Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ind(one)sia (Can)ada!

Indonesia, this word probably sounds strange from some canadian. One of this biggest country in Asia, doesnt have many residents in Canada. They are less than other southeast asian countries – thailand, vietnam, and philippine. Especially in maritime, it is hard to find indonesian.

However, actually the partnership in democracy and economy development between this two countries – has gone well.

Indonesia and Canada signed the Canada-Indonesia Parliamentary Friendship Group (CIPFG) on April 27, 2009. The Group is pursuing an objective to increase bilateral cooperation, mainly on the Parliamentarian side, as well as encouraging executives in each country to increase bilateral economic and trade relations.

Data from the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM in Indonesian acronym) shows Canadian investment realization in Indonesia for the period of 2005 up to 2011 consists of 37 projects worth US$ 157 Millions.

Eveything was started from three years after Indonesia got their independence. Yet, official bilateral relation was signed since 1952. Many things were done during more than 60 years relationship. In spite of more than twenty hours flight needed to reach each others - so far away distance – Indonesia and Canada keep enhance their partnership.

One of their potential partnership is youth programme. More than fourty years partnership programme in youth focus – still ongoing until now. Canada world youth (CWY) – non goverment youth organization – had taken this role. They had done partnership with Indonesian goverment.

CWY and Indonesian goverment work in partnership through the Youth Leaders in Action program. The development project implemented through this partnership focuses on many topics, from social issues, economy, until environment, such as waste management which is including: household garbage and cow manure management.

Activities to support those project emphasize the capacity of local youth, through education, to lead the process of running projects. With regards to management of any task, local youth are encouraged to take an important role, in collaboration with local community, in managing the transformation of the any stuff and sales of derived products.

Results of the programme are increased capacity among youth to carry out needs assessments and focus group discussions ; increased capacity to collect data and support the reporting process ; improved health behaviour of community members ; enhanced capacity of youth to manage environment effectively and sustainably ; enhanced behaviour and skills of community members in dealing with resource quality improvements, maintaining the resource in somewhere.

The program also suppported improvement of inter-generational relationships born out of positive support from older community members to the local youth ; Institutional capacity building ; Focus given to institutional capacity building for the greater integration of gender equality practices in programming areas ; Greater focus on capacity building to establish alliances with other organizations, youth actors and other governmental institutions.

Thereafter, the program rather improved communication amongst those involved in the projects including government ministries, key stakeholders and community members within the project communities.

Hundreds of people joined this program. Nowadays, they are being great peoples ; minister, ambassador, entrepreneurs, academicians, and any experts.

How come they could be like that?. What is the main thing that they did in program?

From all benefits of the program that mentioned above, there is a key word ; cultural understanding. In the program, everyone learns to know and understand deeply about many cultures. Everyday, everybody keep tries to perceive each others ; indonesian and canadian. This process occurs during the six months.

Finally, the long journey results mutual understanding, it is kind of mindset changing. It changes all stereotypes, kill every single judgement, and build the new point of view ; keep respect toward the value of each culture.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they have become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny”.

It was happened in the alumnies of the program.

The next question is - what kind of cultural understanding that happened?

Indonesian has value ‘gotong royong’, which means mutual aid. It also signify solidarity. They have nice teamwork. Indonesian loves to say ‘we are the one’, as a form of their togetherness.

Otherwise, canadian is more individualist. The hofstede centre-research organization- explained, Canada can be characterized as an individualistic culture. This translates into a loosely-knit society in which the expectation is that people look after themselves and their immediate families. They have optimism which make they like to say ‘ya I can do that!’.

If we try to combine both of those values, it will create a new spirit and energy. It could be perfect value ; personal optimism who love to collaborate each others in making amazing works.

This program is still running until today, with some adaptations with the derivative values. For last five years, it is going in Nova Scotia (Truro and Halifax) and Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown). This year is final year of this program at the cities. Because of the program was designed to change place every five years.

In this week, at December 12th in Charlottetown, 14th in Halifax, and 15th in Truro, they would like to say thanks to community with giving special cultural show- as the gift. It will be different with previous years. With title ‘Semalam di Indonesia’, the show will give experience about live one night in Indonesia to audiences.

Come and enjoy, you will also know and learn about how cultural understanding can be mutual understanding and may change your mindset.

This article is also published in Logbook of Canada World Youth , Dec, 19th 2013

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