Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Where are Indonesians?

I was expecting to see just one Indonesian name in the recent Time magazine’s special issue The Time 100, list of men and women whose power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world.

So I decided to rush into page 49. I was expecting to see Mr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, our president, the man I thought would be in the list of Leaders. But I only found George Bush, Hu Jintao, Kim Jong Il, Barack Obama, Condy, and some strange names (from my perspective) to be considered Leaders and Revolutionaries. I could understand Bush, Jintao, Clinton, or Jong Il. But Indonesia, a country with 220 million people, might never heard of names like Obama, Malloch Brown, or Gordon Brown. Which part of the world do they have so much influence? Surely, not Indonesia!

I decided not to go on with Artists and Entertainers, cause I believe most of the names are people from Hollywood. So I moved on to Builders and Titans and Heroes & Icons, where for some reasons I skipped since I couldn’t think of Indonesian that fit into these lists.

Just to satisfy my curiosity, I jumped to Scientist and Thinkers. I was thinking great thinker like Cak Nur, one of the great Islam philosopher. But I found Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s senior minister. Minister Lee, at least according to Time, is The Philosopher King for Asia. I was bit jealous. Our tiny neighbor has at least one of its citizens in the list, while our great (just size?) nation, completely off the screen.

Then I asked for the last time, where are my fellow countrymen? Lucky (this is really Indonesian excuse) that Time is not an influential magazine in Indonesia, so people just don’t care. And probably this is Time’s mere marketing gimmick. But I couldn’t stop to think of our leaders, thinkers, scientists, and myself as journalist on that list. Hopefully, one of you will be in 2006 list.



Anonymous Gosia said...

you're right Yosef, in the US people see who is important only from their point of view. we forget - as Time magazine does - that there is a world out there and countries as populous and rich as Indonesia.

April 13, 2005 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time a high profile case goes to court in Indonesia and the winner is not determined by who pays the judge most, SBY will get recognized by everyone - even Time. In the mean time, subtle political manoeuvrings in the domestic arena are hardly worthy of making the world Top 100.

April 14, 2005 11:58 AM  

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