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Jakarta Post

Commentary: President of the United States, made in Indonesia

  • Endy M. Bayuni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 21 2009   /  08:27 am

How much of Indonesia is there in Barack Hussein Obama, the man who became the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday? More than many people may care to admit.
Obama may not have any Indonesian blood in him, but he spent his first four school years in Indonesia, going to a local rather than an international school, speaking  Indonesian and learning the local cultures. In short, he grew up in part as an Indonesian between 1967 and 1971.
The time children spend in primary school are crucial formative years as they get their first taste of social interaction beyond their immediate family. They acquire some core values and develop aspects of personal character that will be refined in time as they grow up to become the men and women they are destined to be.
In Obama’s case, that means being chosen to serve as president of the United States.