The Jakarta Post
Former United States president Barack Obama on Thursday visited Prambanan Temple, an icon of Yogyakarta, on the second day of his holiday in the province.
On Wednesday, the 44th American president visited the well-known Borobudur temple in Central Java.
Obama expressed his admiration for the fact that Indonesian experts had managed to rebuild the devastated temple into its original form.
(Read also: Obama, entourage arrive in Yogyakarta)
Head of Prambanan Temple management Manggar Sari Ayuwati, who accompanied the president, said Obama entered all the major temples in the Prambanan Temple complex: Siwa, Wisnu and Brahma.
Manggar said Obama asked her to explain the rebuilding process.
“I told him that it took time because the work was carried out by archeologists, [who selected ancient stones] as well as stylists, who needed specific education,” Manggar said on Thursday.
She said Obama was particularly impressed by the white monkey Hanoman, a character in the Ramayana epic, because he still remembered the story of Ramayana that he learned when he was an elementary school student in Jakarta in late 1960s to early 1970s.
He took a picture the stone relief of Hanoman.
“This suggests he has a strong emotional feeling with Indonesia,” said Manggar, adding that many visitors to the temple complex greeted Obama and Obama responded by waving to them. (bbn)