did Indonesia celebrate the Obama inauguration ? here in Kenya, people partied all night long and let off fireworks!
Not as extravagant as Kenyan fireworks....
But yes Indonesians celebrating Obama's inauguration.
Obama's former school "Potong Tumpeng" or cutting the "tumpeng" a traditional cone shaped rice with side dishes served around the cone rice. Tumpeng is a prerequisite on Javanese and Sundanese (also national Indonesian) "thanksgiving" or syukuran. A sign of celebration and to express thanks to God for His blessings by feasting on this cone shaped rice.
Putri PrameshwariFormer Obama Classmates Celebrate at Menteng School Photo: US Ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron Hume (left), watches US President Barack Obama's former classmate and teacher cut a rice cone as they celebrate a day after the inauguration, at Menteng Primary School in Jakarta.
Alsya Nadine read her letter with the earnest longing of a child pleading with her parents to buy her a pony.
Only this time, the fifth-grader was asking US President Barack Obama to visit her and her friends at Central Jakarta’s Menteng 01 elementary school.
“It’s because of him our school is now famous,” she read, citing one of the reasons why Obama should visit. “I would feel very special if I could meet the president of the United States of America,” she said, standing on a makeshift stage on the school’s basketball court on Wednesday.
Alsya was speaking at a ceremony held by the school’s class of 1973 to celebrate the inauguration of their friend “Barry” as the 44th president of the United States. More than 80 of Obama’s former classmates attended. A huge banner congratulating Obama was hung as a backdrop, book-ended by the Indonesian and US flags.
Another student, Putri Adila, read a similar letter ex pressing hope that the president would return to his old school, half a world away from the Oval Office.
“I want to see your face and shake your hand,” she said, her voice solemn. “Your teachers are waiting for you here.”
The two letters, along with a few others, were packaged and handed over to the US ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron Hume, who was expected to forward them to Obama.
In his speech, Hume thanked the teachers for the two years Obama spent at the school.
“During his years here, he learned important social skills from his teachers and classmates,” he said, adding that those skills were needed in dealing with the current financial crisis, especially in the United States.
He said, jokingly, that he would like to see Obama “shooting hoops” at the school during a visit to Indonesia.
Obama lived in Indonesia for four years after his mother moved here with her Indonesian husband. His presidency has brought hope to many Indonesians, including one of his former teachers, Hashima, who said she expected the economy to improve in the next few years.
“Even though he faces many challenges, I hope Indonesia’s relations with the United States will improve, including in the economic sector,” she said.
The euphoria following the inauguration was palpable, almost as if Indonesia were electing its own leader. Outside the school, Obama T-shirts were being sold for Rp 35,000 ($3.11) each.
Rully Dasaad, a former classmate, said that Obama’s rise to the presidency had brought his former classmates closer together than ever.
“We usually meet three times a year,” the 48-year-old said, “but in the last six months, we’ve met around 20, 30 times.”
(Adi Weda, EPA)