Okada Ali, a Japanese BIPA Student, FCS UB Won Some Competitions
Okada Ali, a student from Tokyo, Japan, is very interested in Indonesian language and culture. At this time, Okada Ali is taking an Indonesian Language program for Foreign Speakers in Language Division, Humanities Science Laboratory, Faculty of Cultural Studies (FCS) Universitas Brawijaya (UB) for one year. Ali, Okada Ali’s nickname, is a student of the Study Program of Indonesia, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies who is currently completing the 4th semester, but now Ali took a one-year leave to study Bahasa Indonesia at FCS UB.
During the study of Indonesian Language program at FCS UB, in November 2017, Ali won in three competitions. Champion achieved by Ali were 1st Winner of Essay Competition at Universitas Sanata Dharma Yogyakarta, 3rd Winner of Speech Competition in International Student Summit (ISS) at Universitas Diponegoro, Favorite Winner of Speech Competition at Universitas Sebelas Maret Surakarta.
First Winner of Essay Competition at Universitas Sanata Dharma Yogyakarta
On November 11, 2017, Ali won the 1st place in the Essay competition organized by Universitas Sanata Dharma, Yogyakarta. The essay competition was held online with the collection of manuscripts starting on August 5, 2017 to October 1, 2017. The contest was only for foreigners who learn Indonesian around the world.
The theme of the essay competition is “Learning in the Other Country, Growing in Diversity”. Ali took the title “Enjoying Indonesia’s Heritage through Culinary Diversity” for the essay he wrote. With a guidance from Nia Budiana, M.Pd. as a lecturer of Indonesian Language and Literature FCS UB, Ali gets the 1st place. “I feel happy, this is the first time I write essay in Indonesian, so I do not expect to be a champion,” said Ali. Furthermore, Ali will continue to learn Indonesian and he wishes to follow any other speech contests.
Third Winner of Speech Competition in International Student Summit (ISS) at Universitas Diponegoro
Furthermore, Ali participated in a speech contest at the International Student Summit (ISS) which was organized by the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education and Universitas Diponegoro (Undip) Semarang on Tuesday to Thursday (14-16/11/2017). The event was aimed to introduce Indonesia to foreign students.
At the Indonesian speech contest, which was attended by 60 participants from various countries, Ali got the third winner after the participants from Brazil and Thailand occupied the first and second position. With a self-written script, in his speech, Ali conveys how to cope with homesickness abroad that was by finding new families and suitable foods for him.
Ali said that the experience obtained in the speech contest was different from the essay contest, because in the speech contest, he should prepare the script first by imagining speaking in front of people. “For me, speaking in Indonesian makes me wary because this is the first experience for me. I’m afraid if I do not remember the script. It is different from speech from Japanese because I get used to it. In this competition, I can know many foreign students, and this is an unforgettable experience for me,” said Ali.
In addition to the Indonesian Speech Contest category, this event also held Regional Speech Contest (Javanese and Sundanese), Video Blog, and Scientific Articles Competition.
Favorite Winner of Speech Competition at Universitas Sebelas Maret Surakarta
On Saturday (25/11/2017), Ali attended Speech Competition at Universitas Sebelas Maret Surakarta for the Indonesian National Student Competition 2017. This event had several categories, such as speech, fairy tale, reviews and letters with Indonesian and foreign students as the participants that competed together.
The selection process of Speech Contest was done through video submission. After passing the selection, Ali went to UNS to compete directly with other participants in front of the judges. With the theme of “cultural diversity as the approach to Indonesia”, Ali gets Favorite Champion or special award in this Speech Contest.
Ali admitted that he is interested in learning Indonesian because his mother came from Indonesia. “My mother is an Indonesian. However, I was born and raised in Tokyo, so I do not know my own mother country. Therefore, I am interested to learn the language and culture of Indonesia and all things close to Indonesia,” said Ali.
The most interesting Indonesian culture for Ali is Indonesian traditional dance. “I love the arts especially dance, therefore I learn Indonesian traditional dance,” Ali said. Until now, Ali has mastered five Indonesian traditional dances; they are Kebyar Duduk dance from Bali, Malang Masked dance from Malang, Saman dance from Aceh, Jaipong dance from West Java, and Rudat dance from Lombok. The period of learning for each dance for Ali depends on the difficulty of the dances. Ali learned Malangan Masked dance for approximately 2-3 months, while Kebyar Duduk dance from Bali was learned for more than a year.
Ali told that he learned Indonesian traditional dance with a teacher or his seniors in Japan who had mastered the dance, and joined the Karawitan and Dance Activity Unit (Unitantri) in UB. Ali learned Indonesian traditional dance from the first semester. It was similar to study Indonesian language also from the first semester because in Japan he took the major of Indonesian studies.
Not only learning the dances, but Ali also performed Indonesian traditional dances at several events such as art festival on his campus every year. In addition, UKM Indonesian traditional dance student activity unit at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies also hold a cultural performances of Indonesia, and if there was a dance invitation, Ali would also perform in the event. In Indonesia, Ali also performed at the opening of Musabaqah Tilawatil Qur’an National Student (MTQMN) XV 2017 with Unitantri UB, performing Rudat dance from Lombok.
“After finishing BIPA program and during my stay in Indonesia, I want to master the dances of East Java, now I’m still learning. In addition I want to make a thesis on Sociology of Religion in Indonesia”, said Ali. [DT/MSH/PSIK FIB]