A student coming from Sorong, West Papua province, has become one of 21 students from Indonesia to participate in the student exchange program entitled Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) in the United States from August 2012 – July 2013.
“It is great, I did not expect to go to America. From several tests conducted in Makassar (South Sulawesi), I was the sole participant from West Papua, while others were from Papua, Makassar, Mataram, and Maluku,” Ilonka Amaia, a high school student of SMAN 1 Sorong, West Papua, said here Friday.
She was talking on the sidelines of the welcoming event for the 21 student participants of the YES program held by U.S. Consul General in Surabaya Kristen F Bauer. The event was also attended by the coordinator of NGO Bina Antarbudaya, Nisa Permatasari.
“I am ready to introduce some Papuan culture to American students and the public. I will demonstrate the traditional dance Yospan and also a small traditional musical instrument, the tifa. I will also take Papua traditional clothing, including chest and woven grass cloths,” the second grade students said.
In welcoming the students, the U.S. Consul General in Surabaya, Kristen F. Bauer, expected the students might take the opportunity to explore the experience, as much as possible, during their studies and spend a year in America.
“Coming home from America, you can share the experiences with fellow students and the Indonesian community. If you see something good in there, such as environmental projects, then you can practice them here. ” she said.
Similarly, the spokesman of U.S. Consul General in Surabaya, Emily Y Norris, added that the special program of high school students and the schools started in 2003 was intended to allow Americans to learn about Indonesia directly from Indonesians, which is a Muslim-majority country.
“By contrast, Indonesians can teach Americans so that eventually each other can understand and work together. Right now there are five to six 6 American students who are studying here,” she said.
Source: ANTARA News