1000 Storyteller with Gloria Hamel

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

#1000Storytellers, a segment from the 1000 Abrahamic Circles project, highlighting people's stories, thoughts, and experiences in their journey of #PeaceThroughRespect



Guest Speaker


Gloria Natapradja Hamel Ambassador of the Ministry of Youth and Sports 2016, Paskibraka 2016



Introduction My name is Gloria Natapradja Hamel I’m born in the first January of 2000, now I am 21 years old I was born and raised in Jakarta and hi everybody

Looking at the growing racism in the world, why do you think it continues to fester and get worse with time?

  • I guess it gets worse with time because everybody has been focusing on how they are very different and like even it's supported by some media, some way of promotions or anything that you know it acknowledges the difference so much that you finally don't see any similarities in them which it's very cruel because we are born without ordering how we wanted to be so as far as time goes, I think that we should be closed rather than drifting away further

  • I think I personally think the easiest way to identify it, is some news that I saw today is about if there are some women in color that have an achievement they will say in the media like the narrative, the headline would be like the first Asian women to win bla bla bla or like the first black woman to have this award or something like that and they should not categorize it in that so like it's women and it's in color so that's why it's special it’s not about the award that she won it's about she's black or she's Asian and she won something, that's just a small example of it.

Based on your past case where your citizenship is put under scrutiny, what is your message for youths and leaders out there?

  • So my problem has been quite the talk out there, some are pro on how I think of it and some are not even supporting it. So I have a case my case and two thousand others half kids-mixed kids we filed into [Constitutional Court of Indonesia] because there are some laws that even is not created very well and it was even created for some interest, and so on so we had very good proof and evidence about how it had created so much misery for mixed kids, but when the court started and after it ends our file has been declined.

  • Some are still stateless. I'm lucky enough that France still acknowledges me but some are still stateless and there's no other option because to enter national citizenship is very hard due to that article that I mentioned.

  • So my message to the people up there is that I hope we hope maybe about 2000 of kids that I filed with me on that case that the regulation should be with the needs of the people itself it is not just about interests about making some taxes or something but this is our kids.

  • Kids who need even ID's to go to school and they cannot access that some are stateless they don't have any protection they usually have to have like in the international law of human rights you have to be you have to have a state right and that is like the basic human need for education, for well being, and they don't have that new to this problematic article that is very evil to do that to kids.

  • So I just hope that the clearance can be acknowledged soon and I wish all the best and thank you for all the hard work that the parliaments or the judges in [Constitutional Court of Indonesia] and everybody who has been fighting about this I really wish everybody good luck and really acknowledging this problem as a problem.

How do you feel about being of a wester descent in Indonesia, is it a privilege or not?

  • It's been a lot, in Paskibraka (Flag Raiser) even in my daily life, it has been hard because due to my western descent as a French slash Indonesian woman it's been hard for me to identify myself in my early stages so when somebody asks as simple as where you from usually it's a very friendly question from Indonesian to Indonesian right? So I always answer Jakarta because I'm born and raised in Jakarta and I think that this is my home since I was born.

  • It was my first day and maybe my last day here and usually, they ask: really? from Jakarta like really from Jakarta, you look western and I will always go like “yeah my father is French”, “oh see you’re a French, not Jakartan'' that goes on and when I say I'm a French to some people as I experiment I say “I'm French” and they will always say but “you live here? your school is here?” “yes” “And you're a French” “yes” “that's not so French are you not acknowledging Indonesia that goes on” and then if I say that I’m mixed “Oh! From where?” they were excited and I’m like, “my mom is Sundanese, my dad is French but I live in Jakarta” and then they’re like “huh?! well then you're just one of them” they will never acknowledge that I am mixed and that mixed is something. Usually, they always say that you have to choose a side but when I choose a side, the other things happen. So it's kind of weird but I got used to it.

  • But nowadays I think that I shouldn't get used to it, it's discrimination and some days when they ask for my opinion if I'm more opinionated to Indonesia they will question that I'm French and I'm doing stuff like that like I say good thing about Indonesia but I don't say good thing about France like why? They will ask me like “why? but you’re French why you talking about this so Indonesian” and stuff like that and when I say hoping about French they will question my nation side like more the comes very very very often so I think that is my personal life wise but on paper works it's another story so from [Constitutional Court of Indonesia] issue and then from the Paskibraka issue is always have been an issue about being French.

  • I cannot say for both because nobody here acknowledged me as French or Indonesia so they act like I'm not both and both at the same time so it's a different feeling like I had a belonging crisis since they don't really acknowledge as Indonesia even though I play pebbles when I was small, I play other things that everybody plays in Indonesia, I play Congklak, I learned some traditional dances, I'm very fluent at Indonesian more than my English, as well as everything they did, but they will never relate to any story that I did because they think I'm still French but friends [still] treat me like I'm an outsider.


Are you familiar with Interfaith Activities? What is your opinion regarding this

  • So you know the phrase that people fear something that they don't know and that happens for a religion like interfaith things activities are very important because then you know what you're what they're having what the other religions are doing because most of us we don't even have attended church we haven't go to the mosque we haven't know how our Buddhist friends pray we don't know any of it.

  • But we will know if we have an interfaith connection and that can only be done by activities and so the unknown will be known and so it won't become any fear anymore so then maybe we can create compassion for others we will know what they're doing and they will also know what we're doing and that will become a harmony so why is it not endorsed yet it's what I said in beginning everybody is too fearful of the unknown so they're afraid of taking the first step of this


Do you think religion is important for peace? Would unity and diversity ever be achieved Globally and Domestically?

  • I think it would be achieved Nationally like Indonesian are quite tolerating, I mean if we see other countries there are more fights about religion more than Indonesian has, there have been big crises in Indonesia too but we can always overcome it because at the end of the day we know that we are brothers and sisters

  • But I think it will be achieved if the education is more to you know, narratives like we are the same in a sense that all religion teaches love, but either way, all these years that I've been here I experience studying here also all the narrative has been everybody is different by the way that they do the prayers, by the way, did this and that so we are we think always as how different are we right which is better but not like what is the similarity that we have.

  • human gets closer by how they relate on things like I like football you like football and then we become friends over that topic but have we talked about religion like it's normal? like it's something that we have in common even though I am Christian and you're Muslim or reverse etc have we ever talked about how similar it is? No.

  • We are always focused on how it's different so until education lets us have a mindset that everything is quite the same then maybe we can achieve that something.

  • True or false has never been a question actually nobody is right and nobody is wrong it's just a method of how you put yourself together in the middle of it. I think if it's about radical mindset from the parents are from where they live or from their school itself, school is a matter of how the government really checks on how the pupils are being raised by the schools that is radical is it not I think the minister of education has done a really great job about it and as well as the minister of youth, I had experienced some work about it and we are really trying our best on checking on schools and stuff but the thing that is hard to be checked is the Parents.

  • How their parents at school well I'm not a parent yet but I know that some parents need to have some education on how to lead the children on how they should perceive things, especially something sensitive as their own beliefs. so if I have a chance to change something in Indonesia I think I would love to have parents have some little bit of education on how a healthy home is.

  • I think there are no limitations to start a family that is the problem because everybody can be married, everybody can have kids without them being credible to have a family or neither kids and then the hate goes on. It goes on from generation to generation just because their parents spread hate.

  • So what has been done in the heart that is unwell like they don't have any peace with the society or themselves and that is carried by vengeful for their kids, their sons, and grandchild and ideas live longer than the human itself.

  • By history, you know a lot of cultures still hating on some other culture because they are just like the dethroned to the generation above so I think it can be assumed one day that people can really really really think about other people be compassionate with themselves or other people when they are taught to do from the first place because primary education really does a big part of the kid itself that psychological. And I’m not an expert but I know for sure that “happiness also bring happiness and evil or some bad omen also create those“.

  • I completely agree with a phrase said that there's no peace without war and there’s no war without peace. So what I perceive is with the current pace delivering peace with the peace it's kind of hard because humans can only learn when they hurt that's the solid truth, but about this kind of things it's hard to make war for peace so actually what I think of the programs is actually very good like SDG’s and stuff I'm really happy with those studies and like I acknowledge it very much but with the current pace there are so many people that aren't even aware that the SDG’s and stuff is right there so maybe at the current pace it won't be achieved, but [if] by the same system but with more power then it can be attained.

  • I think to reach harmony with each other is first can only be achieved by having harmony for yourself, a lot of people skipped that part, they want to be peaceful they want to please everybody they want to look nice in front of everybody and reversed and they want people to be nice to them and everything is OK so they can be ok but it's actually the reverse. Before you have calmed down with yourself before you have self-compassion before you forgive yourself for the things you do, to not say sorry of being yourself to not being afraid of being hated because everyone's happiness is never your responsibility without really being [in] peace about that you can not find harmony within yourself, and if you cannot find harmony within yourself there will always be a downside in society.

  • How can you find harmony in society when we don't even know how to connect with others with your heart you just connect with others for your interests, to be liked, to be happy, to make themselves happy, to make yourself happy, but you never connect hearts to hearts. So before you have achieved that for yourself, I don't think that harmony can be attained by that.

happiness also bring happiness and evil or some bad omen also create those

In your opinion what do you think is lacking from interfaith programs in general?

  • The problem with Interfaith Project [are], people are too comfortable of being out in the blue, like they don't want to know because they're so comfortable with what they have, they have peace being the majority or they have peace and you know be having a small entire community of minority and so on and that's why some people are so afraid of going out of their comfort zone because it is a comfort zone. Even the society has some limitations to it, like to explore the unknown is a challenge it takes bravery so until the access is easier to have you know to be inside Interfaith Activities like it doesn't have to be a program if it's already you know like it's a daily thing to have Interfaith Connections I think then the Interfaith Connection can be done easily.

Good luck for the 1000 Abrahamic Circles Project I wish you the very best.


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Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed during the 1000 Story Teller series are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent and or reflect the official policy or position of the 1000 Abrahamic Circles Project. Any content provided is of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone, or anything.




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