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Blogger Indonesia of the Week (70): Kafe Depok


Blogger Indonesia of the Week (70): Kafe Depok

In 1970s, some young activists were regularly holding discussion on various topics, including on nationhood and Islam. Everytime they finish a discussion, one of them wrote his own impression on the debated stuff in his diary. When he died in a hit-and-run accident in 1971, his friends in the forum circle published his diary into a book called Pergolakan Pemikiran Islam. His name’s Ahmad Wahib considered by many as one of early Indonesian Muslim reformer.

The other two are Nucholis Madjid and Dawam Rahardjo. The former is the icon of Indonesian Muslim intellectual, while the latter is a prominent intellectual who contributes a lot to the journey of Indonesia as well as Islamic discourse with his influential journal, Ulumul Quran which is now unfortunately no longer published. Ulumul Quran has helped in a great deal in shaping up the mind and skill of many potential young intellectuals.

What I’d like to say here is that some activities in our young ages that we might consider as peripheral sometimes turns out to be playing more important role than things we used to think as more significant.Now, that culture of discussion circle still going on among spirited academician from some respected universities. With the internet help, in the form of blog, that “local activities” becomes globalised.

It starts from the same curiosity that Kafe Depok’s blog came into existence a year ago. According to one of its contributor, Berly

“Kafe Depok is short for kantin FEUI (faculty of economy universitas Indonesia–ed.) Depok where we all shared cherish time of heated discussion on Indonesian economy and social justice as idealistic undergrad.”

Berly also explains the reason behind the blog creation

“Now that we are separated in geography but (hopefully) more mature and more knowledgeable, we seek to transfer the discussion on line and share it with wider audience. Furthermore, we are eager to unearth from the European way, the kinder, gentler capitalism that care more for social justice and environment, for a better Indonesia.”

I am glad and congratulate them, the Kafe Depok crews, that the “discussion culture” is still rolling despite the geographical barrier among them. Since, this blessing-in-disguise thing will not only unite them, more importantly it’d benefit others: for Indonesians who are interested with economic matters and to know the voice of young-intellectual conscience; and for non-Indonesians who want to know about Indonesia from its younger-generation perspective. A generation that will shape the Indonesian future.

For me as a blogger, I feel even happier to see that Kafe Depok understands very well the “art” of blogging. The art of interactivity and show of humility. Academicians used to be dubbed as the “ivory tower” who used to expect accolade and standing ovation from the bottom without any need to reach out to them. In the blogging world, there’s no such “one side love.” One have to love another literally in order to be loved. The top-bottom and bottom-top interactivity are the kind of a new culture the blogosphere has contributed in a big way that makes me become one of its most rigorous supporter.[]

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