Are you proud to be Indonesian?:The awareness of my nationality

I read through the news on the issue of nationalism, since there are interesting debates on e-mail groups of Indonesian students in Perth about becoming Australia citizen or permanent resident.. The ideas of living overseas or living in Indonesia to give contributions for the country becoming the centre issue related to the nationalism. My eye is attracted to read the article on “Character Building” which mentions the education process:

“As long as education, teachers and school buildings, particularly at the primary and secondary level, are neglected nationwide, character-building at the national level will remain futile. This will entail, as its consequence, the belated materialization of the individual man-making concept, let alone nation building” (Suhaedi, Jakarta Post)

Education becomes powerful process to shape young generations under the national identity. Even though, I haven’t found the evidences yet. Then, I feel uncomfortable when I read the first paragraph of other news on the same topic “The Singapore government has granted citizenship to Indonesian banker Agus Anwar, who fled his country of origin with unsettled debts “(Jakarta Post). The problem is not only “unsettled debts” but also the “citizenship”. I am questioning myself since many friends decided to change Indonesian nationality or live overseas as permanent resident in Australia.. I apprehend as developing country, Indonesia face complex problems on poverty, corruption, and criminal, but should we left Indonesia and stay overseas? If we live in developed country, does it mean we are not nationalist? What do differences on giving contribution by living in or outside the country?

Since I came to Australia, I realize how comfortable of staying in this country. Therefore, I didn’t feel strange when I found many Indonesian try to get citizenship or permanent resident in Australia. Even, my friends always ask me to try to find out the way and follow the process to get it. However, I didn’t feel enthusiasm on it, I just want to be back and give the contribution for the better future of Indonesia. I feel that I am not “fully” nationalist or idealist, but I think my knowledge will be more useful in Indonesia. Moreover, since I realize my role to shape my students as pre-service teachers. I become apprehend that I have opportunities to contribute for the betterment of Indonesia.

In addition, I am bored to hear the negative opinions about Indonesia. I am sad to hear about how expensive the education, how stressful the students (the news on student killed himself because he was shame that the parents couldn’t pay school’s fees), and how other negative things always shaped the national even the international news. I am “fully” conscious on it, but rather than I run away to get the comfortable life in other country, I choose to be back to face the reality of my country. It is not only because I have to be back because of the agreement with the AUSAID, but it is really my willingness. If I told my friends, they will be told me that “you are very idealist”. Even though, I am still worried that my beliefs could be changed. I hope that within 10, 20 or 30 years when I read this narrative, I still have same beliefs and opinions.

It seems that it is not related to my research study, but I found it is prevailing to remind me that the idea of green chemistry as “a bridge” to contribute for the Indonesia future. The idea of sustainability within the education process, in specific, will help my chemistry department to manage the chemical waste problems and sustainability environment surrounding the university. In broad, it will contribute for sustainability in Indonesia, even in the world. Shaping my students’ awareness on their role within the sustainability environment will empower to be the pioneers in the society. Finally, within the limitation and the strength of my country, I will be there to face the reality to shape the young generations. It’s one example of the emails

“In my opinion, I don’t believe it’s only the government’s fault that we are facing this condition. True the government still needs to get their act together and need to have a better, concrete, community based, cost efficient, free from KKN, realistic plan and implementation process for the country. But, if you want to stat blaming a certain party, why not blame the businessmen who when they do business they only think about their own profit and not think about the environment, other people’s needs and the next generation. Indonesia is one of the top 4 countries that have the richest people in Asia.

You can also blame the educated for not educating the people. I have heard about many researchers and scientists who prefer to live abroad because they feel that they are not appreciated in Indonesia. You can also blame the politicians who make unwise policies. I think we have enough rules and regulations in this country. The problem is nobody is implementing it. You can also blame the law enforcement for not enforcing the law. It’s so easy to bribe a police officer. And you know what, you can also blame the society that feels helpless and don’t have the willingness and effort to make a change. If you look at kios-kios, warung and tempat nongkrong, you will find people just sitting around, smoking, and drinking. And you can also blame the previous generation for only thinking about themselves and not help prepare or provide for my generation and the next generation a nice, safe, healthy, environmental friendly, peaceful and rich with natural resource world.

We all know that this century is facing the highest heath, criminal and environmental problems. But instead of blaming I would prefer to appreciate those who have contributed to the development of the community. I hope I can follow in their footsteps. I also hope my generation and the next generation can do better. I still hope the previous generation will help make my generation and the next generation’s job a little bit easier(e-mail from Renata Sajad)

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