28 Oktober 2007
When I step on October 28, I don’t only remember on heroic things happened in Indonesia history, but I also remember the one who encouraged me to be proud of being Indonesian, which I believe he never noticed about that. They have a strong connection, however. Sumpah Pemuda or Youth Pledge was declared by several Indonesian nationalists in 1928. Seventeen years before The Indonesian Declaration of Independence. The commitment was we have one blood-the Indonesian homeland, one people- The Indonesian nation and a unifying language-bahasa Indonesia. A pride of being Indonesian is simply portrayed in those three guiding principles.
If there is someone who can be nominated as a motivator among scientists in South and South East Asian regions I would choose Jorgen Hylleberg, an emeritus professor in Aarhus University Denmark. What is the connection between him and my pride of being Indonesian as stated in The Youth Pledge? He initiated the Tropical Marine Mollusc Programme funded by Danish Government that ended few years ago, unfortunately. It looks just a small scope of study and perhaps its just a yearly meeting of people who study marine shells. However, it actually has lots of meaning and benefits for being part of it, especially of scientists from these aforementioned regions. Jorgen was the one who initiated to encourage scientists not to be a stranger in their own country. Everybody was equal and there was no (western) domination as happened in lots of other similar congresses. Along with the meetings, Jorgen also recruited students to pursue Master degree in Aarhus University as part of TMMP project. Some even could continue to PhD. All were forced to do research and (of course)to publish it. Jorgen didn’t work alone. He was equipped by his lovely wife Karen, who showed love and care in every occasion.
Today is his birthday! I remember, ten years ago we celebrated it in his lovely house at countryside outside Aarhus. It was already long time, huh? Well, Tillykke med Fødselsdagen, Big knight!