Posted by: kookkhu | March 20, 2010

What Obama’s Visit to Indonesia Means for Asia. 5/5

Better Grades
At least, at his Alma Mater in Jakarta, the Menteng school, the American President can be assured of an unreserved welcome. Two weeks before Obama was due to arrive in the Indonesian capital, batik-clad students practiced a traditional Indonesian gamelan-orchestra performance they hope to play for him. School principal Hasimah is proud of the school’s connection to Obama, showing off a class photo of a young Barry standing among a crowd of Indonesian students. “His story provides a huge motivation to our students,” she says. “It means that no matter what your background is, you can succeed if you are a good person with a democratic spirit.” The lessons of the school resonate in other ways. Annisa Luthpia, a 10-year-old pupil, giggles in confusion when asked what religion Obama is. She doesn’t know – and doesn’t care. Says the Muslim girl of the Christian American President: “He seems like a very nice man.” Obama’s challenge is to persuade Asians that he is more than just that.


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