Prologue: Becoming Indonesia

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By the last week of September, I was once again returned to the busy Jakarta, back to the usual schedule, the usual things to do. I remembered it was almost lunch time, I was sitting in a small office room near Thamrin City Office Park, scrolling through my personal e-mails and…… stunned.

There was this one e-mail congratulating me on making it to the 32 finalists of Becoming Indonesia: Student Essay Competition (KEM) 2013, it is an annual competition and this year is its ffth year. 

I clearly spent the first minutes of my lunch break by staring, just staring doing nothing, at that e-mail. Actually my default reaction would be jumping here and there laughing, but this is just… different. The competition was different, I did not dare to have a thought that they will select mine out of 1.529 essays.

Tempo Institute official website has not yet release the names of the winners. Instead, according to the web, the official announcement would be released on October 1st. So I did some research, out of curiosity, by logging in to facebook and twitter and search for #kem2013. Most of the result revolve around people who were so excited for October 1st and also wishes and prayers that everyone will be accepted for the program. No single indication about early announcements whatsoever.

Almost sure that this was a prank, I turned off my computer and walked away for lunch (I’m so sorry mbak Etha.. xD).

The next day, I got a call from an unknown number to my personal line. it was around 9 a.m. and I was on my way to the Office Park.

“Hi Rielya. I’m Etha from Tempo Institute. Have you checked your mail yet?”
“No maam, I haven’t” –> big fat liar, I was just buying time to process that someone from Tempo Institute gave me a call. Yesterday’s mail probably was not a joke.
“Congratulation. You made it to the 32 finalists chosen to go to Leadership Camp for two weeks.”
“Is this for real, maam?”
“(laughing)” yes of coooourse. So please check your e-mail. We called your home phone yesterday and I think it was your brother who answered the phone. He haven’t told you anything?”
*shaking my head* *realizing she couldn’t see me* “Not yet, maam.” –> 100% truth, my brother say no word about this.
“Allright, thanks, maam”
“You’re welcome.”

After that I remember I was almost jumping around along the way from Sudirman station to the Office Park.

This is a big event. KEM 2013 is one of Becoming Indonesia’s project and was already held for four consecutive years since 2009. One of KEM 2010 alumni, Moses, created an acronym for Becoming Indonesia which is more or less translated to “we better not just stay quiet for Indonesia”.
So every year, Indonesia’s youth from all across the land send out their essays, fruits of their thoughts and hopes, and sometimes also the bitterness they feel about Indonesia and write it out into an essay. This year, there were 1.529 essays in total.
At first the Tempo Institute selected 30 writers to join the 2 weeks leadership camp in Bogor. But then they increase the quota to 32 finalist. According to @menjadi_id ‘s tweet, that was a policy made considering the quantity and quality of the essays they received.

This is the list of the 32 selected essays:

Amir Fadli Nasution
Jika Koruptor Saja Bergenerasi
Universitas Sumatera Utara
Asep Andri
Kita Dan Demokrasi Selebar Depa
IAIN Syekh Nurjati Cirebon
Athirptin Halawiyah
Kontradiksi Dalam Menyikapi Demokrasi Oleh Perongrong NKRI
UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta
Benny Prawira
Keberagaman Yang Terlupakan
Universitas Bunda Mulia
Brita Putri Utami
Suara Difabel Adalah Suara Kita
Universitas Gajah Mada
Fadrin Fadlan Bya
Di Bali, Islam Belajar Toleransi
Universitas Brawijaya
Fikri Disyacitta
Konsekuensi Homogenitas dan Dialog Antariman
Universitas Airlangga
Pertukaran Pemuda Antar Suku Memupuk Kebhinekaan Pemuda
Universitas Mulawarman
Guster C P Sihombing
Menghargai Manusia Tanpa Batas Orientasi
Universitas Sumatera Utara
Heru Joni Putra
Di Bawah Ancaman Nasionalisme
Universitas Andalas
Menyelamatkan Naskah Kuno Nusantara
Institute Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember Surabaya
Jody Bhaskara
Analogi dari Suatu Film: Kartun Etnosentrisme dan Stereotip Pemicu Disintegrasi
Universitas Indonesia
Martin Rambe
Pendidik Tidak Berintegritas Air Mata Putus Kuliah
Universitas Sumatera Utara
May Rahmani
Sebilah Pisau Bernama Stigma
IISIP Jakarta
Muh Ihsan Harahap
Widji Thukul Syi’ah Sampang Mesir: Menguji Kembali Rasa Kemanusian Kita
Universitas Hasanuddin
Muhammad Fajar Putranto
Soundscape: Adab Bunyi Yang Terabaikan Dalam Budaya Indonesia
Institut Seni Indonesia Surakarta
Naufil Istikhari KR
Surat Terbuka Buat Pak Nuh
Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta
Rahma Yulia Prastiwi
Ketika Budaya Berbicara: Surat Anoman Kepada Android
Universitas Airlangga
Rahmadani Puji Lestari
Intermeso Tentang Negeriku
Universitas Gajah Mada
Raymundus Rikang Rinangga Widya
Wajah Kerukunan Umat Beragama Dipelosok Dusun
Universitas Atmajaya Yogyakarta
Rendy Adriyab Diningrat
Wisata Penjara: Saatnya Koruptor Menjadi Objek Wisata
Universitas Gajah Mada
Rezza Aji Pratama
Belajar Dari Norman Osborn
UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta
Masihkah Kau Membutuhkan Perumpamaan
Universitas Negeri Jakarta
Rielya Alfa Florianti Lasano
Jatuh Cinta Pada Indonesia
Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya
Rio Rahadian Tuasikal
Indonesia Butuh Lebih Dari Karnaval
Universitas Komputer Indonesia Bandung
Ririe Rachmania
Ketidakselarasan Pendidikan dan Integritas
Universitas Airlangga
Sanggar Anak Akar: Sumbangan Rakyat Pinggiran Untuk Indonesia
Sekolah Tinggi Bahasa Asing LIA
Buku, Ibu dan Nasib Pendidikan
Institut Agama Islam Negeri Surakarta
Shalahuddin Al Madury
Pendidikan Mencetakku Menjadi Kurang Ajar
Universitas Islam Indonesia
Suci Amelia Harlen
Bagimu Agamamu, Bagiku Agamaku
Universitas Padjadjaran
Yohanis Ajoi
Menakar Duri Konflik Perbedaan Dalam Daging Kebhinekaan
Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Teologi Fajar Timur
Yoni Elviandri
Kemilau Mahakam: Mata Indonesia Di Tapal Batas Khatulistiwa
Institut Pertanian Bogor

Leadership Camp is given in order to equip us with materials, perspective and knowledge about leadership and journalism, as Tempo is actually a newspaper company. Looking at the event’s schedule sent to my e-mail, I was excited to see that there are Human Rights session, as well as Indonesia’s History and Politics, Gender and Women, Leadership and the Environment, Social Analysis and also lots of other fun sessions waiting for us! I texted Aloince and upon seeing my schedule she said that it looks like I’m going for a summer course or something, because there are a lot of topics to talk about in 2 weeks period. Lol.

But to think about it, probably because this is a short program with so many interesting topics  to talk about, then I feel even more excited. Imagining I will learn all these things with the other 31 friends come from various places in Indonesia is exciting. These young people, us, we wrote because we care. We wrote because we want to do something to bring a change. For our homeland.

and so with this feelings, my journey with Becoming Indonesia began.

Published by reylasano

she writes your stories

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