I was very fortunate and incredibly privileged recently to hear a presentation from a young Indonesian woman in regards to Indonesian culture, societal norms, religion and politics. She spoke of how things have been historically, how things are now and where all things Indonesian are possibly going.
In a country where politics and religion is constantly a very local subject, it was enlightening to hear and be able to freely comment on what can be very taboo areas for foreigners.
Indonesia is exploding technologically into the future and at the same time, yet running parallel in an effort to keep up, is the very foreign concept of Democracy. Remembering that Indonesia has been historically governed by military backed Dictatorships and or foreign invaders, Democracy as a word may well be as dirty as the Jakarta skyline.
She explained that when surveys are conducted the majority of Indonesians register high on having heard the word Democracy and even higher on the, ‘have absolutely no idea at all what Democracy in actuality is all about’, register. That Indonesia is a mere foetus in respect to its gestation into the world of Democracy and that corruptive forces are openly standing in the way of progress. She lamented on the lack of opportunities for women in political party systems and how the system had engineered it so as only a few parties could capture votes that may elect them to power. How the youth who were previously responsible for overthrowing Dictatorships were now disillusioned, and were looking for minority political party possibilities but where trapped within the few party system. She went on to explain how buying into a Political Party, pre-election promising and characters of dubious standing and low morality are the way that politicians are perceived by Indonesians and in reality are proven to be so. She stated that it was all just completely crazy.
She spoke eloquently and proudly of her homeland, explaining the positive and negatives of its land, air, sea, and peoples. Indonesian people simply want what all people want, better life and conditions for them and their families. Her frustration that Indonesia’s first tentative steps into Democracy appear destined to be nothing more than greedy politicians who openly lie cheat and excel in self-serving, was equally palpable in her enthusiasm that good people needed to become politicians, normal people who only wanted good for family community and country. Was it too much to ask that good decent people would represent what Democracy truthfully and honestly stands for.
Like all good presenters she ended her presentation on a high note. ‘Indonesians are proud hard working people, with a love and devotion to country. A people who respect diversity and although are very prone to gossip innuendo and cynicism are nonetheless respectful and friendly, an integrated growing mass of people looking to a future with hope, trusting in their leaders to guide them with honesty and good will.’
It appears that Indonesia is well on its way and stepping boldly into the very modern day version of whatever crazy version of Democracy is current, in these rapidly changing times and paradigms.
Observing whats real is becoming increasingly difficult. This site is my view, my perception and my commentary on what I believe to be real, from my own unique position.