There are some few debates, pros and cons, in several Indonesian mailing list (or milis as it’s locally known) over Indonesians who keeps staying abroad after finishing their studies and making a decent living. Some speculations being raised about their sense of nationalism as well.
For me, the existence of Indonesian expats everywhere in the world, like Maya Nasution, is a blessing and should be appreciated and even encouraged by those who are yet to have enough guts and courages to do so. Questioning their nationalism for me not only irrelevant, but also a sign of stupidity and narrow mindedness. Some simple reasons will tell you why.
First, they help Indonesia and Indonesian government in a big way in introducing & promoting Indonesia, its culture, tradition and custom to the world. It’s not a cheap business, mind you. For the same purpose, Indonesian government set up embassies around the world and hire “undiplomatic” diplomats with highest salary an Indonesian civil servant can ever get (around USD$3000 to USD$8000 per month). Yet, they do almost nothing except merely fulfilling minimum duties plus corruption practices wherever and whenever possible. The Indonesian expats do all that for free!
Second, the existence of Indonesian expats help Indonesia to make a sort of network outside the country to help the Indonesian job seekers to have keep up with latest job information and contact persons. This is how Indian expats has been doing all along by helping their juniors in India who wants get an experience working outside, because of which Indian expats have been dominating the workforce in the US and even in Europe. Out of five of my landlord sons, three of them go and work abroad. When I ask them how, they simply said, “my (Indian) friend abroad help me finding the required jobs. ”
Third, what Maya Nasution whose blog is under-review has been doing in France is self-explanatory. She writes almost everything she’s been doing and will do in creating and developing her business as well as introducing Indonesian culture to French people. Visiting her blog will take you to the sort of feeling on how hard but exciting to be an entrepreneur in a foreign land. An effort some Indonesian youth even dont have a gut to do at the homeland and choose, instead, to be a PNS (pegawai negeri sipil or civil servant)!
Appreciation should be given when it’s due. But to appreciate what someone else has done you need to know them by keeping informed whatever they’ve done. I’m glad to see someone like Maya actively blogging from France. I expect every Indonesian expats to do the same, not only to tell people in Tanah Air what they do in promoting Indonesia, but also to tell us in other parts of the world what the plus and minus points of French culture, traditon, enterpreneurship and even political life so as to widen our horizon of thinking.***