Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Indonesia: Students Cheer At Obama's Old School

An Indonesian schoolboy reacts to the announcement that Barack Obama had won the election for the U.S. Presidency Wednesday 5 Nov 2008 at Obama's former school in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Ed Wray)

JAKARTA, INDONESIA: Hundreds of students at Barack Obama's old elementary school in Indonesia cheered and danced in the rain Wednesday (5 Nov) after learning that one of their own had run away with the U.S. presidency, some wiping away tears of joy.

"We're so proud!" Alsya Nadin, a spunky 10-year-old in pink-framed glasses, said as fellow classmates poured onto the playground and started chanting "Obama! Obama!"

Obama lived in the world's most populous Muslim nation with his American mother and Indonesian stepfather from 1967 until 1971, an experience he has described as both exotic and enlightening. He had a pet monkey, and baby crocodiles swam in the pond behind his first house _ but he also saw Third World poverty and disease.

More than 300 students wearing white shorts and skirts gathered under a covered pavilion at Menteng 1 Elementary School, where Obama studied for two years, to watch the results come in, clapping and whooping when Ohio and other states went to the Democrat.

When the deputy principal announced the winner, they exploded, pouring into the playground and dancing under the basketball hoops as others emerged from nearby classrooms, smiling as they watched from the balcony above.

"It's amazing to know that the man who will be the next president of the United States studied here, at our school!" said 11-year-old Muhamad Yodi. "We prayed this would happened, but still, I can hardly believe it." (AP)

No comments: