KABAR shows the best of Indonesia

Perspektif Online
08 May 2007

Inspired by Indonesia

KABAR magazine invited us to an evening at The Edge restaurant in Kemang.

This is a celebration of the inaugural writing competition 'Inspired by Indonesia'. Young people competed in three levels and had their work judged by Ronald Stones, OBE (Sampoerna Foundation), Rebecca Henschke (Asia Calling, 68EH) and Adinda Simandjuntak (Aksara).

The evening program of readings, wine & hors d'oeuvres and presentation of prizes was lent an additional touch of class with a photography exhibition with images by Ferry Tan, Derrick Thompson and Brandon Hoover. Music was provided by Andes.  Altogether 3 xes: xquisite, xclusive and xtraordinary.



Melda, Wulan, Susy, Jan Russell, Ira, Erika


In typical InterMatrix style, Wimar came with company: Susy, Melda, Wulan, Alvi, Tjabe and of course Atun, Wimar’s helper. We met friends we had not seen for awhile like Ferry Tan, the photographer for the cover of ‘No Regret.’ Ferry offered to take photographs of InterMatrix and Wimar just because he is happy about sharing the right chemistry. New friends popped up through the evening, among them Erika (Sampoerna Telkom)and Ira (Holcim) who are running a photography school for kids, Ronald Stones OBE (Sampoerna Foundation) who is one of the jurors. Ira was told raised a story seldom told by Wimar who knows her parents well. In fact, Mr. Abdul Irsan who is now a retired Ambassador and Mrs. Irsan embraced Wimar into their family when he came to Bangkok as a young student. It was Mrs. Irsan who organized Wimar’s wedding on behalf of the Indonesian Embassy, then under Ambassador HR Dharsono. Details too private and poignant to announce here sparkled through the conversation.

Then Iwan came with a stunningly catchy sticker “Travel Warning: Indonesia Dangerously Beautiful”, as part of his campaign to neutralize the fear mongers who keep tourists away from this beautiful country. Wimar’s enthusiasm for his campaign went up a few notches when Iwan promised to make him an XXXXL T-shirt with that message.


click for photographs

The show waskicked off my KABAR founder Avi Azuariaand editor Jan Russell.Samuel Wattimena presented a fashion show based on fabrics from Nusa Tenggara and models of Japanese-Iranian, Netherlands and Yogya origins. Melda summed it up in her blog: ‘it was a romantic evening with a little bit of wine.... I feel a little dizzy... but happy.... is this the best job in the world? You bet!’

After handing awards to the winners of the Writing Competition, Avi Azuaria asked Wimar to say few words:


Congratulations to the winners, congratulations to KABAR

I have a little sticker here; it was given to me by a new friend I met tonight. Let me read it to you, it says: "Travel Warning: Indonesia, Dangerously Beautiful".

I think tonight is dangerously beautiful. I am captivated by the aura of this evening which makes my whole country – I am Indonesian - so beautiful. While we spend 80% of our time complaining, including me, which we need to do because that's where we start to improve, we should spend 20% of our time appreciating and finding what is good about Indonesia

It is people like you who are in many ways better than people like me at finding the things that are good about Indonesia. It is a matter of selection. Everything has a good side and a bad side, and if you know how to select, if you know how to find the right perspective, then even in the most unattractive of fish you can find a nice slice of sashimi.

So this is a night for celebration. I am so happy for the privilege to be in the fringes of the KABAR community. I have the good fortune to meet you and I hope this effort continues. I, for one, will spread the good word to all the media that we have access to.

Again, congratulations and thank you very much.


Read more: KABAR interviews Wimar

Print article only


  1. From wimar on 09 May 2007 03:03:22 WIB
    want some stickers? just write your address in the commemt box below.
  2. From fuermischung on 09 May 2007 14:52:52 WIB
    Om WW, is it possible to send it to Singapore? :)
    Yeah, a lot of things from Indonesia that I really miss here in a foreign land. In Indonesia I was always looking to go to another countries since I read a lot of good things about them, but during my stay here in Singapore, I always miss our great food(Singaporeans always brag about their food, but compared to ours, theirs aren't that great ^_^), Jakarta's lively aura, the relaxing atmosphere in Labuan beach, Bandung's great cafes, and so many other things in my beautiful country :)
  3. From wimar on 09 May 2007 20:52:56 WIB
    sure, we will send the stickers anywhere. just write your address here and we will send you a few. or email me at
  4. From Ferron Tan on 10 May 2007 04:59:55 WIB
    Ferry Tan is my dad... hehehe.. He's the greatest photographer in the world..

    P.S : send the stickers to netherland...!


    Ferron Tan
  5. From wimar on 10 May 2007 08:01:42 WIB
    Yep, Farron, I agree. Your Dad is the greatest - and also my friend. Tell him I am coming to Holland in June

    want some stickers? write your address here.
  6. From Brandon Hoover on 10 May 2007 15:30:34 WIB
    I'm sorry I was unable to make it to the event. I really would have like to meet all of you! It would have been nice to be involved in an evening of "dangerous beauty".

    Hopefully there'll be more opportunities.

    Brandon (javajive)
  7. From Mei Suling on 18 May 2007 21:31:36 WIB
    Hi Pak Wimar,
    boleh nih stikernya untuk di restoran tempat aku kerja....banyak expatnya dan tamu2 asing. Jadi coucok banget.
    Alamatnya Lara Djonggrang, Jln. Cik Di Tiro 4, Menteng.
    Pak, aku sempat kirim email melalui website, tapi ndak ada balasan dari Bapak. Keterima tidak sih?

  8. From mORea on 28 June 2007 08:37:16 WIB
    hi Pak Wimar,
    bLeh dunn tmbahin nnformasi ttg tmpat yg bsa d knjungn qluw qta k Indonesia,..cUz bnyk sodra aq yg d luar mw ngliat inndonesia..gtuuu,,
    o,yak,skrg jg aq btuh beud ttg tmpat2 mnarik d Indonesia..tPi ud cri dmna2 nd ktmu2..
    y,spya lbii d knal org2 bnyak,, qt kn hruz mmbuat yg lbii spesifik,,..!!!
  9. From wimar on 28 June 2007 09:03:06 WIB
    yAdeGH mORea, aq cr dl nnformsi qluw smpt. byk jG sEh di sAna SIni, cOZ byk tmpat2 menrik d Indo.
  10. From Dara on 30 October 2007 08:22:35 WIB
    Pak WW..

    Thanks a lot atas kiriman stikernya.. Udah aku sebarin ketemen2 biar ditempel di mobil ato motornya.. =) I really2 like the stiker.. Boleh ga ya design-nya aku pake untuk bikin baju??
  11. From Wawan Indarto on 02 November 2007 00:16:58 WIB
    mohon dikirim kesini:

    Asian Institute of Technology
    Paholyothin Highway Road
    Klong Luang

    nanti akan kami sebar ke seluruh anggota PPI di thailand.
    listnya bisa dilihat disini:
    atau di

    makasih bang wimar

  12. From Bhakti Dharma on 07 November 2007 02:53:52 WIB
    Pak Wimar, kalau masih ada tolong minta beberapa stikernya untuk kartu agency kita di Amsterdam.
    Bhakti Dharma
    Vliegwinkel, Rokin 34, 1012 KT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Terima kasih banyak.
    For those of you doubting a visit to Indonesia, as travel agent for about 20 years and after visiting 8 countries in South East Asia here is my 10 points list why you should visit Indonesia, and not only spend all your time in better promoted Thailand or Malaysia (or even not only Bali for that matter). And I am not saying it because I am originally from Indonesia myself, it is seen from a general perspective.
    1. Indonesia is very diverse. Hundreds of ethnic different cultures must offer something to anyone interested in asian culture and society.
    2. Sun and beach? Indonesia has some of the best beaches in the world. Maybe not full with 5 star hotels everywhere but lovely, and unspoilt beaches with plenty of sunshine.
    3. Food: Indonesia has the most varied food I know in all Asia, from spicy to sweet, from hot to salty. The food is more varied than in say Cambodia, Malaysia or Vietnam, but it needs time to learn it.
    4. Shopping: Indonesia has plenty of shopping facilities, not just handicraft shops, almost all cities have huge malls and big markets where you can buy fashion, Cds, DVDs for much cheaper prices than in Singapore or Malaysia. Arabian people already know this, they flock to Jakarta to go shopping, even if at home (Dubai etc.) they already have their own malls.
    5. People: Indonesians are among the most welcoming people in the world, they have genuine interest for visitors, although many do not speak english that well as a Singaporean. But their smile and hospitality is genuine.
    6. Nature: The best nature of this region is in Indonesia: volcanoes, jungles, ricefields, canyons etc. Sure the other countries have their nature, but none as diverse and rich as Indonesia. Seeing nature here is not super organized, so what you see feels like real nature.
    7. Cultural sights: Indonesia does not produce beautiful tourist brochures (like Thailand for example) with all its sights, but the sheer amount of places to be discovered is enormous. The temple of Borobudur in Java, the old Dutch section of Jakarta, the traditional Minangkabau houses of West and North Sumatra, palaces and temples in Bali and Java, are just some examples.
    8. Truly Asia: Although already modern, Indonesia is still very Asian compared to many of its neighbours. The fact that it is not that sterile clean as Singapore or over organized as Brunei makes it charming, exotic and more Asian than many other countries in the region.
    9. Costs: Indonesia is for most western visitors not expensive. Maybe travelling here is not always comfortable, but you really get a lot for what you pay for. There are even enough luxurious places for those seeking a more comfortable journey, such as top resorts and spas in Bali and Lombok.
    10. Festivals: Due to the many cultures, you will find a festival almost any time. Join it and have fun.
    PS Kids: Indonesians welcome families with kids, as most Indonesians like children, and while your kids will not find a Disneyland or American style themeparks here, there is plenty to keep them amused.

« Home