Getting To Know The Indonesian Diversity During An Embassy Internship

27-year-old
Anette Parviainen came to Indonesia
seduced by the Indonesian culture. The internship at the Embassy of Finland in Jakarta from February to
July included adapting into a new culture, meeting presidents and smelling the
exotic durian fruit.

    Anette
admits she knew very little about Indonesia before entering the
country:

    “I
knew Aceh from the news because of the tsunami tragedy and the peace
process”, Anette explains.

    Otherwise
the internship in Indonesia
was a jump into the unknown. After five months in the country Anette describes Indonesia
as an interesting, colourful and vivid country, which is inhabited by friendly
people and characterizes by remarkable regional differences.

    “You
can find fresh mountain air of Puncak surprisingly close by the polluted
streets of Jakarta.
This surprised me”, Anette says.
    The duties
of an intern at the embassy included assisting in political, economical and
development issues. Anette was attending a range of meetings and seminars, and
wrote reports on e.g. the Indonesian legal system.
    Work wise the highlights of
the internship were the state visit of the President of the Republic of Finland
Ms Tarja Halonen to Indonesia
and meeting the President of Indonesia, Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in
connection to a recent seminar in Jakarta.
Also visiting two Finland-financed development projects close to Surabaya diversified Annette’s picture of the embassy’s
work in Indonesia.

    In addition
to the important working experience, Anette gained a lot of memorable
experiences during her internship in Jakarta.
Through her travels in the country she has seen the Borobudur Buddha temple in Jogjakarta, the orang-utans’ in Kalimantan and the famous
beaches in Bali. In the capital Anette has
tasted a way too spicy chilli sauce and was shocked by the strong smell of
durian. The number of motorbikes and their capacity to carry passengers has
surprised Anette:

    “I
never saw a family of four persons on one single motorbike before”, Anette
says.

    Maybe later
on, after graduating from university, Anette will be returning to Indonesia
or other parts of the South East Asian region.

    “It
would be great to come and see how Jakarta as a
city and Indonesia
as a country has developed”, Anette confirms with a smile.

 

 

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