Friday, November 12, 2010

Obama Visit

Surprise, surprise, Obama finally visited Indonesia. He cut short his trip into less than 24 hours. Officially it is said that it was due to Mount Merapi ashes, but I think it was because Obama didnt want to report his stay after 24 hours to Pak RT (neighbourhood chief) as regulated in Indonesia.

Another surprise and lesson learned was Megawati's attendance at the state dinner. She hasnt been seen at the Palace ever since SBY took office in 2004. Then the Palace cooked Bakso and Nasi Goreng for a State Dinner, and there she was sitting pretty at the top table. Note to self: serve Bakso and Nasi Goreng when inviting Mega.

Obama delivered a good speech the other day at the University of Indonesia. He talked about Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, unity in diversity, which is similar to American's E pluribus unum. It's ironic that a foreigner talked about and praising something that even Indonesian students nowadays dont really learn about. I have this feeling that these days, Indonesians see themselves more as part of certain religion or tribe or even sect instead of Indonesian first.

Another thing that I noticed, Obama used Bahasa Indonesia sentences in his speech. More and more Indonesian children these days have trouble speaking Bahasa Indonesia because they use mostly English in their daily lives. I have yet to find any expert to comment on this matter in Indonesian media after Obama's speech.

While a lot of people complained about the road blockages while Obama was here, I would love to have him all the time. There were actually less traffic on the road because everyone expecting a huge traffic jams. I was also praying hard that it was flooded around his hotel area so that Foke finally does something real about flooding in Big Durian.


colson said...

So Obama did a good job. Everybody, almost everybody, happy. Even commuters in Jakarta :). Even in his wildest dreams he could not have thought he would even please you.

And Indonesia did one step to the front of the world's stage.

triesti said...

I know some pundit said otherwise, I am trying to look at the brighter side.. We have enough bad news and unhappiness in this part of the world already.

johnorford said...

Great points!

triesti said...