A Brief of Me


Tulisan ini sakjane bukan diniatkan untuk di-posting di blog, melainkan untuk kegiatan yang aku ikuti. Tapi, daripada mubadzir (karena sudah susah payah dibuat, in English bo’!), mending buat tambahan posting-an di blog aja :D. he..he..

A Brief of Me
Around 23 years and 9 months ago, on January 14th, 1987 in a place named Pangkalan
Berandan (North Sumatra), I was born as a cute little girl from the loveliest couple in the world; my father and my mother. They named me "Retno Widyastuti", which’s taken from Javanese Sanskrit words. Recently, I just knew the meaning of my last name (Widyastuti) from my India friend. She told me that the meaning of "Widyastuti" is
valuing the knowledge. ho~
About my place of birth, perhaps not so many people knew where Pangkalan Berandan is. It is a place located in Langkat District, the northern part of North Sumatra (near the border between North Sumatra and Aceh Province). It was known as the oldest oil field in Indonesia (further information about this place, click on :
Although I was born in North Sumatra, it doesn’t mean that I am neither a Sumatranese nor Bataknese. You can recognize it through my name, RETNO, which is a common name for Javanese girl. But yet, I’m also not a 100% Javanese. If tracking back to my bloodlines, my father’s big family is 100% Javanese, but my mother’s is mixed from various ethnics; Javanese + Sundanese + Chinese + Malay descendant.
In almost 24 years, I already moved and lived in more than 5 places. The reasons were my father’s job and my education. As I mentioned before, I was born in North Sumatra but I just lived here for only 2 years. After that, my family and me had to move to Jambi. In this place, I stayed for 9 years since kindergarten until the 6th grade of elementary school. Then, for junior high school, my parent sent me out to my grandparent’s home in Wonosobo – Central Java for the sake of my study. They considered that the quality of education in Java is much better than in Sumatra.
After I graduated from my 9th grade, I decided to study outside Wonosobo. Again, for the sake of my education, I should find a better quality of education in a bigger city. At the same time, my sister should continue her study in University. That’s why; both of us pursued our higher education in Jogjakarta. Alhamdulillah, in Jogjakarta I accepted in SMA N 1 Yogyakarta, one of the best and most favorite senior high school in Jogjakarta. Actually, I barely eliminated from the school enrollment process, since the competition between the student’s score was so tight. But Alhamdulillah, I got it!!
In those 3 years, I’d learned many valuable experiences and knowledge. I joined many clubs and activity, such as; English and Japanese Language club, Taekwondo Club, Philately club, Scout, Hiking club, and many more. Beside of that, I also became a class representative for the student’s assembly for 2 and half years. In this assembly, I was in charge in controlling committee division. I did really like this job because I can joined many club activities, both as participant and also observer. I ever had joining a “120 km walking expeditionâ€? with Scout’s friend, caving in Cermai’s Cave with Red Crescent friends, 5 days community service in one of the most remote and poorest area in Jogjakarta, hiking to a small hill with the Hiking Club, “fightingâ€? on Taekwondo open championship, sleeping outside in Glagah beach and Kaliurang, and many unusual experiences.
Although I joined science class (IPA) during my 3rd year, I choose social major for my tertiary education. Mostly, my friends in SMA prefer to entered medical or engineering faculty. But I have different way of thinking. I choose International Relations (IR) department which is in social and political science faculty. I was inspired by a young lecturer from IR Department of Gadjah Mada University (UGM). I met her at an international event named “Student Camp for Peaceâ€? in 2003. In this event, she shared us a new perspective of the world’s life named globalization and world peace. It made me so curious. That’s why, for the university enrollment, I choose IR. And Alhamdulillah, I passed the examination and became one of the 55 students in IR Department UGM, class of 2004.
In my university time, I got many chances to meet many people from all over in the world.
Because my major is IR, it’s common for our department’s student to get a chance to join international event, which is held not only in Indonesia but also in foreign countries. Since my 1st year in UGM, I have been working as part timer guide, liaison officer, translator, interpreter, and so on. Those experiences help me to enhance my capability on English communication skill, and also how to create international relations and mutual understanding with many friends from various countries.
Beside of that, I often applying various scholarship and student exchange selection in my
university. Alhamdulillah, during my 3 years and 2 months study in UGM, I got 3 chances for visiting another country. My first visit was Japan. It’s a life time dream since I was a kid. On October 2005, with the other student from 6 countries, we joined this 2 weeks program named the 2005 International Seminar with Asian Sister Universities, in Fukuoka University, Fukuoka (Kyushu), Japan. Then, seven months later (on May 2006), I got my second chance. Alhamdulillah, I passed the selection and chosen by my faculty’s dean as the representative of UGM and Indonesia as the participant of the 19th May Youth and Sport Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. The program’s invitation came from Ministry of Youth and Sport – RI and the Embassy of Turkey in Jakarta. With my friend from University of Indonesia, together we share our experiences with 80 participants from 25 countries.

The picture of me & friends when sailing the Bosporus strait

My third chance was joining the 9th ASEAN University Network Educational Forum and Speech Contest, in Vientiane, Lao PDR. This 2 weeks program held in National University of Laos, on May 2007. From this experience, I learned and discussed a lot with the other ASEAN students about Southeast Asia issues. Furthermore, I can saw "the only one" landlocked country in ASEAN.
After I got my bachelor degree, I continue my study directly to master degree in graduate program of Japanese Area Studies in University of Indonesia. In these 2 years, I got many wonderful things. Not only got a scholarship for my study, but I also got a research grant from the Japan Foundation for my thesis field research in Japan for 2 months. I learned a lot about many things during my stay in Japan. But, the most precious thing for me is I can understand the (real) importance and values of education and knowledge.
After coming back from Japan, I read an announcement about a program named ASEAN in Today’s World 2010, then I tried to apply it. Alhamdulillah, in early January 2010, I got the result of the selection process. I became one of four Indonesia participants who selected on this program. This two weeks short course program was held in Mahidol University International College (MUIC) – Thailand for 2 weeks on Feb – March 2010. This program was held by Kyushu University – Japan and Mahidol University (as the host). At that time, actually I’m still on writing my thesis in my final semester. But, I need to do "refreshment" so that I "escape" from my thesis for a while. ha..ha… (LOL). In AsTW, I learned and discussed about East Asian and South East Asian Studies. I met many friends who concerned on "creating a better world" in the future.
After several months struggling with myself on finishing the thesis, Alhamdulillah, finally I can finished my master degree. Start from August 28th, 2010, I officially become the part of "not a student anymore" community and joining the movement of job hunters’ activities.
Now, I’m on trying my best to pursuit my dream, becoming a civil servant. I want to dedicate myself for the society, for the country. I hope that the people in Indonesia, someday, can be a knowledge based society, who has strong willingness to create Indonesia and the world as a better place for living.
Hope that my dreams come true. Aamiin…

Author: Sunu Family

We are an Indonesian family living in Bonn, Germany since 2017. Our family consists of Ayah (Radit), Umi (Retno/ Chiku), Kakak (Zahra), and Adek (Faiq). We will share our experience living in Germany, our trips, thoughts, Umi's related research on her study, etc.

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