On June 9 the INYS organises the Speaking Competition in cooperation with the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague! On this occasion we interviewed Merie Limin (right in the middle on the photo, wearing the white blouse), who joined the INYS Speaking Competition in 2016 and won the prize for the most creative speech.
Why did you want to participate?
“Giving a speech in the Indonesian language for a larger audience was something I had never done before. It seemed a wonderful challenge to me to push my own boundaries, as I am mostly shy about speaking Indonesian. Also, I was interested in following the workshop, learning more about public speaking and further improving my skills. And yes, it did make the decision to apply easier when I learned that you would have a chance at winning a trip to Indonesia!”
What did you expect of the Speaking Competition?
“I expected it to be exciting because I was going to do something outside of my comfort zone, but I also just went with the flow, especially during the morning program because it was clear that there would be guidance. Another thing I expected was that I would have a nice click with the other participants, even though you are ‘competing’ with each other during the speeches. And this was indeed the case! I’m still in touch with some of the participants from 2016.”
Were you nervous?
“YES! I think that for me it started when we prepared ourselves individually just before we would start with the speeches. There were some parts in my speech that I kept forgetting during my preparation, but it was also because of the idea that ‘that moment’ of giving the speech was getting closer. I was even having a hard time to really listen to the other speeches, because of my nervosity.”
What subject did you talk about?
“We were given five subthemes to choose from and I chose the subtheme ‘Unity in Diversity’, as from the slogan ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’. I gave my own interpretation to the slogan by telling about what your role could be in society when you’re someone with a multicultural background: act as a bridge. I thought it was important to share that as I felt that the division in the Netherlands and Europe was getting stronger.”
What did you learn?
“Well, I learned that it’s very rewarding to get out of my comfort zone haha, I won the prize for the most creative speech!”
Tell us about your experiences you had in Indonesia!
“Sharing that with you would take up a lot of your time, there was so much we did there. Overall, it was a unique experience as we travelled together with a group of other ‘lomba pidato’ winners from other countries, and the fun and unique thing was that you would talk Indonesian with people from for example Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Japan… I really liked that. Of course, it was also a very special experience to attend the Independence Day celebration at the Presidential Palace. To be honest I didn’t know whether I, while being Dutch, would maybe feel uncomfortable attending the celebration because of the historical relation to it, but it was really a special experience and I felt grateful for having experienced that.”
Lastly, what would you like to say to those who want to participate in this year’s speaking competition or are still considering to join?
“Tidak perlu malu! Just join it because it’s another chance to develop yourself further and it is definitely worth any nerves.”
Interested in joining this year’s Speaking Competition? Go here for the application details! Deadline for applications is May 31, 00:00 midnight.