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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Indonesia retains civil democracy

By Sheri-Lee Norris

Indonesian consul general Henk Edward Saroinsong presents Indonesian Air Force members during a speech on TR Campus Nov. 10. The Air Force members were here for training at Fort Worth’s Lockheed Martin. Peter Matthews/The Collegian
Indonesian consul general Henk Edward Saroinsong presents Indonesian Air Force members during a speech on TR Campus Nov. 10. The Air Force members were here for training at Fort Worth’s Lockheed Martin.
Peter Matthews/The Collegian

TCC received a picture of Indonesia today when the Indonesian consul general visited TR Nov. 10 as part of the Sister Cities program.

“Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell once said Indonesia is the most misunderstood country in the world,” Henk Edward Saroinsong said.

Although Indonesia is over 95 percent Muslim, it is the third-largest democracy in the world after the U.S. and India, he said. The country holds a democracy despite the current global environment.

“We are different. Although we have 743 different languages, there is one national language,” he said. “Our founding principles include one nation, one language and one motherland. We have no problem with terrorism. We are all Indonesian.”

Saroinsong, who is currently stationed in the Houston consulate office, shook his head with some frustration.

“We exist together peacefully and are raised that way,” he said. “But nobody wants to talk about how wonderful our democracy is. They only show up after something bad occurs like a tsunami.”

The government has a national department on religion. Every religious holiday is celebrated as a federal holiday, giving citizens almost two months of national holidays each year.

His friend was an administrator at a school President Barack Obama attended when he lived in Indonesia. Saroinsong said they tell students that their most famous alumnus is president of the U.S.

“Then, they tell the children to study hard because maybe they can grow up to be a famous leader too,” he said.

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