I remember, I read one of Torry’s tweets right after I finished with one of prayer sessions.
His tweet was up among mutual people I follow. When he shared his feeling after his dad was just passed, my fingers were frozen.
I came to Mecca with a specific purpose months after I lost mine so I knew exactly how he felt. I took a piece of paper and started writing some prayers for his late dad when I was still in front of al-Ka’bah al Musharrafah. People say our prayers would be answered straight away in front of the most sacred site. I didn’t know Torry, I never met him in person but I just wanted to let him know at that moment, prayers even from strangers could make us feel better.
When I looked back at how Torry and I connected after that piece of paper, it reminds me of one thing. When I was a kid, I grew up as an introvert. As you could imagine, being alone was one of the most comfortable circumstances I had all the time. It didn’t bother me that having bunch of friends was actually cool. As life changes today, even from social media, an introvert could learn to open himself to connect with bunch of kind people out there. Ah, I should have told him if he had time for coffee when I managed my last three days in Canggu before flying back to Africa, I should.
Since I have been following Torry on Twitter, I suspected one thing: he must be a graduate either from English Literature or International Relations. The way he addresses his thoughts in English is so tidy. Easy peasy, I knew I was right. When Torry responded my nerve to share some interesting facts and sort of on KitKat (oh my world, when last I posted something on KitKat), I was excited to hear from him through an email. As I couldn’t keep for myself but sharing it for you guys, here is Torry expressing his love for his mum, his unforgettable experience in China and more. Take a cup of hot lemon tea when reading this. Enjoy!
The first thing to ask näturlich, who’s Torry Jatiprakoso? What do you do and where do you live?
Hi! I was born in Solo on May 6th, 1993. I was raised in Solo and I am pure-blood Solonese! So, if you are looking for a native Solonese, my family is the one you’re looking for.
My family strongly hold Javanese culture, but they also embrace tolerance. For example, they want me to be a Javanese guy who speaks Javanese, understand the culture and manners of Javanese family, but they let their kids to choose their own religion as for them religion should not be given to an individual. So, we can be anything without forgetting where we came from.
I am now working as a manager in one of multinational company and posted in Bali.
When I read one of your tweets written in English, I did suspect your background must be so close with English. Funny enough, I guessed you were graduated from International Relations. So tell us more about your background?
I had decided to take International Relations later in college since I was 12. I joined my school’s debating team and most of the motions were international issues, and that was when I started to dream to be a diplomat.
I was focusing on diplomacy and negotiation, because I am fascinated on how leaders all around the world make agreement and surprised that biggest decision sometimes made in informal approach. This concentration lets me know more on how to behave, how to negotiate better, how to analyze my interlocutor’s body language, table manner, seating arrangement and how a small event can create big impacts. Other than that, I know better that negotiation and diplomacy is an art.
What did you have in mind before decided to learn International Relations at the university? What was the most interesting part from your study?
I have always wanted to have an international exposure and what a 12-year-old boy was that anything labelled with “international” is super cool and will later give me an international access. I was thinking International Relations is about understanding the relations and culture of many countries, apparently it’s more about politics.
The most interesting part of learning International Relations is that diplomatic relations between one country and another is very unique and complicated. We need to understand that in diplomacy there are protocols which rule the outfit we should wear, which perfume we have to wear, and our body language speaks a thousand words. There’s one subject that was very interesting for me called “Cultural Communication among Nations” where I can understand body language or signs in each country may differ, we need to learn this to avoid misunderstanding.
That sounds interesting, now if you have something to say to young students whose International Relations is their passion, what would you say?
If you have set your mind to learn International Relations and 100% sure to pursue your dream to be a diplomat, you are in the right place. You will never regret to learn this subject and will never find it difficult. Keep going but read more about specific issues in specific fields, as in International Relations you will learn many other sectors other than politics but not in details.
So T, let’s talk about your passion. Anything?
Actually, International Relations is something I am passionate about since I wanted to be a diplomat, but for now I have something else in my head that I want to pursue. Other than that, I think singing is one of my passions. I don’t sing amazingly, but at least I can always get through bad days with music plugged in my ears and sing along!
Should I mention here that your Japan trip was such a blast? Tell us more if you don’t mind!
I have never been interested in Japan before and even I think people who are fanatic about Japanese culture are weird. However, lately I saw that many people are going there and everything looks very pretty. Finally on November 2018 I purchased a return ticket to and from Tokyo.
When I first arrived, I was fascinated by the view along my train trip from Narita airport to Tokyo station as everything looks super clean and well-organized. I went to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Nara, Fuji and those places are very pretty. I tried many kind of food including Ramen and Gyukatsu, they were all finger-licking good!
I Finally I understand why those people are very obsessed about Japan. Not only pretty, but their food, people and culture are also amazing.
So, how many countries you’ve paid a visit so far? Which one has marked your heart?
I have visited 9 countries so far and the most meaningful experience is China.
I went to China on 2012 after being awarded an exchange program from AIESEC. I did a project in Xinchengzhen, an under developed small village which ironically only 3 hours away from the amazing Beijing. I went there to teach English and cultural understanding to children from 6 to 15 years old. The village is very poor, and many children are not confident to talk about their dreams, so we called our project as “Dare to Dream Project”.
I applied for some other programs other than teaching, but the project’s timeline was not suitable with mine. So, the only one left was teaching project which I lied during interview by saying that I love kids because they are cute, playful, and kids love to be around me. In fact, I hate kids!
Everyday, many kids came to my room to wake me up only to hand me a sheet of paper with some questions about my full name, nationality, my zodiac sign, and many more. Maybe you remember biodata paper from Loose Leaf. They woke me up with their big eyes and cute smile. How could I hate that?!
I was frustrated at first the kids were hard to handle, especially I had one big boy who was a rebel. There was a very shy little chubby girl who ran away each time I came to her. In addition, I lived at the school’s dormitory which toilet was a big square room with 14 square holes on the floor. Those holes are squat toilet with no walls to separate one another, and I had to stay there for 3 months.
Unfortunately, on the last week of the first month of the project, Beijing and its surrounding were hit by flash flood and I still remember the worst flash flood happened only 5 minutes from our place. We had to stop the project that day and we would be relocated back to Beijing on the next day. When I told the students that Dare to Dream Project ended only in the first month, the students cried and hugged me. I was surprised that the rebel boy came to me and would not let me go. He hugged me so tight and he cried loudly, he said, “Teacher, don’t go!”. The next day before leaving for Beijing, the shy little chubby girl came to me just to hand me a small box with a jade necklace inside. I was about to hug her, but she ran and cried.
I was so proud that the first day we came, no one was brave enough to say even only one or two words in English but the day we left, they had started saying words in English. It was very memorable, and I keep wondering how those kids are now. It was life changing and now I really really love kids. They are cute, indeed.
Do you have personal thoughts about life that apply in “this is my rule and it’s written in my life dictionary”?
Everyone wakes up in the morning and sleep at night. Living life is a routine and it repeats for a lifetime, but the way we live and make each day meaningful is the thing that matters. The first thing I have in mind is to treat people the way we want to be treated and to make them feel appreciated even in the smallest things.
Second, as a person I believe that we were born with so many talents. Therefore, I always want to push myself in doing new things and open myself for any good opportunity coming to my way.
How do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself as someone with master’s degree title after my name, while running my own business.
What are the things that could make you proud to yourself?
I am a happy person and I am able to radiate the whole room with happiness. Other than that, nothing makes me feel prouder than my Mom saying that she’s proud of what I have achieved.
This might be one of compulsory questions on KitKat. Three things you can’t live without?
Phone, money, phone charger.
If you must mention one name whose inspirations have lived in your own life, who would you mention and why?
Endang Listyorini. She is my Mum. She’s the strongest woman ever walked on earth! My Mum is a very independent woman who knows her strengths and puts her family above all. I lost my Dad last March because of lung cancer and only a week after his death, my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.
However, my Mum didn’t lose hope and follow all the treatments with strong desire to recover.
People make some resolutions every new year but let’s talk about this instead: do you have some unforgettable moments until this end of the year that made you feel pain, free, grateful, and stronger than before?
Yes, my Dad’s passing. I was not so close to him as we always had different ideas on things. However, I really love to learn about my own culture and my Dad knew a lot. Maybe, that was the only thing we could always talk about. When he was diagnosed with the last stage of lung cancer, I left my job to take care of him.
I drove him to hospital twice a week from Solo to Sardjito Central Hospital in Jogja, we left at 4AM and arrived at home at 9PM. After everything was settled, I came from Bali to Solo once a month to see him. Unfortunately, after 7 months struggling with cancer, my Dad could not take it anymore and he passed away. Even we were not too close, I am grateful to be by his side during all the struggles and let him know that I loved him so much. It is still painful to remember, but I know I can only be stronger each day.
Mention one song which could describe your life. Anyone inside your life-playlist? Tell us why.
Circle of Life!
This song does not really describe my life in particular, but this song describes life in general. Circle of Life tells us that life is a never-ending journey to discover ourselves. It tells us that there’s much to see than can ever be seen, more to find than can ever be found, and so much more to do than can ever be done.
I sang this song as well on my graduation ceremony, therefore it becomes the song that is very close to my heart. I cried listening to this song when I visited Hong Kong Disneyland where the sang it live on The Festival of Lion King, it was very beautiful.
Last one. Surprising side of Torry Jatiprakoso?
I can be harsh and do not care about things, but I am actually very soft at heart. I hate to cry in front of someone else just because I do not want to look weak.
I couldn’t thank enough to Torry for sharing all these and hoping we can actually sit and sharing more life experiences with good cup of coffees, someday T. You could follow him here and here, he sometimes shares his talent in singing.