Estonia 100, it’s a special anniversary, a special number and a special moment. In this special moment, I also want to do a special thing. I want to hug 100 Estonians from different areas and different backgrounds, having also different professions. Why do I this? Because us, Indonesians, like to do things together, we help each other and we celebrate with each other. “Unity in diversity“ – that’s our nation’s motto. Indonesia consists of more than 600 different ethnics, and we also have more than 17.000 islands. How can we feel united, hold hands and walk in the same rhythm? I want to use this spirit to support Estonia on its 100th anniversary.
I called my action “Eesti Gayeng”. Gayeng in the Javanese language means a person who is always happy and makes everyone around him also happy. A person with Gayeng attitude comes when you feel sad or when you are in a bad mood. It has happened to me also. Let me tell you a story. When I first moved to Estonia, I experienced culture shock. I felt that when I smile to a stranger, they look at me strangely. Perhaps I seemed annoying or creepy. But it is normal in Indonesia to talk to strangers or just smile at them. But I keep it up, I still smile to people, even to strangers. And it works. Some people notice and remember me. I mean it’s not about my skin color or that I look different. It is because I smile and because I am happy. So this is the way I introduce myself to Estonia. And why hug? In Indonesia, hugging is forbidden, especially in public places. A man can only hug a man, or a woman can only hug a woman, or you hug a family member, but hugging, in general, is rare. In Estonia, I learned to hug. If someone is sad or hurt, give them a hug and tell them that everything is gonna be okay. But its also about joining hearts and syncronizing pulse, showing that you are part of me. As an Indonesian, I like unity, when all becomes one. Last, but not least – don’t forget to smile…