11 top questions when they first got to know Indonesia
What is most interesting thing when talking with children? What is most moving to them when we say something new that they did not know before? Big curiosity was the most moving part when I tell stories proudly about the country where I came from, Indonesia. At that time I visited classes in kindergarten and primary school in two schools in Szczecin, Poland. My main goal was to briefly introduce Indonesia to them through my Global Volunteer activities with AIESEC for 6 weeks there.
Armed with the presentation that I made a few slides containing pictures, I did not expect the children's response was extraordinary. If you want to see my presentation, you can download it here. They had become very active since I introduced myself and started my story at that time. So, all the questions that might cross their heads began to spring up to me. Sometimes it made me laugh, but sometimes it had to make me think hard to answer and make them understand. However, seeing their great curiosity and activeness had become an unforgettable part of my travel experience at that time.
The following are unique and interesting questions that were often asked by Polish children during my presentation session about Indonesia. You can read also my volunteer experience in Poland here. The explanation of the answers to their questions below was what I explained to them during the presentation session, in which I adjusted their understanding ability considering their ages who were still in kindergarten and Primary School.
11. Why Indonesia and Poland flag look similar but opposite?
Well, Indonesia and Poland flag have the same color, red and white. But it has a reversed color position, Indonesia are red (top) and white (bottom) and Poland are white (top) and red (bottom). I tried to explain them that Indonesia has been colonized by the Netherlands, and its flag color red, white and blue. In the history of fighting for independence, there was an incident where Indonesian hero tore down the bottom of the Dutch flag which was blue so that it left red and white which later became the Indonesian national flag.
10. Are all people in Indonesia have similar color skin like you?
I have bright tan skin. The average Polish child has a white skin color. Maybe it was the first time they seen someone of a different skin color visit and talked to them. Indonesians are ethnically diverse and spread widely with a variety of skin tones from bright yellow to dark black.
9. How much people living in Indonesia?
Indonesia is a big country and has many islands. There are currently more than 250 million people living in Indonesia.
8. Is it easy for you to find wild animal on street?
For some areas in Indonesia, it is easy to see wild animals on the streets, mostly in villages. But not all, especially in big cities that are more orderly where most wild animal living in the jungle.
7. How is the weather? Is there snow there?
Indonesia has rainy and dry season. Because it is on the equator, Indonesia has a tropical climate, so it has no winter. But in the eastern part of Indonesia in Papua, there is the highest mountain which at its peak has snow.
6. Do you celebrate Christmas?
Yes, of course. I am a Christian and every December I celebrate Christmas. People in Indonesia also celebrate Christmas in various ways in their respective regions.
5. How long it takes to go to Indonesia?
To go to Indonesia from Poland takes more than 16 hours by plane.
4. Can I go to Indonesia by car?
Unfortunately, you can not. Poland is on the European continent whereas Indonesia is on the Asian continent separated by mountains and oceans with great distances.
3. Can I take Rafflesia Arnoldii flower home?
Rafflesia Arnoldii is the largest flower in the world. The color is beautiful to look at. However, this flower is a type of insectivorous flower that has a very strong stench to attract insects. So it is not possible to plant it at home, because the aroma is very uncomfortable.
2. Can I play with or take Komodo home?
Komodo dragons are meat-eating or carnivorous animals. Their main food is meat. Their saliva contains toxins that are dangerous so it is not possible to be very close to the Komodo dragon. Moreover, bringing home and maintaining Komodo dragons s is very dangerous. In addition, it is protected rare animals. When visiting to see the Komodo dragon, we are advised not to be too close. Komodo dragons are meat eaters, and become very aggressive when they smell blood, so it is not possible to touch or play with them.
1. Do you eat dog?
This is the number 1 top question most asked by children there. It was difficult for me to give honest answers. In European countries such as Poland, dogs are family pets that are well cared for. I myself come from the eastern part of Indonesia, precisely in the city of Ambon. I am Ambonese, which incidentally is very reasonable for residents to eat dog meat as a special dish in graduations, weddings, birthdays, and so forth. But not all of them eat dog. Even so, dogs remain pet and are maintained by most Ambonese as part of their family.
All of the questions above are most often asked and always makes me surprised when they ask. Komodo dragons, flags, and Rafflesia flower are the hot topics among the kids which have left little memories of Indonesia. It was a joy for me to continue to learn about Indonesia, share with the children out there, and declare that our world is vast and full of diversity that need to be valued by one another.
Are you also surprised by their questions? They are adorable, right? Do you have a question about Indonesia? Convey it in the comments column, I will soon find you and try to answer as best as I can. Happy day!
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