In May, I was invited by the Indonesian social organization, Gafatar, to teach an online English class to more than 150 junior and senior high school students in more than 35 provinces throughout the country. These students are homeschooled through Gafatar. I conducted the lesson via video conferencing which sort of boggles my mind since when we first visited Bali only the big cities had electricity, and you had to travel to Jakarta to make an overseas phone call. A lot has changed.
These students were very bright and engaged, and it was a wonderful experience teaching them. I assigned a homework project to write a story why they love Indonesia, and extra credit for adding an illustration and a second story about their home town. I hope you enjoy them.
Saya Cinta Indonesia
“What I love most about Indonesia is the people. (Most of) the people here are humble, friendly, kind. I love that people, especially Javanese, say “sorry” even though they’ve done nothing wrong. I love the way people smile at each other on the streets, even if they didn’t know each other. I love the scenery and the tradition, as well.”
Alifa Salma, Yogakarta
Note from Alifa:
Dear, Mr. Dave
My name’s Alifa Salma, but you can call me Ifa. I’m 14 years old and I’m from Jogja. Here’s my 4-sentence story about what I love most about Indonesia. Well, I wrote 5 sentences. I’ve re-read my story countless times to make sure that there are no grammatical errors or typos, so I hope there aren’t. I hope you like it.
…She definitely received extra credit.
The story about what I like best Indonesia.
“Indonesia is a country rich in traditional culture, one of which has a traditional children’s game. In a traditional children’s game contains the values of Indonesian public life. One example of a traditional children’s games from West Java is Gatrik.Gatrik is a game for children aged 8-12 years was carried out by two or up to five people. The necessary tools are bamboo slats measuring about 40 cm long, 2 cm wide and small blades, brick, and places a rather board. The game calculates the distance to train skill, sense of responsibility and solidarity. We as Indonesian children proud of the culture that we have.”
Describe my city.
“I live in Subang. It is located in the province of West Java. Subang is having a temperature hot enough but South of the city of Subang is having cold temperatures like Tangkuban Perahu and Ciater. Tangkuban Perahu is a tourist spot that has beautiful natural scenery, as well known stories Sangkuriang. South of the city of Subang has natural cool with winding roads, where as far as the eye could see only the stretch of the tea tree which lies on the side of the road. Ciater is also the tourist spot that has hot water containing sulfur. That have beautiful scenery and cool weather.
Unfortunately, I live exactly in the center of town Subang with temperature hot enough, but nevertheless we live in a society that likes work together, have love for one another and love of helping with neighbours.”
Due to technical difficulties by Pak Dave
Illustration by Achsanul Hafizhi
“Talk about Indonesia, the one that I love from Indonesia is its beautiful beaches even several beaches in Indonesia has been worldwide, for example coast of Raja Ampat’s beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia. Located in West Papua, this beach is the largest marine park in Indonesia and has a wealth of marine life in the world. Almost 75% of the world’s coral reefs are in Raja Ampat.
“Not only beaches, but Indonesia has everything, if Indonesia embargo itself then any other country it is difficult to get all kinds of clothing, food, and the Board because it’s called the lungs of the world.”
Sent from my BlackBerry®
“I love Indonesia for its natural resources, especially from sea. Indonesia is well-known for its underwater paradise, such as Raja ampat in Papua, Wakatobi national park in Southeastern of Sulawesi, Nusa dua beach in Bali and many more. We are able to find mostly of world sea resources in Indonesian sea, like seaweed and seahorse for medical needs; pearl from mother of pearl to make jewelry; lobster, tuna, macarel and other consumable sea creatures; beautiful fish and coral; etc. I hope we will be able to take advantage wisely without destroying and bothering the peaceful nature.
Second story: My Village
“I live in a village named Grogol Tempel, which is located on Sleman Regency (Kabupaten); DIY province, since I was four years old. My village was calm and silence. I barely saw motorcycle or car, even people, passed through in front of my house. Beside my house, there was a sugarcane field, where I asked for some sugarcane to be eaten together with my friends when the harvest time.
“But now, my village is full of people. Maybe because there are some housings that was built in my village. The sugarcane field also change into a fishing ground and restaurant. A bridge was built not so long near my house, that makes the mobility much easier than in the past. I love both the past and the present of my village because it makes a valuable memories of my childhood and now.”
Maulana Alif, DIY Province, near Yogakarta
“I like to Indonesia because many of its crops, and I am proud to be Indonesian because Indonesia will be the world lighthouse because it was said by Ir Soekarno, I love Indonesia because of diverse ethnicities and cultures and a wide variety of his character and his nature and this one I really like her that much surrounded Indonesian island – the island almost kesuluruhan of Indonesia consists of ocean waters ie 70% and 30% land.
“I love Indonesia because of its many cultures and their various likes. I also like its temples which are beautiful and I like to dance Indonesian dances. And the last one I love the Indonesian art and culture .”
Ridwan Morenov, Central Jakarta
- I love Indonesia because of its natural beauty with its natural resources are abundant, and many tribes and races and rich language. richon in animals and plants are unique and beautiful makes me so amazed by the grace that God gave to my beloved country is Indonesia .
- “The city of Bandung is often called the city of flowers. With the pre-history of the building (the museum) and the coolness of the city of Bandung is often a choice made local and foreign tourists. Places frequented by tourists one of the Asian-African museum and building an independent, geological museum, a white crater and valley areas.
Author Unknown (due to Pak Dave’s tech issues)