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Immersed in Indonesia!

Thriving. Culture. Exciting.

Thriving. Culture. Exciting.These three words come close to encapsulating the whirlwind that was our intense two week trip to Jakarta!

‘You learn something new everyday’ was something I had heard before and occasionally experienced every now and then as well. But throughout this trip, I was learning something new every moment!

Whether it be that you can’t flush toilet paper in Indonesia, or that Grab is the Indonesian Uber, or that the Indonesian start-up scene is blooming with small businesses like YCAB Ventures, an Indonesian social impact investing firm that’s bringing meaningful change in the lives of thousands of “Ibu-Ibu”, Indonesian women micro-entrepreneurs, through microfinancing!

What made it even better was that we had the opportunity to work with YCAB to introduce new initiatives to help them further their cause, which we pitched to them on our last day!

I immensely respect the importance Indonesians give to all religions. Did you know that in Indonesia, every business day, all breaks and meetings are timetabled around prayer times?

It astounded me to see the level of tolerance and acceptance of other religions within one area. One part of the city was a buzzing intersection of beliefs – within only a few metres of each other, there was the largest Cathedral in Jakarta, Istiqlal Mosque (the largest in Southeast Asia) and a Hare Krishna Temple!

I can truly say that I’m so glad to have experienced Indonesia, its people and its culture, which are as beautiful and vibrant as batik, the traditional Indonesian patterned clothing!

We even met the Ibu-Ibu and visited their businesses as part of our primary research. It was so insightful speaking to them and hearing their experiences – it made me realise how different the business eco-system is in Indonesia.

And to make our trip even better, we had a couple of Indonesian university students come along with us. They are such amazing people, I learnt so much from them about Indonesian culture and made some great friendships!

Shreyashi (Shree) Sharma Nagwanyen

Bachelor of Accounting (Co-op) Scholar

Global Short Program Student (Faculty-Led)

New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant Recipient

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