Sunday, 27 December 2009
Sharing Obama's Dream
I've always love to read memoirs and biographies, but Obama's memoir is not just an ordinary memoir. It was written before he won the presidential election (read this blog too). The greatest token from Pesta Blogger 2009 is a translated book of "Dreams from my Father" from the booth of the USA's Embassy. Pesta Blogger 2009 was giving me some treasures as I've got variety of books (from the USA Embassy) and a book "Makassar dari jendela pete-pete" about my hometown Makassar (given by Panyingkul's founder, Lily Yulianty Farid). I've also got more friends and more knowledge...
I am reading Obama's book during this Christmas holidays, and was enchanted by how he could put his heart's battle into a memoir. Now, I also know more about his brother which was mentioned in an article that I've pasted here as a post showing how rich is Obama's background (at that time without really knowing their real relationship and background). Reading memoirs that was written before he was elected as a president gave me an impression of honesty.
It is also showing me another aspect of the USA that I would probably not able to see through the Hollywood movies. It is enhancing my previous note on racism. So, it is a universal problem, and nobody could claim that their part is more miserable than others. That little Obama grew up with more identity problem than me. Googling through the internet made me encounter this other post (in Bahasa Indonesia) commenting about the same article from Jakarta Post's weekenders.
His biography also give me a chance to see the struggle of identity that came in generations before him. Barrack Obama (Barry)was very lucky as he gained good supports from his close relatives. I think his Indonesian father should also be credited in that process. That's how he can share the essence of his biological father's dream (also his grandfather's dream). He was blessed with the distance that his other siblings didn't really get. That's how Mark (his younger half brother) can only remembered a different version of nightmare (read more here).
Obama's struggle is reminding me of the Papuan struggle to obtain their identities. Seeing the film "Denias" is really different from "Laskar Pelangi". Both Denias and Lintang has the same problem, an access to the education. Yet, the problem faced by Denias is more than financial matter. . Denias needed to face his own Papuan brothers. That is the kind of discrimination that I can also feel in Obama's memoir.
Last week I brought some foreign friends to see the old film "Indonesia Indah 1" in the IMAX theatre, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. I was embarrassed that some Indonesian; while seeing the Papuans dancing their dance (using only their kotekas) shouted out loud "pornography" in front of their children. It is actually an insult of others' traditional clothes. For the Papuan, the history of koteka is also the history of Adam and Eve (Emogiki Pane and Emobeku Pane), koteka and moge are their "clothes" after realizing their nudity in front of God. It is also a tribal symbol and one's pride. A dialog through citizen journalism website made me aware of this reality. Yet, I didn't have the courage to ask those shouting people to respect others' culture. It was in public, but I do hope that school can give an example of respecting others' culture. If they are kept being pushed to deny their real identity, then no wonder if they do not feel that they belong to Indonesian brotherhood. We can see how Obama's grandfather changed himself. It is something that come from inside one's heart, just like when Adam and Eve realized that they were naked, that they need clothes...men changed their way of living.
Obama's dream and hope are universal, it is not about any race...but it is about real freedom, equal right as human beings. If the Papuans want their freedom, I think it is not actually a political demand. It is more their own struggle with their emotional feelings of being the righteous owner of their own land. I am always sad when some part of Indonesian archipelago asking for their "freedom". Are they sure that they can survive by themselves? We need to be together as a country to stand the universal world. It is also a universal struggle, a struggle of humanity...to be able to sit as real brothers and sisters.
Obama has succeeded in stepping farther through his identity struggling period. Now is his time to show the world that he can help us gaining more positive approaches toward a peaceful world. It is not easier than his own identity struggle, and it is surely need lots of prayers and actions to support this universal goal.