Impression After the Indonesian Trip
Write to China 2017 Second Trip
By: Wahyu Riska Elsa Pratiwi – UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang
We still remember our adventurous days in the Fujian Province like it was yesterday, when we visited many historical places, full of cultural heritage of the Chinese people, accompanied by 20 Chinese students. They were always capable of explaining their way of life and cultural wealth in each place we visited. Ah, it makes me sad and happy at the same time. Truly a paradox. On one side, I missed Indonesia so much but on the other side, leaving China behind brought us grief as well.
I also felt anxiety about visits to several cities in Indonesia. There are several tourist destinations in Indonesia I hadn’t visited myself, such as Tangkuban Perahu in Bandung and Borobudur temple in Yogya. Do I truly know Indonesia to its core? This question lingered on my mind throughout the flight from Fuzhou to Jakarta, Indonesia. As the host for the second visit in the Write to China program in cooperation with the People’s Republic of China Embassy in Indonesia, I felt very proud and energized. As I understood, all Chinese students in the delegation had never visited Indonesia. Since it would be their first time setting foot in Indonesia, my delegation partners and I must step up as reliable guide and help them adapt with each city they visit, so that they can retain good memories from their travels in Indonesia as a comfortable and adequate tourist destination.
There are 4 cities to be visited during our trip across Indonesia: Jakarta the capital city of Indonesia, Bandung, Yogyakarta with its local wisdom predominated by the Javanese tribe and Denpasar in Bali which is widely acknowledged as a tourist heaven. The weather in Indonesia is very sunny and humid. It is a tad contrast with the summer of China which was mild compared to where I came from, Makassar. I wholeheartedly expect our Chinese friends could enjoy their trip to various tourism destinations and make Indonesia become their second home.
The activities planned by the committee were indeed full of surprises. I hadn’t expected to visit government offices such as the local representatives council (DPR), Ministry of Youth and Sports or the Sultanate of Yogyakarta Special Territory. I myself was not in any way interested with politics. I could care less about the political dynamics in my own country. I had no expectations when I went to visit the DPR building. However, I surprisingly gained new insight and inspiration by a woman by the name of Rahayu Saraswati Djojohadikusumo. She is a member of the VIIIth Commission of the People’s Representative Council. This particular commission deals with religious, social and women empowerment issues.
This is no small task, of course. As we all know Indonesia as the 4th most populated country in the world with its diverse communities in terms of religion, we saw many religious issues which affected the political dynamics in the country, along with social disparity among the people and major plans for women justice and emancipation. This has led me to think, can a psychology graduate like me become a member of DPR just like her?
The science of Psychology in itself consists of various branches. There’s social psychology, religious psychology, clinical psychology, sports psychology, etc. A bachelor’s degree pursuer in Psychology is obliged to study these fields. Theoretically, we are more than capable. However, in practice, it seems that we need to learn a lot from the members of DPR from the VIIIth commission. Social and religious psychology seem in line with the approach to religious and social issues related with women empowerment in various regions throughout Indonesia. Slowly but surely, discussions with her have opened my eyes. I realized that there are civil officials who truly work for the good of the Indonesian people. They go into full contact with the people and attempt to make good changes to our quality of life by giving all they can.
So, apart from the very educational visit at the government offices in Jakarta and Yogyakarta Special territory, our trip in Indonesia was also full of exciting journeys on several tourist spots such as the Borobudur temple in Yogyakarta, Angklung Udjo show in Bandung, the beautiful landscapes of Tanah Lot and Kecak traditional dance in Uluwatu, Bali. Of course this became a memorable experience which made me realize the beauty of Indonesian heritage, which we all have to understand and preserve. To whom else will the responsibility of preserving Indonesia go to if not us, as the young generation and future leaders?
This brings me to the issue of new friends from China who were visiting Indonesia. They were of course excited with the journey. Much more so when they heard Bali. They were so curious about the place, world-renowned by the beautiful beaches. I believe that their 8 days in Indonesia were more than enough to make them fall in love with the country, especially its food. Based on our experience on the dining table, it turns out that many Chinese students love spicy food. They were really into the “sambal” which we served on the table. The memory of them enjoying the meat martabak dish with sambal and pickled cucumber on their second night in Jakarta is still fresh on my mind. They also liked Indonesia native fruits served as juice, such as avocados and papayas and young coconut drinks. They almost always stop to buy young coconuts that they happen to see along the way. This beverage is certainly refreshing and enjoyable in the harsher Indonesian weather that they’re not accustomed to.
See this I caught the existence of potential for increasing foreign tourists animo to visit Indonesia, especially from China. Where in this case is not just Denpansar, but the other three cities into the agenda of our visit in Indonesia. Through this journey, for eight days there are 20 chinese students from Fujian Province, as well as several representatives from the Government in Fujian province and the journalist from the news media in China have become real witnesses of places of interest for tourism in Indonesia. Through a trip to four cities they have viewed the ruins of cultural and historical interest, the hospitality of Indonesia society, the beauty of the beach, the nightlife in Jakarta and Bali, the heritage of a wealth of music and dance as well as the traditions and customs that adorn the peoples lives in Indonesia especially in Jogjakarta and Bali. They are, indirectly will be the best promotional medium for the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy in Indonesia. Returning from Indonesia they will certainly share the story of their adventures in Indonesia to family, friends and people they know in his country.
Furthermore as a host, me and 19 other Indonesia youths already provide the best services while they are visited in Indonesia. The positive image that we show in their visit in Indonesia are expected to give the good impression for them. So the opportunities for them to return to Indonesia along with their relatives become larger. Or maybe people who become listeners of their story for spending time in Indonesia, became interested and decided on a trip to Indonesia.
Other potential that could occur in the future between Indonesia and China after this trip is taking the opportunity to work closely with the Fujian Province through the utilization of science and technology as a tool to proses the nation. I still remember well of our visits at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University. They introduce the Juncao technology as a form of cultivation to produce the type of fungus. This technology allows us to grow several types of nutritious and delicious mushrooms from dried, chopped grasses thus serving as a means of livelihood for thousands. In addition, Chinese farmers can also learn from traditional irrigation system in the farmer community in Bali called Subag. Just wait for the right time so that collaboration in this field could be starting soon and bring benefits to both.
In the end, after completing the emotional journey from China back to Indonesia through event Write to China, I am filled with the renewed spirit to learn more for develop the potential and wealth owned by my country, Indonesia. Both in terms of agriculture, technology, tourism and culture as well. Relations between Indonesia and China since the past is already strong. I also just found out that Indonesian population of china descent apparently majority comes from Fujian Province. I became aware that I have a responsibility to maintain the good relations between Indonesia and China. For me, the friendship between the two countries is not just a political, social, economic cooperation etc, with the aim to benefit both parties. But, personally concerning the intimate relationship between Me and twenty Chinese students for the future could join hands and make changes together for the sake of the progress of each country in the international arena.
Well, about Write to China program organized by FPCI in cooperation with People’s Republic of China Embassy in Indonesia, I personally highly appreciate this activity. Activities such as these should continue to be implemented every year. This activity has become a place to build cross country understanding between the youth from Indonesia and China. Outside of that, this activity provides lots of insight, new knowledge, experience and motivation to become the next future leader and to become the young Indonesian who thinks global but acts locally. Thank you to all the committees who have worked hard to succeed this program. Hopefully this journey becomes part of our upcoming success!