A Child-(Un)Friendly Community/Nation: Part 3

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Let's move to another bigger unit: community.

July 23rd. What is so special with that date? Well, it's Hari Anak Nasional, our National Children's Day.  We officially honor children and their rights. We recognize them as a part of our community and nation. The question is, do we understand the idea only theoretically? Or do we take action with it?

Last year, as usual, our nation celebrated the big day. The event was held in Teater IMAX Keong Mas Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta. About 500 children were there. The celebration was so important that our President, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono came too.

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And what did happen? Some children fell asleep while Mr. President gave a speech. Mr. President rebuked those "unpolite" children.

We, adults, including Mr. President, don't have the right to critize children for falling asleep during our speech. On the contrary, we should be ashamed of ourselves for ignoring their needs and their well-being. The children gathered at six o'clock in the morning whereas the speech began 4 hours later. Don't we also sometimes feel bored when we have to hear some boring presentations? Aren't we tired and sleepy when we have to wake up so early in the morning to be able arrive in time for some important events?  

I myself don't get the concept of the celebration.
It's Children's Day. Why did the children at the event have to hear adult's words?
It was theirs which adults must listen to.
Children don't understand political speech, but they do love fun stories.
Why didn't Mr. President read them stories?
Children do love to play.
Why didn't Mr. Presiden play some traditional games with them?

My daughter and many other kindergarten students had a similar experience regarding to the National Education Day. They would compete in a coloring contest. They had to gather early in the morning. On the spot, they had to stand hours to listen to political speech of the commitee. In additon to that, the building was so hot and full of people. The children were already exhausted before the main event began.

Here I am, wondering the same questions stated before. Why do we adults so love to make a speech to children? Why can't we just play with them on their big day? Why can't we adjust ourselves to suit children's needs? We officially honor children and their rights. We recognize them as a part of our community and nation. But obviously, we understand the idea only theoretically since we haven't done anything significant actions with it, practically nor even politically.

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