'Congratulations Barry,' say Obama's Indonesian schoolmates
US President Barack Obama's former classmates in Indonesia brimmed with pride and expectation after the chubby kid they knew as Barry became the most powerful man in the world.world Updated: Jan 21, 2009 15:44 IST
US President Barack Obama's former classmates in Indonesia brimmed with pride and expectation after the chubby kid they knew as Barry became the most powerful man in the world.
Dewi Asmara Oetojo, a lawmaker in Indonesia's parliament who went to primary school with Obama in Jakarta in the late 1960s, said her old classmate was a peacemaker with a "global" vision.
"For sure we're very proud and grateful that Barry, who was part of our childhood, has been elected president of the most powerful country in the world," she said after Obama's inauguration.
"We're convinced that he'll be able to bring change because even when he was a kid he already had a 'go global' attitude.
"It will be easy for him to bridge all the differences between West and East. He will bring peace to the world."
She said Obama's old classmates, who have followed every step of his rise to the presidency, would gather later today at his old school in the leafy central Jakarta suburb of Menteng for a party to celebrate the inauguration.
"We all want to congratulate Barry, his wife and his daughters and we will have a party here at our former school to celebrate his inauguration."
The son of a white American mother and a black Kenyan father, Obama was raised in Hawaii and moved to Indonesia when he was six after his divorced mother remarried an Indonesian.
In his memoirs he recalled his time in Indonesia as the "bounty of a young man's life.