Monday, February 07, 2011

37th SSEAYP 2010 - Welcome to the Kampung!

Day 33 - 26 November 2010 

The first stop for the 33rd day of our 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) was the visit to the Museum Bank Indonesia.

We were fascinated with the old bank notes of various countries.

The Museum provided us with soft drinks to quench our thirst in the hot weather. While we went for the tour, male Muslim Participating Youths (PYs) left their Solidarity Groups (SGs) for Friday prayers.

As the bus drove past the Monumen Nasional (Monas), we witnessed a demonstration by protesters.

Homestay matching was held at a Hotel.

To prevent confusion, we alighted the bus based on our homestay codes.

Waiting for the second verse of the song

Buffet lunch was served before the PYs go up on stage to perform.

Local Performance

Speech by Governor of Jakarta Province

Gift Exchange with Singapore Contingent

Gift Exchange with Vietnam Contingent


Performance by Cambodia contingent

Performance by Philippine contingent

Performance by Japan contingent

Performance by Japan contingent

Performance by Malaysia contingent

Performance by Malaysia contingent

Performance by Thailand contingent

Performance by Indonesia contingent

Performance by Indonesia contingent

Foster Father Made, Mother Novi & homestay mate Biko (Cambodia)

The first fresh cultural experience in Indonesia was having children carrying umbrellas to shelter us from the Hotel to the car. When we reached the car, Bapak Made tipped them. I wondered what would the children do when there were no rain?

The traffic jam in Jakarta made me rethink about the definition of traffic jam in Singapore. In Jakarta, the car could stay stationary for a long long time. Thanks to the traffic jam, we could enjoy a fruitful conversation with our host family.

"If you want to be rich, learn English," said Bapak Made to Biko who was majoring in English language at his University in Cambodia. Bapak Made pursued his tertiary education in United Kingdom at the Oregon State University, studying Engineering.

"If you have a dream, don't sit at home and talk. Do it. As a man, you must have a dream. If you don't reach (your dreams), don't go crazy." -- another adage from Bapak Made.

Biko also talked about Cambodia, mentioning the Polpot regime which left 3 million dead. A civil war then proceeded which lasted until 1998. For the past decade, Cambodia has enjoyed a period of peace.

Talked politics with Bapak Made and learnt about Indonesian politics. He was a friend of former President Megawati, was a member of the Golkar party and later the PDI-P, before quitting politics altogether.

"Life is easy if you know how to figure it out. Everything is in your head." -- yet another adage.

Our host family resides in Bogor city, 35km away from Jakarta Central, half an hour drive without the traffic jam. With the jam, it took about 2 hours.

Bapak Made now manages a country club. When he was at 4th grade, he started to sell ice and kites, renting comics and later renting mobile disco equipment.

When I heard that they were staying in a Kampung, I already braced myself for the worst living conditions. We met a traffic escort and a VIP entourage, so I passed a silly suggestion of tailing the entourage so that we could clear the jam. Surprisingly, Bapak Made did just that! He turned on the hazard lights and for the next half an hour, we were crusing with acceptable speed.

As the car drove through the neighbourhood Kampungs, I felt excited about living in a real Kampung for the first time in my life. And then suddenly, the car turned into a house and parked itself in the mansion.

Bapak Made also convinced Ibu Novi to cook some of her specialty dishes for us. We were, of course, contented with the delicacies.

1st class Kampung

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