Your letters: On Indonesian Diaspora congress
Paper Edition | Page: 8
I read with interest Endy Bayuni’s commentary on June 29 about the coming Congress of Indonesian Diaspora (CID) in Los Angeles. It seems we are moving to the right direction.
I believe we owe the present diaspora to the early migrants of Minang families to Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Minangs had a long tradition as wanderers and had been taught to be independent from the beginning.
It explains the movement of the male Minang diaspora to, first, across Indonesia, and second, the world. Most of them are natural-born traders who have become rich merchants or intellectuals in Java. Many of them have opened Padang restaurants all over Indonesia and in Southeast Asian countries. Even in Los Angeles, there are some Padang restaurants belonging to the Minang.
An Indonesian friend of mine in Qatar is planning to go to LA at her own expense for the CID.
Contrary to the fact that most Indonesians — especially females — work as domestic helpers and caregivers in the Middle East, my friend is an engineer in the region’s burgeoning oil industry.
She is able to see the benefit of joining this conference and I hope — as Bayuni stressed — the government will come up with a policy that treats the Indonesian diaspora as a real part of the Indonesian constituency.