Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cultural Diplomacy toward ASEAN Community 2015

When I was just a little girl, my father introduced me to stomach diplomacy. He said that things would be better if we approached a person with food. It was important for him to make me understand that approach because we moved a lot from town to town. Why did we have to make so much effort approaching people? He said because we need people to accept us, listen to us, understand us and then give us a chance to have a good living. Food would make the conversation going smoothly and it would become effortless if we were willing to do it consciously.

Effective Approach

In wider community, we cannot approach people personally by sending them special food one by one or treat them in a nice restaurant. We have to do it massively. Our diplomacy must effect to as many people as possible. In choosing our diplomacy base, we have to make sure that the approach will not intimidate others’ present and believe, but in contrarily it must make them accept us naturally. After accept us, they will listen to us, understand us and give us a chance to have a good community together, that is ASEAN Community.

What can be the best substitute of food to carry out approaches to ASEAN nations? To have a strong bond among ASEAN nations, we need a relation which is formed within the society, without government intervention. Cultural will be able to reach the society of countries beyond the government’s participation. The agents of diplomacy are the people within ASEAN themselves. It will be more acceptable for them because they are not being told to do what the government has decided; instead they will do it consciously.

Connect Through Blogs

To approach each other, we need a media to form a connection. This is where bloggers must involve. Unlike press which mostly delivers news, bloggers will also give opinions, stories and feelings. Blogs can be read by anybody in the world where there is access, especially as fast as Wi-Fi from Telkom Indonesia. Blogs talk horizontally of which Hermawan Kertajaya said that any campaigns, commercial or social, will work that way. The message will be easier to chew.

While making the conversation over blogs, we seek and then share the common denominators naturally, like we often do in social relation. In the process, we also build trust among nations. The intensive engagement will open our perspectives to a chance to have a community which will become a new power to face the global challenge. In the end, we will come to the goal of ASEAN Community, which is the prosperity of ASEAN.

Solo as the Start

Another question occurs. Why did Solo become the first city to start spreading the spirit of ASEAN Community through ASEAN Blogger Festival 2013? Solo uniquely inherits cultural which can be linked to other parts of ASEAN. The government and people of Solo have strong commitment to preserve the cultural heritage. Yet, the commitment does not make them isolate Solo from outsiders; on the contrary they openly welcome everybody and happily introduce their cultural heritage.

The government organizes cultural events, such as Mangkunegaran Performing Arts, which can be attended freely by anybody. They also have annual cultural calendar of events which can be accessed easily through government website and printed flyers. The society individually supports the spirit by maintaining comfortable environment. Community, like Blogger Bengawan, hand in hand with the government and the society giving their best to make Solo ready to link themselves with their fellow ASEAN.
However, I still consider stomach diplomacy as the best in approaching people personally, even from different country. That was how I got friend from Cambodia in ASEAN Blogger Festival 2013. We talked over breakfast with relaxed, although I was not the one who paid for it. Actually, there are a lot of philosophies and values in traditional cuisine. It’s also part of cultural too, right?

5 comments:

  1. Stomach diplomati, Hehehe... i like that. Yah food can bring us such good mood that creatingn an easyly communication. More importanly, glad that it was we the Indonesian people who come with idea of Asean Blogger :) Success for you, Mak Lusi

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  2. I also agreed that food can be the binder of taste and memories at some moments. That can be remembered till long time :)

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  3. Stomach diplomatic is trully Indonesian culture:) Nice event!!

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