Saturday, April 20, 2019


On Thursday evening 11 April 2019 I went to KPK (The Corruption Eradication Commission) in Kuningan, Jakarta, for what they called "Sarasehan Budaya" (Cultural Talks). The speakers were Emha Ainun Nadjib, Najwa Sihab and Novel Baswedan. The intention of this talks was to commemorate two years of assault againts Novel Baswedan, an ivestigator of KPK. This assault is not solved until now so public requests responsibility of authorities for an investigation. This request is important to prevent similar accidents in the future.

I came to this event for Emha Ainun Nadjib (Cak Nun). During my university times, I listened a lot to what he said, I didn't follow him blindly but I liked his poetical ways of analysing social economic and political phenomena. It was a kind of intellectual recreation for me. I was thankful that I got tips about this Cultural Talks at KPK Building during my short stay in Jakarta. I certainly came for nostalgic reason and updated myself about life dynamics in Jakarta.

There was a very large crowd that evening, mostly were youth at their 20's. It was great to be amongst them, sweaty and hot, but I could absorb energy from this young generation that hopes for a corruption free new nation. They clapped everytime Cak Nun said some kind fo encouragements. 

Najwa Sihab said that KPK should be more supported  by Indonesian public because what they do is very important.  That support including protests and protections from assaults such as what happened two years ago. 

Novel Baswedan ensured that the assault didn't discourage him at all as the investigator to chase corruptors and to bring them to courts. 

Cak Nun talked the longest, not only about corruption mentality but also about leadership and role of public in reshaping Indonesia. He got applauses many times. At the end, he asked the crowd to pray for a better Indonesia together with him. KPK does its tasks in this world, but in another world, he said that all of them should believe in role of God in assisting Indonesia to be a better nation.

To this point, I found myself split into two world. Rationalism of the Netherlands, spiritualism of Indonesia. I appreciated humbleness of Indonesians in praying to ask God's assistance in solving many problems. My other side of brain told me that people have to take actions in this world as well, real actions, to the best possible they could, to solve those problems. I think what I experienced that evening was fascinating process to learn about Indonesia: creating strong and reliable KPK to eradicate corruption and surrendering to the Greater Power to ask help. That makes Indonesia interesting. 

Dare to be honest, great!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


I have spent three weeks in Indonesia to meet friends and colleagues in various parts of Java who are trying to put their beliefs into something tangible and real. In the words of Bram Kushardjanto from Negeri Rempah Foundation, "we use spices to explore our sense of Indonesia." His foundation has just organized a program called International Forum on Spices Route in the National Museum of Jakarta. One full week  program to explore history and potential of spices richness of the Archipelago. Almost all experts from abroad and Indonesia took part in the program in various ways: as speakers, demo leaders, field workers, activists and phylanthropists. A good begin for raising awareness how rich natural resources of Indonesia. 

Through some events, I have also encountered with Javara initiated by Helianti Hilman and Kaum initiated by Potato Head Family. Both promote food and agriculture heritage of Indonesia. Both are world class products, very high standards and the best you could get of Indonesian authenticity. Just looking at their packaging, feasts to our eyes. Tasting the food and drinks, feels like in heaven. More than anything, I am so proud that there are Indonesians who work professionally, full of pride and dedication to agriculture richness of Indonesia. They travel to all corners of the country for researches. They do assist farmers on the field to be "food entrepreneurs" in the word of Helianti Hilman. 

I am impressed with the idea of exploration of "Indonesia-ness" : proud to be Indonesians and try to promote resources of Indonesia. 

I think that happens now when the middle class grow larger, relatively young, educated and well buying capacity society. This movement might still limited in a small circle but everything starts small. In a such extensive archipelago, someone has to start somewhere. I only can hope and wish everybody goodluck with this fantastic movement. You all stay in my heart.