What looks similar, might not be that similar

Interact Leadership Training Service Malaysia 2019

Sometimes we wonder, why should we go to a place that’s similar? Why should we spend our money going to that area? This story will tell you why going to those kinds of places is worth the trip.

In March 2019, I was invited to Kuantan Malaysia by Rotary Club Indera Putra Mahkota to speak at a youth event. It was my first time to speak abroad. I’m from Indonesia. Indonesia and Malaysia are like siblings because they share so many things in common. In fact, many people that I met there said that they have a relative or have been to Indonesia. As a result, I could catch up on their language which is Melayu. In one of the events, I created an eco-bag and baked bread in a house for people with disabilities with guidance in Melayu. Voila, I made it. Although when there were times I didn’t understand the language, guessing or hand gestures would help.

Nevertheless, to prevent misunderstanding, I believe it’s better to use English as we share the same understanding of words, unlike Indonesian and Melayu. For example, the word hand phone in Indonesia is telepon genggam, but in Melayu, they call it talipon bimbit; but, we both understand that a hand phone is a tool to make a phone call. Hence, I chose to use English for my presentation so they could better understand my message.

I encouraged the audience to dream big. Big dreams are not always defined by a job. It could be doing something that we like continuously and that brings benefit for yourself and others.

I told them that I like a celebration. The reason is that I like to be glammed up. I know it might sound shallow, but yeah, everyone has their own reason. If there’s a celebration it means that there should be something to celebrate. I choose to celebrate positivity and achievement. Therefore, I need to work on what I like to do and make some achievements from it. Gladly, I received warm applause from the audience who are junior high school students. In the end, I asked one of them to review my presentation because I wanted to know their perspective. Then, I received an unthinkable response.

The participant said that the first thing he noticed was how different my accent was from them. Actually, I’ve never noticed that. I mean, they were looking like they understand my presentation and I could understand them as well.

Finally, I reach the conclusion that when delivering a message to others, especially people from other places, it is important how we deliver it. What looks similar could also be so different.

At last, I’m glad to participate in that event. I got so many inspiring insights. Their questions and statements remind me of the time when I was their age. They already set their heart and mind on the right track. Seeing them inspires me to continue to growing and not get tired of learning how to improve myself. I have believed that they will find their own definition of success soon. 

I hope my presentation can help them shape their future and develop a stronger relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia.