Reflection on the AAEE Indonesia-Japan, SDGs Youth Exchange 2021 -Learn! Challenge! Break! The Status Quo (3) Jennifer Elaine Darmawan (Bina Nusantara University) AAEE インドネシア―日本国際交流プログラム2021 報告書(3)ジェニファー エライン ダルマワン(BINUS大学)

 “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it” 

-Frances Wright

This quote highlights the overall experience or topics that we have discussed during the AAEE exchange program between Indonesian and Japanese students. In general, during the program, we discussed a lot about the common issue revolving in both Japanese and Indonesian society that highly relates to inequality issues, such as gender or race inequality problems. 

Throughout this AAEE program, although all the topics are equally interesting, one of the things that have caught my interest is none other than the discussion of racial or ethnic equality. This is one of the many topics that we have discussed during AAEE programs yet it leaves the strongest impression on me, and therefore I would like to discuss more regarding that. Ethnic inequality has been around even before people deemed it as an issue. Throughout history, inequality has been an issue that revolves around the world, whether it is about gender, income, or race/ethnicity that remains unsolved even to this day. Luckily, people had seen this as a major issue and thus decided to act upon it by conducting movements to raise the awareness of this concern, such as the #StopAsianHate or the #BlackLivesMatter movements in an attempt to stop inequality. Thanks to these movements, many people are becoming more aware about the current issue of racial inequality. However, still, the fact remains unchanged that many people did not bother to even ask about the most fundamental question, which is: where does all of this hatred (specifically inequality towards ethnicity) stem from?

I humbly believe that one of the most prominent reasons why racism or xenophobia exists is because there tends to be prejudice against a particular marginal ethnic group that are put at a disadvantage since they are a minority. Assumably, not only are they treated differently from the majority, they also have certain disparity in both socially and economically. For instance, the reputation of a certain person that comes from the same marginal ethnic group might be reduced drastically just because they come from the same marginal ethnic group as the ones that are currently being seen in a negative light. A quintessential example for this is the recent racial discrimination that transpired in America due to the global pandemic taking place, where baseless hatred was projected towards Asians in general. As people started to blame China, which was where the virus had first originated from, the hatred then was projected towards those who had similar features with Chinese people, which was stereotypical to Asians in general (e.g slanted eyes, etc.). Basically, similar to anti-semitism, Asians are now being the ones targeted and subjected to hostility. The hatred subjected towards them has caused the specific minority ethnic group, namely Asians, to feel threatened and insecure, causing emotional damage and risks of getting hurt physically from other people who behave in a discriminatory manner towards them. This had caused them to be shunned and discriminated towards socially. 

Another aspect that might potentially be the catalyst or reason as to why racial inequality exists is due to the mainstream media portrayal of these races in general. They often portray a certain ethnic group in a negative light, causing people to subconsciously create a ‘bias’ towards those ethnicity groups. One time I had accidentally stumbled upon a video that talks about sports in Olympics, especially badminton - women's doubles. One of the videos I watched had images of the players showing up each time their names were mentioned, however when China’s participants had been named, a picture of ‘coronavirus' had appeared instead of the badminton players themselves. Although this might not sound that big of a deal, the media has definitely played a huge role in indirectly shaping how people think, imbuing thoughts to their citizens that might lead to them believing in certain ‘prejudice’ or ‘bias’ that might be harmful to other races. 

In conclusion, I personally believe that although race inequality may stem from many things, the two most prominent causes are: societal prejudice and the media. By understanding where prejudice and inequalities all stem from, the citizens or government can then act or provide solutions that suit the given problem. Not only is racial inequality detrimental to society, in the long run, this might give a huge influence to the future generations who might similarly adopt this ‘racists’ and ‘prejudiced’ mindset/behaviour. Thus, hence why I believe that raising awareness about these kinds of issues is truly important in order to maintain and establish a standard of 'good moral & ethical values' for our future young generations to follow. 


Reflection on the AAEE Indonesia-Japan, SDGs Youth Exchange 2021 -Learn! Challenge! Break! The Status Quo (2) Abraham Sachio Richard Budiono (Bina Nusantara University) AAEE インドネシア―日本国際交流プログラム2021 報告書(2)アブラハム サチオ リチャード ブディオノ(BINUS大学)

    Profit – a word that most business students will think of before making any decisions. As business students, we really think carefully on every step and choice that we face; we want the choices that we make don’t bring disadvantage for us, but profit. However, the beautiful thing about profit is, in some cases, we cannot see the profit of our decision within our sight. For instance: when businessmen are buying stocks in the stock market, some businessmen don’t know whether the price of the stock will go up or not. If, in this case, the price of the stock increases, then the businessmen gain profit. From all of this story, we can understand that in some cases people cannot see the profit of their decision within their sight.

     I believe this story goes the same with my experience at AAEE Indonesia – Japan Student Exchange. At first glance, I honestly think that participating in a program that mainly talks about reducing inequality may sound unprofitable for me, because the topic sounds more on caring for other people rather than me individually. However, as time went by, I kept on thinking, “What is the purpose of my existence on earth?” And this understanding came to my mind: As a human, mostly we are going to live on earth for an average of 70 – 90 years, and after that, we will die. Some people have their own beliefs about where they will go after they die, but that’s not the topic that I wanted to talk about. Like most people, I believe that we all are mortal beings and we live temporarily on earth. So, I asked myself, if I am going to live temporarily on earth, what should I do? What would make me happy? I mean, we all understand that we can’t bring our wealth and fame to the grave. From this understanding, I really understand now that my purpose being on earth is to be a blessing for others, because this object is able to last after I die. So, what do I mean by being a blessing for other people? Being a blessing for other people means loving other people like yourself. As humans, we have the job to love, care, and help other people like ourselves. I believe that should be one of the ultimate purposes of all human beings. 

     In this AAEE Student Exchange Program, I have learned a lot of knowledge and applications that are able to help me achieve that purpose. Although I may not see it as a profit before entering the program, I am really grateful that I made the decision to pursue this program. This whole experience has been a blessing for my life and as the previous story has mentioned, in hindsight, I see that joining this program is a profit for me. Maybe you as a reader are wondering, what kind of things are being taught at this program that can help me pursue that purpose in life? Well, these are a little list about it: Model UN and English Debate. These 2 things I believe are the most crucial component of AAEE Indonesia – Japan Exchange, as we participants are encouraged to truly use our knowledge and apply it. So, we do not just get a theory about reducing inequality, however, we are also encouraged to use our critical thinking and creativity to offer new ideas on how to reduce inequality. 

     Therefore, from all the experience that I got in this AAEE program, I am really grateful that I made the choice to participate in the program, because it turns out to be very profitable for me and helps me to achieve one of my ultimate purposes as a human being on earth. 

             (This photo is a little experience of me eating tamago in Japan:) 

Reflection on the AAEE Indonesia-Japan, SDGs Youth Exchange 2021 -Learn! Challenge! Break! The Status Quo (1) Angelina Mutiara (Sorphomore at Bina Nusantara University) AAEE インドネシア―日本国際交流プログラム2021 報告書(1)アンジェリナ・ムティアラ(BINUS大学2年)

     When I found out about the youth exchange, I thought I should try it since it will be summer break. However, I never thought I would be accepted to be one of the Indonesian representatives. It was an honor for me because it was my first international experience. I never thought I got accepted because I was doubting myself in terms of language. I should be honest, English is not my mother language and I don’t speak English frequently either at home or at school. To know that I got accepted, I was screaming happily at home. It was truly an honor and unforgettable memory for me. 
      As I mentioned before, I was only a regular student, studying at a private university. Attending online class, doing assignments after class, and reviewing the materials at night. From those two sentences, my life is boring. I agree with that and am completely aware of that. The reason why I decided to join this exchange program was because I am very interested in the topic itself. At the same time, I see this as an opportunity to extend my network, knowledge, and practice my English skill. Though I can’t help but feel nervous, at the end it went completely fine and it was a blast. 
      First day was nerve wracking for me. I can’t help but stutter all the time I want to talk but everybody was nice. They understand that all of us may not have perfect English skills and language is not a barrier for us. We would always laugh at the end of the day and can’t wait for tomorrow’s event. 
      The whole seven days were challenging and tough. Our knowledge about gender, society, and English vocabulary are being tested. I found myself struggling to understand some words in English and finding the right words to explain my opinion. But it was worth it. I gained new knowledge from everybody else and I added more new English vocabulary to my lists. Talking about gender, I should say it wasn’t something easy to discuss. It is a sensitive topic after all. Despite that, the discussion went well and I should say it went pretty intense. 
      What I remember the most during the discussion was about the unemployment rate. During the pandemic, it was reported that in Indonesia a lot of companies see this as an opportunity to cut off some of the employees, especially women. As a result, the unemployment rate for women increased in the pandemic. This showed that gender inequality is still happening. Whether in Indonesia or other countries, gender inequality is still happening around us. In order to stop this, the solution we offered was a social media campaign and increased gender inequality awareness through education. 
      Social media campaigns can spread news all over the world instead of doing normal campaigns in domestic countries. The chance of getting known world wide is bigger through social media than the old ways such as broadcast through news, newspaper etc. 
      The United Nations estimated about 7.9 billion people live in the world according to the Worldometer in September 2021. About 65.1% of the world population are dominated by the age group of 15 to 64 years old. In conclusion, the world is dominated by the younger generation and millennials. Those two generations are closer to globalization which means they are more aware of the changes and more welcome with technologies. 
      In this case, it means using social media as the platform to spread awareness by making virtual campaigns such as posting twibbon on Instagram, etc. In order to get attention, it is important to use the right hashtags. By doing that, the chance of getting engaged with the audience is more likely to be high. Using hashtags will help us to engage the right audience. Targeting the right audience will help to spread the campaign widely. This is known as the snowball effect. One person shares the same interest with the others, this person will share the campaign with the other and so on. 
      Our target is to spread knowledge and awareness of what is called gender inequality. Sometimes we are not aware that what we are doing to others or treating others is called gender inequality. For example, microaggression. Microaggression is a term used for commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups. 
      A simple example of microaggression happening around us is an Asian-American woman being praised for speaking fluent English. Just because she’s Asian doesn’t mean she can’t speak fluent English. Turns out, English is her first language. Sometimes people are not aware, a small and simple compliment actually ends up as a microaggression. Marginalization is also included or categorized as microaggression. Then what is the solution to stop microaggression, stereotype, and marginalization in order to reduce gender inequality?
      In this exchange program, we went through deep discussion for two days before the final presentation. We argued and collected ideas on how we should present what we had learned and also the solution we offered. At the beginning, we struggled about what kind of presentation we should deliver. However, in this exchange program between Japan and Indonesia, the participants are amazing. They are very creative, enthusiastic, and smart people that we finally came up with extraordinary ideas at the end. 
      For the presentation part, we decided to make a TikTok video for the self introduction and then proceed on role plays. After the role play, the presentation continues to the debate simulation and then the presentation ends with solutions. Two solutions we offered were social media campaigns and increased awareness through education. However, the solution we can do all together at the same time is the social media campaign. We upload a twibbon with our picture and then the caption will be talking about how we should increase awareness about gender inequality. Also, use the correct hashtag so that we are able to reach the targeted audience more clearly. 
      Through this exchange program, I learned a lot. Not just about gender inequality but also making me more aware of diversity. I learned how to approach people with different backgrounds and respect each other more. I am glad to be participating in this exchange program and very happy to join another one in the future.