I joined volunteer work in Indonesia as a Japanese teacher’s assistant during the summer
vacation. In this news letter, let me show you my experience in Indonesia.
What I have done
I went to Indonesia for the first time. On the first three days, I stayed in dejavato office. In those days, I learned about Indonesia, such as language, manners, and culture. And after that, I went to Kesatrian 1 senior high school, which was a place of my program. In classes, I introduced Japanese culture like yukata, kanji, and hiragana, and answered to the questions students asked to me about Japan.
During the program, I stayed with Mr. Tjandra, a principal of the school. He can speak English well, so I used English to communicate with my host family. I watched Japanese animation with my host brother after school, or watched a movie with host family and I wore hijab. On a weekend, I hung out with my friends. For example, I went to Car Free Day and bought souvenirs.
What I have learned
When I first came to Indonesia, I was surprised at the number of motorcycles. Most Indonesian people use motorcycle as a main transportation because there is serious traffic jam in Indonesia, and public transportations never come on time. On the other hand, in Japan, many people use a car or like to walk and use public transportation. This is because public transportation in Japan is always on time and there is no serious traffic jam. In terms of traffic jam, I think the reason is the population. Indonesian population is fourth highest in the world, it is twice as high as the population in Japan.
And also, labor time is different. In Japan, most businessmen work from about 9a.m. to 8p.m. After that, they sometimes work overtime. But in Indonesia, people work from about 7a.m. to 3p.m. And they seldom work overtime. In my opinion, this is because of the prices. In Indonesia, the prices are very low, so people do not have to earn a lot of money. In contrast, Japanese people have to earn more money because the cost of living is very high in Japan
I think Indonesian people are similar to the Japanese in terms of character. For instance, Indonesian people always say “Permisi(means excuse me)” when they get in the way of other people. This action is caused by the respect to others. And also, they are shy when they meet strangers. During the program, I met many Indonesian children. First, they do not say anything. But after becoming closer, they can talk with me a lot. I think this is a similar point because Japanese people are also quite shy. They never talk with strangers, especially at public places.
The reason why I decided to participate in this volunteer program is that I wanted to know the state of foreign country. When I went to United States, there is a little culture shock, and there is no quite difference between the lifestyle in Japan and the lifestyle in United States. Therefore, I thought that I want to know the state of other countries whose lifestyle is quite different from Japanese one. Last year, my friend participated in this program. And she said Indonesia is a very good country, and also if I join this project, I can find out a lot of things I do not have before. So, I joined this project.
Throughout this program, I got a lot of knowledge about Indonesia. In my university, I major in international relationship, so I really wanted to know the relationship between Japan and Indonesia. Indonesian people are so kind to me, and in the school, students tried to talk with me in Japanese. When I came in the class, they welcomed me. Indonesian people are so friendly to Japanese people. Also, I was surprised at Japanese companies in Indonesia. Most Indonesian people use cars and motorcycles made in Japan. Indonesian people know a lot of Japanese companies. This is the relationship between the two countries.
Thanks to Dejavato foundation, I spent some precious time in my life. I appreciate their help, and I really want to come back to Indonesia because Indonesia is beautiful and good country.