Indah Setiawati and Stevie Emilia
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sun, August 12 2012, 10:40 AM
TV presenter Daniel Mananta with his patriotic label Damn! I Love Indonesia. JP/P.J. Leo
Did you know that Indonesia’s best-selling novel, Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Warriors), by author Andrea Hirata, is being used for reference material at several Australian universities?
Or, did you know that Surabaya’s Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS)’s maritime challenge team has just won a top award at the prestigious Atlantic Challenge 2012 competition held in Bantry, Ireland?
With excessive bad news always around, many are unaware that there is good news, such as has been published by indonesiaberprestasi.web.id, a website which aims to inspire social movements by spreading positive and inspiring news on Indonesia. Its Twitter account, @greatindonesia, has 62,534 followers.
Together, @greatindonesia and its website, runs different news covering Indonesians’ achievements in many local and international competitions, as well as inspirational stories.
One of the inspiring stories features a former dishwasher — Surabayan native Rudi Suparno, who is now the successful owner of Wok Express fast food in Las Vegas, US.
“Our vision is to be a leading [platform] for social movement by spreading positive information on the best of Indonesia and inspire Indonesian people to be the best,” Indonesia Berprestasi website’s administrator says.
Out there, more people — individually or in groups — continue to spread good news to show their love for the country.
They are neither authorities nor security officers trusted to defend the country. They are only ordinary citizens who want to show the world that their country has many more to offer and shout it loud, in their own ways.
Television presenter Daniel Mananta chooses to inspire the nationalist spirit among the young through his clothing label — DAMN! I love Indonesia.
The country’s culture and heroes are the inspirations for his clothing designs, which range from contemporary drawings with batik patterns, wayang characters and Indonesian heroes, such as late first president Sukarno and Bung Tomo.
The 31-year-old previously said that he created the label because he was concerned about his peers who had less appreciation for Indonesia and complained all the time. Now, customers of Daniel’s T-shirts travel to many countries while silently promoting Indonesia.
The hype of building optimism does not stop here.
There is also @idoptimis, which stands for Indonesia Optimis or Optimistic Indonesia, set up by a group of young people from Yogyakarta who began tweeting in August 2010.
The group stole the attention of tens of thousands of netizens when they held a digital flag ceremony to commemorate the country’s Independence Day in 2010 and 2011.
The account, which has 12,588 followers, highlights various issues, such as promoting pluralism, unity in diversity, sporting spirit and more.
In the Twitter land, you can also read good news at @GNFI, an account which stands for Good News From Indonesia — the name which literally defines its content: Positive news about the country and its people.
The account’s founder, Akhyari Hananto, says he browses the Internet to find good news and posts around 12 tweets a day after finishing his work in a private company in Surabaya, East Java. He further expands its content in goodnewsfromindonesia.org.
The 34-year-old was inspired to set up the account after an encounter with some rich tourists when visiting the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.
At that time, he wondered why the tourists preferred to visit the poor and isolated islands than going to Indonesia. Their answer startled him. “They said ‘your media talks about brawls, anarchy and the like’,” Akhyari said.
In writing the news, he did not take a journalistic approach, just like when reporting on the ongoing Olympics.
For instance, he only tweeted when Indonesian shuttlers Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad made it to the semifinals, but not when they failed to bring home any medals.
“Yes, I avoid bad news. I am not a journalist. I knew when the athletes lost and felt sad, but I did not tweet it. Anyway, the account name is not Good and Bad News from Indonesia.”
Web researcher Mappesangka Mustafa, who launched indonesiaproud.com or iProud, soon after taking part in the Indonesian development management reform training in 2009, pointed out the country’s extraordinary potential, from natural and human resources to art and cultural diversity to more.
“We have great potential and have many achievements that we can show to the world,” he said on the website. “Unfortunately, we are known more for corruption cases and terrorism rather than our rich potential and our many achievements.”
The portal’s latest piece was about Indonesian aeronautical engineer, Saryani Asmayawati, who was among the members of a team from Cranfield University who were recognized by British Queen Elizabeth II for work in aviation safety. Yani is an alumni of the Bandung Institute of Technology’s aeronautics department who graduated in 2000.
Mappesangka criticized mainstream media for providing insufficient space for good news.
“Through the website, I just want to share and play a role to spread information about the nation and the country’s achievements and potential in hopes that that as an Indonesian, we can proudly say to people outside that ‘I am Indonesian and I am proud.”
Source: The Jakarta Post