Contributor, Editor

by fiel.sahir on 

July 1, 2016
Why Indonesia(n)?
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It started with a boring car ride. Being stuck in a car for three hours as a 9 year old with your sister in the backseat can be quite the drag. “Are we there yet, are we there yet?” Meanwhile my parents and their friends are chortling in hysterics. My dad kindly tried to translate some of the jokes being told, but before he could finish, there were another 2-3 jokes and the linguistic barrier. I could only pick up a few things here and there. Towards the end of the car ride this 9 year old decided he had enough. I made two conclusions. One, I wanted to laugh. Two, Indonesian is a funny language. That day, I resolved that I would learn Indonesian. It’s a choice I’ve never regretted.

Diversity. It’s a word that’s on everyone’s lips these days. People love a city because it’s considered to be a demonstration of said word. In Indonesia there’s the old motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. In the U.S. it’s E Pluribus Unum. Unity in Diversity and out of the many one. According to Prof. Bill Liddle of Ohio State University: "Indonesia is the world's most important country that you've never heard of." I agree. Let’s read off Indonesia’s highly impressive resume shall we?

Indonesia is an archipelago of 17,000+ islands that span a distance larger than the length of the continental United States (that’s enormous!) Indonesia has the world’s 4th largest population after China, India, and the U.S. with 250 some odd million people and the world’s largest population of Muslims. With endless beaches, surfing, and snorkeling, it’s also worth mentioning that there around 300 different ethnic groups and over 700 languages and dialects spoken in Indonesia today. Polyglot heaven. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.

Orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinos, beautiful birds, we’ve got them all! You name it, we’ve got it. What we’re missing is YOU. Indonesia is a developing nation and needs more people, teachers, educators that are passionate about Indonesia and seek human flourishing! We need people who are not just coming to the country to benefit, but to invest. Whether you’re Indonesian or not, we need you to care about this country. Gamelan, batik and Bali. Indonesia is so much more than just another easy language you can learn. It’s a country. With people, a story, and a future. 

If you are interested in Indonesia and it's culture, last month I was interviewed by Kristoffer Broholm of the Actual Fluency Podcast. Click here or on the photo to have a listen!
 

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About the author

Born to a Jakartan Father and a Bandung Mother, Indonesian-American Fiel Sahir is a classical guitar performer, teacher, blogger and language enthusiast hailing from New York City. He is currently pursuing his Master’s under Joaquín Clerch in Düsseldorf, Germany. Being a language lover he speaks English, Indonesian, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese. He shares his thoughts with the world at  Between3worlds.com

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