THE Label

His name is Daniel,

Some people call him Danny, I nickname him Hippo. He is a 27 year old man. A doctorate candidate in rural development studies.

He is the first son to his parents, the second child. He is a little brother to his sister, and a big brother to his brother. He is a caring uncle to his two nieces.

He is a writer. He really loves to write. He writes bed time stories for children with his finger puppets and the pictures of them that he took while he’s travelling round the world. Because he wants children to not stop dreaming and wandering around with their imaginations. He is one of the story tellers in freethinker co. He writes story about the refugees in Foara, Jordan.

Daniel is a traveler. He travels around the world to meet new people, to embrace all differences could be found in cultures, in people’s mind, in someone’s heart.

He was a teacher.. He spent a full year to teach elementary school children in remote area of Tulang Bawang Barat, a regency of Lampung, Indonesia. He was loved by his students. He brought  one of his students to Jakarta to meet our former president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, after winning a competition in writing a letter to Mr. President, for students.

He is a dreamer. He dreams big, and he knows no one can stop him from achieving it. He dreams for a better world for children, and he’s working on it. He dreams for a fair trade, so he stops buying clothes from H&M, Primark, or Zara. He worked with youth group of World Bank, exchanging ideas with the other youths from all over the world to improve the situation in their home countries.

He is a lover. He loved his boyfriend passionately, unafraid. He gives all his heart when he loves. He smiles when he is happy, and he cries when someone breaks his heart.

He is a friend. He cares so much about his friends. He never miss their birthdays. He spends time to think of thoughtful gifts for his friends. He likes to listen to what his friends have to say. He inspires and encourages his friends to be someone better. He will always try to be there for his friends whenever they need him.

But some people just stop after the label: he’s gay.

Her name is Dina,

She is a small girl from Indonesia. She’s 28 years old and she just finished her master in biomedical engineering from university in Gent, Belgium.

She has a life time problem with her vertebrae that sometimes prohibit her from sleeping during the night that comes from the pain. But this situation doesn’t stop her to dream and do more in her life. She knows that she would not have enjoyed life as much as she enjoys it today if not because of the advanced medical research and devices that supports her being until today. For that reason she decided to pursue further her study in biomedical engineering, because she also wants to contribute in helping other people to live a better life.

Belgium was her first country where she has to live abroad, far from the families and friends who she misses dearly.

Dina likes to cook. If she is not busy with her study, she likes to spend time in cooking and inviting her friends to come over and enjoy the meal with her.

She is the first daughter to her parents. The role model to her sisters.

She is a lecturer. She is now teaching in Universitas BJ Habibie. A university that is named after a technocrat who was also the third president of The Republic of Indonesia.

She wears hijab, but it doesn’t stop her to go to pubs with her friends. Even though she couldn’t drink alcohol due to her religious view, she will be there just to sit around with her friends with a bottle of coke. She knows that pub is not her kind of place, nevertheless she doesn’t mind to just go there once in a while so that she could also spend time with her friends. Why? Because she wants to value her friendships as well. Her friends are always considerate with her when they invite her for dinner. They will ask her about which foods that she couldn’t eat. They ask her about her religious views because they want to understand her, so why not she also show some understanding and adjust her self for her friends?

But some people just stop at the first glance: she’s a Muslim. 

Antwerpen, 04/12/2016


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