President of Indonesia Joko Widodo wins AJA Award

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Asia Journalist Association (AJA) held “AJA Award” and a dialogue program with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) under the title of “Game-Changing Revolution with Young People” on May 17.

AJA and Ajou University co-hosted the dialogue program. The total of more than 500 audiences participated, including Governor of Gyeonggi Province Nam Kyung-pil, Mayor-Council of Suwon City Council Yeom Tae-Young, Indonesian students and citizens in Korea, Korean students, and journalists. Overcrowded with audiences, some of them even sit on stairs to listen to his words.

In his award acceptance speech, Jokiwi noted that his first daughter is a huge fan of K-pop, revealing his special interest in Korean culture. He outspoken in Korean: “Hankukel Saranghapnida” and “Gachi Gapsida” – meaning “I love Korea” and “Let’s go together”. Needless to say, it drew loud applause.

Although Indonesia has more than 400 ethnic groups speaking more than 700 living languages, Indonesian unite under the motto of “Harmony in Diversity”, he added. At the end of speech, he mentioned “Change in our society will come with our open mind toward different people from us”.

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Jokowi accepted the ‘AJA Award 2016’ in the section of Politics. He had mentioned that he would be willing to accept the prize in Korea at an exclusive interview with Lee Sang=ki (hereinafter, Lee), publisher of THEAsiaN, Magazine N and the Founding President of AJA, at the Indonesia Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

After the award ceremony, the dialogue program was followed.

In a message for the youth, he shared his stories with young students. As a son of underprivileged carpenter, he hailed from a humble background. Well knowing of his deficits, as a student, he studied harder than his friends, as an entrepreneur, worked day and night. He also defined him as a listener. “I walk out to reach to the people, talk with them, and then they give me back exactly-right solutions” he said.

Beyond the messages to young people, he addressed “Important is Communication of leaders, stressing ‘Era of Asia’ and ‘Development of Asia’. Based on mutual communication, the development of politics, economy, and society in Asia can be accomplished”.

Befitting with his nickname as– ‘people’s president’, he walked into the crowd at the end of the program shaking hands with high school students and taking a commemorative photograph.

Jokowi is recorded as the first people’s president in Indonesia history appointed by the direct election accomplishing a peaceful change of government. The president of Ajou University, Kim Dong-yeon (hereinafter, Kim), also shares such background with Jokowi. Kim was a child breadwinner, graduated from a commercial high school and took night classes at the university. Kim was in tough situations; but he, the former minister, has successfully carved out his career as the president of Ajou University. Their experiences of achieving success from disadvantaged backgrounds encouraged the youth in Asia not to be frustrated by the current situation but be hopeful for the future.

“My greatest supporter is the people”, Jokowi said at the exclusive interview with Lee. He also stressed the importance of communication with young generation mentioning “Social network service is the most useful way to communicate with the people”. At this interview, Jokowi had much interested in a talk with young people, which Lee had suggested, and ordered Chief Secretary Teten to be ready for the dialogue program with full preparation.

The dialogue program covered three topics: dreams and hopes of the youth, youngsters’ challenge for healthier civic society, and building collaborative connection for young generations of the both countries.

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