
And about the earthquake on last september she comments thus:
It seems like the earth is going to “blow up” soon. Everything happened very fast, and some were — without warnings. From the earthquakes, tsunami, and recently hurricanes.. Sometimes it makes me crazy too :P. Since the Aceh earthquake, I ALWAYS check the earthquake activity on the web, at least once a week. I also started to read more science news if new discoveries are found.. Out of 3 girls in the house, i’m the one who always gets worried when the hurricanes hit the States. It really frustates me, coz I don’t have CNN over here, nor BBC. And OZ news is totally crap. As a result, I refresh my browser (normally CNN.com) every minute or so in case something happens. I’m glad that CNN has a free video in it, so we can watch what’s happening over there.
And still many more stories you can enjoy from her blog. The point I want to make is good education and proper upbringing does matter. Good education (which means sending your kids to good & favorite schools) doesnt necessarily end up in good future and good behaviour, good upbringing is. But, the latter without the former also cannot guarantee you to have a good and successful kids.
That’s what happen in some cities and towns in Indonesia. Many youngsters just do not have both priveleges. There’re many rich parents who spoil their kids with many toys and expensive schools, but they often forget to educate them at home (busy parents dont have time) and finally found their kids in the drugs rehabilitation center. Likewise, many good parents who take care of their kids upbringing very carefully yet cannot afford to send their kids to a good schools and universities.
And let’s face it, the mal-upbringing usually happen to the pribumis! Chinese, Arabs and Indians origin parents usually have much more successful kids with very few exception.
Now, how about the poor parents with good upbringing capabilities towards their children: who should bear the burden of educating those good kids to fulfil their dreams? Certainly it should be our government. For the time being, while the government is still busy with their nitty-gritty corruption scandal, dealing with various demonstrations, separatism, etc, let’s those who have money with still-alive conscience contribute to the nation-building process by educating those poor-yet-potential-and-good youth reaching their dream of a better future.