Kangen Indonesia

Title: Kangen Indonesia. 
        Indonesia di Mata Orang Jepang
Author: Hisanori Kato
Translator:Ucu Fadhilah
Publisher: Penerbit Buku Kompas
Publication Date: Second Printing, December 2012
Pages: 144

How does a Japanese expatriate see Indonesia as a whole? From hatred turned into deep love. That what happened to Prof. Sato, who have spent several years in Indonesia. As he graduated from Philosophy Department, Literature Faculty at Hosei University in 1988, he worked in Tokyo for two years then continued  one year in USA during 1990 when the Gulf War occurred. The pros and cons about the war, brought  a new insight for him and finally he decided  to return to Japan and worked peacefully there. 

Not long after his return, he read a vacancy about Jakarta International School (JIS) was looking for a Japanese teacher. Interested to work overseas, he decided to apply and accepted. He taught at JIS for three years (1991-1994). The adventure began. At the moment he arrived at Soekarno-Hatta airport, he felt that he was transformed into a strange place, totally different with the airport in Japan or in USA. Knowing nothing about Indonesian language, he was  confused about what would happen to him. He experienced lots of hard times, such as: several watches and wallet being robbed in public transportation, his domestic assistance stole some money, etc. He even thought to leave Indonesia soon. But his life changed when he saw someone sang in the  bus and got payment.  

He finally asked his friend, also a Japanese, to form a duo, named "The Selamat" and began to sing on  Blok M-Kota bus, to his surprise, the bus passengers seemed to enjoy their performance and gave them lots of money. The way the passengers welcome him as a stranger, had changed his point of view about Indonesia. 

In 2004, Prof. Kato returned to Indonesia and became a visiting lecturer at Universitas Nasional until 2009. He has been living abroad for twenty years, but Indonesia will always be in his heart. Prof. Kato  has many memories about Indonesia, about his friendship and his deep respect to the late Gus Dur, about Indonesia people who like to say 'tidak apa-apa' (no problem) for many major things, such as being late in a meeting, forget about something, and the like.

It's always interesting to know how people from other country see our country. In this light and fast reading, we will find lots of things either to be proud of or to ponder about. 

2 comments:

alaya February 22, 2013 at 8:18 PM  

menarik ya bukunya *pengen baca juga*

riana February 26, 2013 at 10:11 PM  

@alaya: gaya bahasanya agak kaku, khas jepang, tapi topik yg dibahas menarik :)