Welcome back to AIYA Member Spotlights! In this regular series, we talk to a different AIYA Member from either Indonesia or Australia to hear their story. This week, AIYA Victoria Treasurer and language enthusiast, Johanes Warsono answers some questions!

What do you study?

I am studying Accounting and Finance at the University of Melbourne. 

What is your favourite place to visit in Indonesia?

I really enjoy Bandung in terms of weather and environment. From my perspective, it is also the city which does the best job in protecting all types of cultural heritages. Other than that, Yogyakarta must be on the top of the ranking if you want to have a full taste of traditional Javanese culture. However, personally, the city that leaves me the best memory is Surakarta (Solo) even though it doesn’t have a big name as prestigious as these two mentioned before.

Favourite meal in Indonesia?

Batagor (Bakso tahu goreng) for sure. It tastes better when peanut sauce is added.

How about your favourite Indonesian word?

“Pedekate” – a word describing a situation in which a boy (girl) is trying getting closer to a girl (boy). It is a lesson that everyone has to learn but schools don’t teach

Do you have a favourite Indonesian film?

My favourite Indonesian movie is “Laskar Pelangi”. Unlike some commercial Indonesian movies focusing on entertainment, Laskar Pelangi has a very realistic plot about how some poor kids from the same primary school in Belitung live and study and how they win respects from others. This is the first Indonesian movie that makes me feel touched.

How did you first become interested in Indonesia?

It is actually uneasy for a person who has a strong enthusiasm in foreign languages and cultures like me not to interact with any Indonesian elements in a multicultural city like Melbourne. Diversity in languages and culture, richness in resource of tourism, friendliness of Indonesian people are the main reasons that bring this country into my insight and raise my interest.

What was getting involved with AIYA like?

My experience with AIYA is like an amazing journey. When I first joined AIYA, I could hardly make a sentence by using Indonesian. However, only within one year’s time, my proficiency of Indonesian has progressed in a very quick manner. More importantly, here, at AIYA, I also make some awesome friends who supported me and helped me over a gloomy period of time in my life.

Any hopes for the bilateral relationship?

I hope that more flight routines connecting Australia and Indonesia can be opened.

What do you like most about AIYA?

No attendant will feel excluded if they come to any AIYA activity.

Sum up your experience as an AIYA member in three words!

Brotherhood Brotherhood Brotherhood

Read more AIYA Member Spotlight interviews here.