Cherished memories and genuine aspirations do not simply fade away. That was the spirit shown by alumni of the 1956 Asian-African Student Conference. Though aged, they retain a youthful enthusiasm for life and their shared goals. Even the message of the conference's golden anniversary in Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday, was to look forward rather than dwell on the past.
"The core message for today's generation is not to fall into cynicism and despair in facing the future," said Emil Salim, the former president of the Federation of University Student Councils, recounting president Sukarno's opening speech at the 1956 conference. Among those attending was (photo above from left to right) the secretary of the conference's steering committee, Sabam Siagian; Emil Salim; the head of Indonesia's delegation in 1956, Agusdin Aminoeddin, who was the conference's president and also the chairman of the National Union of Indonesian Students (PPMI); West Java Deputy Governor Nu'man Abdul Hakim and Central Bank Governor Burhanuddin Abdullah.
Others present were Soedjana Sapiie, Koesnadi Hardjasoemantri, Bintoro Tjokroamidjojo and Wisaksono Noeradi. A plaque was unveiled at the sight of the conference -- the Panti Budaya building -- now rebuilt as a Bank Indonesia office. "This is not vanity ... It is to ponder the relevance of 50 years ago," said Soedjana, former head of the Bandung Students Association. Youths from 27 countries attended the conference, which was inspired by the Asia-Africa Summit a year earlier, to foster the idealism, unity and cooperation between countries breaking free from colonialism.
Source: The Jakarta Post