Two weeks ago, on March 16 and 17, there was this interesting workshop for Indonesian students and professionals in the US, called the I4 (Ikatan Ilmuan Indonesia Internasional or International Indonesian Scientists’ Fellowship, in English). Here is the link to the event: http://wusa.i-4.or.id/
I paid $20 for it, but it was worth it. I was lucky enough that the only Indo friend that I had in DC for the first 2 months told me about this and I decided to sign up soon after I read the website. It was only a 2 full day event, but a lot of things happened there. I met a lot of new people, made some new friends, got about 15 business cards, got more info about my own country, watched some Indonesian music performances, and ate some good food.
One of the important remarks was made by the Indonesian ambassador to the US when he mentioned about the concept of Indonesian diaspora. Basically he wanted to make a kind of group that can bind the Indonesians who are living abroad to contribute to the beloved country, Indonesia. As a follow up for this idea, there is this event created on July 6-8 in Los Angeles which is called Congress of Indonesian Diaspora. That looks like a very interesting event to me because apart from the brilliant idealistic idea which is the core of this Congress, some famous Indonesian names will be there also, like Yohanes Surya, Agnes Monica, Balawan, and others. I personally would like to come to that event if I will still be in the US at that time. (we’ll see!)
Other important thing is that we (the participants) became to realize that there still exists some people who care for Indonesia (I would consider myself in this category hehehe). Not all though, but there are some who still really care about our nation. And that is positive. As I always believe, Indonesia is rich of a lot of richness. We have a lot of people, water, forest, earth resources, and cultures. Slowly (better quickly though) but surely, if the corruption mentality can be abolished and the education can be improved across the span from Sabang to Merauke, it is really possible get away with the title ‘developing country’ in the coming few decades.
There will be a meeting in Jakarta to follow up this workshop (at least it was what they said in the workshop) but I guess I can’t come since I will still be in the US by that time. But I wish them all the best. I hope that all these efforts and money that have been spent to organise such things is not to fulfil anyone’s personal ambition but the country’s alone. I hope to see some of the people I met in Los Angeles on July 6-8 too.
Wish you all the best.