In the face of an increasingly globalized and monopolized world, Indonesia’s emerging youth culture is definitely a comforting thought. From everyone’s unique renditions of Indomie to board-game cafes with a localized tough, the youth generation of Indonesia has created a new culture like no other I’ve seen before.
Indonesia is a market that requires high localization from international businesses, which might seem like a hassle but is something I’m personally very happy about. The popular messaging app LINE, for example, achieved its large user base in Indonesia by creating sticker contests to find out what the users want, and the winning submissions (all highly linked with Indonesian cultural contexts) shows that Indonesian youth is indeed still attached to our newly made culture–not necessarily related to traditional folklore or costumes, but largely linked to cuisine and manners when interacting with each other.
So it’s kinda awful to hear about talents beings suppressed by authorities for bureaucratic reasons. Sure, some measures need to be taken into account to ensure the “safety” and the “stability” of the public, but come on… Isn’t it about time the government acknowledges the creativity of the Indonesian youth and create a safe space to foster all of this?
If no changes are made, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see history repeat and all the Indonesian intellectuals thriving in the land of others.