On June this year, I called for Indonesian bloggers to start blogging in English especially if the content has a face value in terms of culture, social, and other personal experiences that can be shared with foreign readers. This kind of content is rich in values and can be very beneficial, especially for those who are interested to see any Indonesian events commentary from ‘the Indonesian street’ or grass-root level. At least it can reduce the burden of foreign analyst or journalist on Indonesia or add it up to the information they’ve already got.
After several months of crawling in between my hectic activities of research and doing several projects, I found some Indonesian bloggers who make a very good reporting and analysis on trip, traveling and current events. Unfortunately, all in Bahasa Indonesia which are virtually inaccessible to many foreign analyst. Finally, I got one young traveller who travel extensively and blogging his journey almost on daily basis and in English. His name’s Agustinus Wibowo…
There’s something interesting in his introduction about himself: his pride to be Indonesian:
“My name is Agustinus Wibowo, 24 years old male from Indonesia, and proudly holding the green passport of Republic of Indonesia.”
Well, it’s rare to see and hear a young Indonesian who feels proud to have a green pasport of Indonesia, instead of a Green Card of USA…
And as can be expected from a good traveler, he learns many things from his extensive journey: various cultures, faiths, customs and traditions from different countrires and different people and nations.
For which he aptly said:
Traveling has changed my life completely, from a useless bookworm to a hardcore traveler. Traveling makes me learn how to respect different cultures, different people, and to learn that our world is not as beautiful as we are dreaming. There are far too much things to discover and contemplate, and our world is both beautiful and ugly, happy and sad, colorful and plain.
A traveler blog is very important, interesting and enjoyable to read because of many reasons: (1) it has the credibilty as a first-hand-from-the-ground news; (2) when we read it, it sounds like we are reading an on-going live coverage of life itself, as though we ourselves who experience the same thing a traveler is or has been facing; (3) it has a historical-reporting values.
As for the third point, do you know Ibn Batuta (Battuta, Batutta), the great fourteenth century Arab traveler who made a very extensive journey long before Columbus since his 21st birth-day from Morocco to China, from the steppes of China to the shores of Tanzania, some seventy-five thousand miles in all?
Ibn Batuta’s blog, I mean his book, entitled RIHLA IBN BATUTA or the Travel of Ibn Batuta has been translated into many world languages by renowned thinkers and historians and reviewed by many eminent scholars around the world as well as become the historical reference of any events during his life time by many researchers.
I hope, Agustinus Wibowo if he continues his spirit to travel further and further, will be our own Ibn Batuta of 21st century. Considering his energetic movements and his open-minded personalities as well as his never-give-up attitude (I met him yesterday in Indonesia Embassy New Delhi), I believe my hope will not be in vain. Let’s pray for him as to make his tenacity and persevereness intact until he reaches a point where he feels that the mission is accomplished and starts compiling his scattered notes on his blog get published in a form of a good book.