The video below is perhaps one of the most charming exposés on Indonesia you will see. Made by the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC in 1955, the video explores what it believes will interest Americans the most – the people of Indonesia.
Narrated in English, with a slightly older style Dutch accent, by an Indonesian man, we are taken back to a time where Indonesia really seemed ‘at its best’. Independent, strong with heart and patriotism, but clearly shown by this letter of invitation, open and proud. See for yourself and don’t forget to read our comments below the video:
For the Indonesians watching, we are more than sure that you got a little misty-eyed as the video played through. To see Indonesia still “itself”, not influenced by foreign beliefs and notions, but also so clearly tolerant of the many types of cultures and ways of life found in the archipelago itself. Of course, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) was a fresh concept that was embraced post-independence.
What is more inspiring is that real sense of belief in the ‘future’. Yes, the video admits to the fact Indonesia is not very developed; the people navigate the seas without machines and tools, they unload boats or farm with their hands and manual labour, admitting colonisation has kept Indonesia back. Yet, now, with this new freedom, Indonesia looks forward to educating its people and growing the country. Can we still say the same thing about today’s Indonesia, or are ‘other concerns’ taking over? Does the importance of money now outweigh people, community, society?
Perhaps the very best line of the video comes right at the end, something that should be remembered as Indonesia pushes further into a developed, global world:
“We plan to keep what was good in the old and find what is good in the new. Goodbye for now.”