Thursday, 2023 December 7

[Tuning In] From village to the globe: Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun on bridging nations and its people

Born into a humble family and growing up on a small island, Ambassador Oratmangun did not keep his dreams small. Upon reading an article about life as an ambassador in a local newspaper, he immediately set his sights on the diplomatic world. He has since dedicated himself to his country—more than 30 years of bridging nations and people, promoting diversity and inclusivity at the same time.

Oratmangun currently serves as the Ambassador of The Republic of Indonesia to the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia. During his prior posts in New York, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Russia, he tackled many issues including human rights, environment, trade, and investment, as well as digital economy. In this article, he highlights how Indonesia and China are growing closer together, especially in terms of the tech ecosystem.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

KrASIA (Kr): Sir, you were born and raised on a frontier island in Indonesia, far from the sparkling capital city. Can you tell us more about where you grew up, family influence, and how it led you to your diplomatic career?

Djauhari Oratmangun (DO): Both of my parents came from rural areas in the eastern part of Indonesia; my father from Tanimbar Islands in Maluku and my mother from Kamangta village in North Sulawesi. Both of them worked as teachers. We lived in Sulawesi and Maluku, far away from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. As for myself, after completing high school in Maluku, I decided to further my studies in a bigger city. I had been accepted by the Faculty of Economics of Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta.

What inspired me to become a diplomat? When I was in grade 9, I read an article on Kompas (a local newspaper) about the the life of a diplomat, he was in permanent mission of the Republic of Indonesia, at the United Nations (UN) in New York. I thought this would be a possible career option because I had wanted to go abroad while serving the nation. Of course, my family also had significant influence over my personality while growing up, and my choice of career.

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