I participate in the speech club in my school, I bring the theme at how the young generation in Indonesia contributed the unity of their country. It has been a wonderful experience because I can share about the youth in Indonesia, also in this imformative speech, I can learned from many other competitors. I am so glad that this speech turned to be the honorable mention and the fifth place for the MHSL conference. Now, I still have about the sub-section competition. Wish me luck! Here is the speech that I gave for the speech competition.
“Youth Inspired Indonesian Movement”
By Adila Hasrimi
While you are sitting down in this room, imagine a place at the other side of the earth. This place is surrounded by ocean, has many islands, and well known as an archipelago country. Yes, it is Indonesia. As part of a young generation who grew up in Indonesia, I have seen how youth both in the United States and Indonesia tend to be open minded with the changes around them. The awakening of unity and nationalism of a nation are mostly inspired by the young generation. Today, I will inform you about the past exploration and exploitation of the land of Indonesia, how a young leader used education to inspire Indonesia societies to help overcome the colonization, and how the Youth Pledge in 1928 become the awakening of unity in Indonesia.
Indonesia has unique social culture and beautiful landscape. According to stat. gov, Indonesia is an archipelago country in Southeast Asia that consists about 17,500 islands, surrounded by the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Indonesia is close to the equator which has high precipitation and warm temperatures. This condition encourages the majority of people in Indonesia to work in agricultural. According to state.gov, in 2010, Agriculture in Indonesia contributes to 15.3% of GDP and the major products of agriculture are timber, rubber, rice, palm oil, and coffee. Also, in 2010, natural resources including oil and gas, bauxite, silver, tin, copper, gold, and coal contribute to 11.2% of GDP. According to worldinfozone.com, we can find around 300 distinct native ethnicities and 742 languages and dialects in Indonesia. From West to East of Indonesia, you can imagine how diverse the social life is in Indonesia.
To learn about Indonesia today, we should look into its past. According to indo.com Indonesia’s abundant spices first brought Portuguese merchants to the key of trading ports of Malacca in 1511. Prized for their flavor, spices such as cloves, nutmeg and mace were also believed to cure everything from plague to venereal disease, and were literally worth their weight in gold. The Dutch eventually wrested control of the spice trade from Portuguese, and the Dutch East India Company known by initials VOC established a spice monopoly which lasted well into the 18th century. During the 19th century, the Dutch began sugar and coffee cultivation on Java, which was soon providing three-fourths of the world supply of coffee. The condition made Indonesian societies were reduced to force labor, they gave their crops and land, and there was not any fair payment in return. This proved that beauty of landscape and plenty of natural resources attracted many people from all around the world to exploit and explore the land of Indonesia.
Realizing the colonization must be stopped, in 1908 many nationalism organization started to grow. In Indonesia, the youth organizations became the driving force to gain independence. A pioneer of youth movement “KI HAJAR DEWANTARA” had a goal to promote a national education. He thought if everybody had a better education, the societies will think to change the condition in Indonesia. On July 3rd, 1922, Ki Hajar and his friends established a school called “Taman Siswa”. This school was opened for Indonesian societieswho wanted to participate as the agent of change for the future of Indonesia. Education was one of the most important factors in freeing the Indonesia of their suppression and suffering. Ki Hajar had three important principles. First, “Ing Ngarso Sung Tulodo” which mean in front gives examples, it shows an example by using the knowledge a leader will lead the people to do right things. Second, “Ing Madyo Mangun Karso” which mean in the middle builds up the spirit, as the societies we should encourage other people to participate in citizenship. Finally, “Tut Wuri Handayani” (from behind supervises), it means the societies always support when the leader lead them to do right things. To this day, these wise principles are still the guidance in the world of Indonesian education.
Ki Hajar Dewantara inspired many young generations in Indonesia to contribute something to their nation. One application of his principles was The Youth Pledge in 1928. In October 28, 1928, the spirit of nationalism was explicitly ignited by youths from different regions in Indonesia who pledged “One motherland, one nation, and one language”. In one language, the young minds understood and visualized a common goal of freedom and independence to break free from shackles of colonial injustice. Unity, patriotism, and nationalism, the essential implications of the pledge, all illustrate a mesmerizing image of a certain social culture of solidarity. Nationalism that the youth introduced offers a sense of belonging that may be used as a basis for the collective effort of a people progressing toward a common goal.
Overall, Indonesian young generations today grows with pride of unity and nationalism. Youth use the knowledge from the past to apply into their lives. Ki Hajar Dewantara and Youth Pledge 1928 become the basic reference for youth in Indonesia to take a look at how the past generations struggled to perform nationalism and unity.