Thursday, November 11, 2010

Obama's Mesmerizing Visit


"Bakso, Nasi goreng, Kerupuk, Emping, Semuanya Enak" these are Indonesian words which in English means "Fried rice, Meatball, Crackers, they are delicious"

Those words were mentioned by U.S President Barack Obama when he spoke at a dinner banquet hosted by President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono in Jakarta, yesterday evening.

For me and million other Indonesians who watched the event on TV, those words, and other words uttered by Obama when he visited the Istiqlal Mosque and the University of Indonesia the next morning, implied that Obama has a good memory about his childhood days in Jakarta from 1967 until 1971.

This perception has made me and other Indonesians understand and accept the Indonesia-U.S.A Partnership Agreement signed earlier by both presidents, and also the granting of Indonesia's Highest Civilian Award to the late mother of Obama i.e. Anne Dunham.

Obama's 18 hours visit to Jakarta has also made surprising changes to two Indonesian public figures, i.e former president Megawati finally show up at the State Palace after her six years of refusal, and Minister of Information and Communication Tifatul Sembiring shook hands with a lady, U.S First Lady Michelle Obama, something that he did never before.

For me, what Obama said and done during his 18 hours visit show that he is friendly toward Indonesia and the Indonesian people, something that cannot be matched by any other foreign leaders. And this is very good for Indonesia, because Obama is the President of the most powerful country on earth today.

I therefore hope that our leaders would be able to use this very good opportunity for the best interest of Indonesia.

Sources :
How Obama Charmed Indonesia in Just 18 Hours (The Jakarta Globe)
Bakso, nasi goreng ... semuanya enak (The Jakarta Post)
Tifatul Sembiring, Michelle Obama, and A Raging Online Debate (Kompas)

Photo : Courtesy of The Jakarta Post.

17 comments:

ReBorn said...

I also love to hear him speak much Indonesian, as well as some insinuation about the union and the Pancasila. should be emulated by leaders of Indonesia.

anyway, important people can sometimes make other people forgot to whom he shook hands and willing to travel to a place that is not expected. : P

cucuharis said...

Obama
Menyisakan cerita bagi umumnya raknyat Indonesia
Cerita baik, kurang baik, serius dan cerita lucu :)

DS. Utomo said...

We need a charismatic person like Obama in this country !

colson said...

The visit obviously was a huge success - both for the US and Indonesia alike. Indonesia is a crucial player on a global scale. I tend to agree though with the Dutch correspondent in Jakarta ( Elske Schouten) who wrote yesterday that Indonesia (that is Indonesians involved in international politics and international business) should shed it's modest attitude. It actually is the fourth nation by inhabitants an it's economic development turned it into a of the big economies with the prospect of ongoing success

When Obama invited RI to be the bridge of moderation between Islamic countries and the West, it may be a challenging and crucial role to play.

Islamic Family Law said...

He gets public sympathy because of sate, nasi goreng, bakso,emping, and krupuk.. ;)

Anyway, he is very brilliant by using Indonesian words in his speech, also talked about his childhood in Jakarta.

seotrollverse said...

wow very nice post! How I wish Obama visiting my country too. To think about it maybe a some kind of honor for us in our country.

I'm sure his visit benefited indonesians. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

A homecoming for an American president who spent a number of years of his childhood in Indonesia.

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

pidatonya aku suka..:3

H. Nizam said...

@ReBorn,
Obama is a very good communicator who knows about Indonesia and can speak Indonesian language better than Cinta Laura.
All that enabled him to win the hearts of many Indonesians.
About shaking hands: I've writtent about it and linked to news report.

@Cucuharis,
Pemimpin selalu memiliki plus-minus

@DS Utomo,
I am sure that among 238 million Indonesians there are some who can lead the country charismatically.

@Colson,
Yes it is about time that Indonesia play a leading role in international matter especially on matters related to Islamic countries.

@Islamic Family Law,
His very good communication skills enabled him to win the hearts of many Indonesians fast and easily. Our leaders must learn to do that.

@Seotrollverse,
I agree that his visit is beneficial for us, also for USA.
I'll check your blog again.

@Peter/Kiwi,
Yes that's what he described in in Indonesian language "home coming".

@TUKANG CoLoNG,
Pidatonay memang bagus.

Teras Info said...

wah...saya suka tuh pas Obama pidato.....he.he..he...

H. Nizam said...

Teras Info,
Pidatonya menarik sehingga diskuai banyak orang. Mudah2an pemimpin kita semuanya lihat biar mereka belajar komunikasi dengan rakyat.

Rob Baiton said...

He used Hindi (I think) when he was in India. As far as I recall he never lived in India.

It is always good when you are in the home of your hosts to be polite and courteous, and to learn a few words of their language.

In the forty years or so between visits there has been a lot of water pass under the bridge.

Speaking a few words of Indonesian and having lived in the country for four years some forty years earlier does not equate to Obama being the world leader that is most friendly to Indonesia.

Final point. There is little doubt that Obama would have had final veto on the speech (on any speech that he gives), but who wrote the speeches he gave in Indonesia?

H. Nizam said...

Hi Rob,

You are right that any leaders visiting other countries would do their best to please the people of the host country, incl. saying few local words.

In Obama's case, he came at a time when Indonesian leaders are very weak in communicating with their own people, and seems to forget Indonesia's basic principles like Bhineka Tunggal Ika,Pancasila, constitution.

Whereas Obama with his top quality communication skills, using several Indonesian words and reminded us all of the said forgotten principles.

ASPeMusik said...

obama people are smart. can please people's hearts

H. Nizam said...

ASPemusik,
Let's hope that our leaders can be as smart and successful as Obama.

the dream catcher said...

no matter how American people feel about Obama recently, I am still amazed that he still able to speak Indonesian fluently though only few words.

Unlike some people who pretend to look unable to speak Indonesian and feel the need to speak with FAKE foreign accent

H. Nizam said...

The Dream Catcher,
Obama's ability to speak Indonesian with proper pronunciation is amazing indeed. Especially if we compare with some celebrities who have been living here for many years but speak with foreign accent.