By Akhyari Hananto
Every time the Independence day is approaching, I remember what my dad said to me when I was still a little kid. He said "This nation was built through many million lives, sea of blood and tears. Do whatever you can to preserve the freedom, and the spirit of your people to prosper". My father never fails to remind me that my grand father fought the Dutch in his entire life, my great grand father too, my great great grand father was said to have joined the Diponegoro soldiers expelling the Dutch army from Yogyakarta. The spirit of struggle is flowing in my veins.
Indonesia arguably has done a lot after it gained its independence. Indonesia was the first to get Independence after the World War II, and inspired many nations across Asia and Africa to struggle over their independence, and contributed significantly in reshaping the world trough decolonization.
The world recognized Indonesia as the initiator and founder of ASEAN, Non-Alligned Nations, South-South Movement, Asia-Africa conference. Indonesia has proven to be the champ in keeping peace in Cambodia, Congo, Bosnia, Somalia, Lebanon, and many more. People in Cambodia recognized Indonesian Peacekeeping Force as the bravest among other contingents, as it was the only one who was after the Khmer Rouge and pushed them back to the jungle.
Indonesia's economic boom started in early 70's, growing 7% annually to make it the Asian Tiger along with South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, until the crisis in '98 crushed the ship to the ocean's rock bottom. The crisis that brought all but happiness to the table. All that has been built, economy, diplomacy, stability, and national dignity were gone evaporating. However, it made us stronger than ever, Indonesia learned a lot from it.
Now, Indonesia is picking up, and this time... for good. Indonesia's economy is respected as one of the most convincing with stable growth. Its role in international issues is also getting acknowledgments. Indonesian companies book triple profits, and start to venture out buying out stakes. Carefour and Giants now are in Indonesia's hands; Ciputra and Lippo are among the big players in Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Hongkong, and Singapore; Bank Mandiri will soon open up branches worldwide; our airlines have reached out more overseas destination. In addition to that, our students never fail to bring home golds from various scientific olympics. Indonesia collected more gold medals from this kind of olympics than any other country on earth.
My ex boss, a British national, said to me few weeks ago that he never had this confidence towards Indonesia's future, and that the year of 2020 is where Indonesia is really booming as one of the world's power.
When I called my dad this morning, about what he meant by 'preserving the spirit of our people to prosper', he said softly that Indonesians must be optimistic and confident about their future. This country will never again fall into the dark hole of multi-dimension crisis, never again. No matter what, everyone of us has the same responsibility to keep this big and great nation to move forward and grow faster, only by which, our goals will be met.
And it takes two to dance: YOU, AND ME!