I used to love this song when I was little. I would go to our (my parents’s) garment factory to see the factory workers playing this song in their radio. I would sing along, and making a dramatic and heroic dance with this song and felt very much patriotic. But then I grew up, and had forgotten completely how it feels to be Indonesian.
It is funny that it needs a half the world away journey to remind me that. Like many other Indonesians abroad, living outside Indonesia has stopped us to take our Indonesia-ness for granted.
That, however, is not the end of the irony.
Living abroad, many Indonesian have become a great voluntary cultural ambassador of Indonesia. Not only that we have introduced our food, dance, clothing, we also support our country by keep our root in Indonesia. We wanted to retain our Indonesian citizenship, but it’s only logical if we also get a citizenship from the country we are living in.
The Indonesian government, of course could not have made it more difficult. Their stance is “either us or them”, instead of being flexible and accommodative. In the end, for the sake of their family, many parents would give up their Indonesian citizenships. In the end, who’s losing out so much potential?
In the spirit of Red and White.. I would like to ask you to spread the word — to remind the government not only to naturalise football players who happens to have an Indonesian ancestor, but to embrace all Indonesian Diaspora spread all over the world by allowing dual citizenship for us.
If you would love to know more about supporting Indonesian dual citizenship, you can visit the network group on facebook.