The student of Indonesian Literature Undergraduate Study Program, Faculty of Humanities (FIB), Diponegoro University (Undip), Akbar Malik Adi Nugraha, won 1st Place in the National Essay Competition, which is one of the competitions in the series of 2022 Etnika Fest events organized by Gadjah Mada University (UGM). 2022 Etnika Fest Essay Competition raised the theme “Indonesia Post-Pandemic: Exploring the Face of Our Culture” where contestants can submit essays with the sub-themes Indonesian Identity Post-Pandemic, The Power of Interpretation of the Pandemic, as well as Science, Tradition, and Pandemic.

Akbar’s work entitled “Reflection and Imagination: Revealing the Dynamics of the Pandemic Period and Efforts to Strengthen National Identity” won the highest points from the three judges of the 2022 Etnika Fest Essay Competition, which were UGM Professors. Akbar Malik discussed the reflection of human life in the last two years living side by side with the pandemic, as well as imagination about the picture of an independent life after the pandemic.

In his essay, Akbar revealed various problems from the economic sector, health, pandemic mitigation, politics and so on which have reached a crucial point, where it shows the readiness of the Indonesian nation in facing a pandemic. However, Indonesia has strengthened again by showing progress in handling the pandemic, this strength of solidarity that must be used to build post-pandemic national consolidation. “We must instill optimism that Indonesia will rise from an economic and health perspective, as well as build a more solid political situation. We need the roles of all elements to face the 2045 Golden Indonesia,” said Akbar.

This Indonesian Literature undergraduate student also mentioned that economic stability is an important basis for getting back up after the pandemic, where synergy between the government and the community is needed in sustainable and environmentally friendly development. Fair and appropriate government policies will form a society that is able to live up to the nation’s identity.

Responding to the achievements of his student, the Head of the Indonesian Literature Study Program FIB Undip, Dr. Sukarjo Waluyo, S.S., M.Hum, said he was very happy and proud. “As the Head of Study Program, I continue to encourage students to continue to excel at regional, national and international levels. Soft skill training and mentoring are provided so that students can hone their abilities. I see bright potential and many students can excel in the future,” said Sukarjo Waluyo.

Sukarjo stated that all programs in the study program he led must be in line with steps to support FIB to become a leading research faculty in Southeast Asia by 2025 in the field of culture which includes literature, language, history, anthropology, libraries, philosophy, and archives. “It should not be forgotten,” he concluded.

This achievement is not the first achievement achieved by Akbar, but his victory this time was very memorable for him. “This competition is very interesting because the judges are three UGM professors from three disciplines, namely philosophy, anthropology, and literature. Winning this essay competition is a kind of ‘validation’ for the essays that I have made, that my work is judged to be of high quality by a number of professors,” said Akbar.

“The luxury of being a student is high idealism and intellectualism. Perhaps, once the student status is released, it may no longer be owned. So, take advantage of that luxury for doing something positive and productive,” Akbar said to his fellow students to keep up the enthusiasm for work. (Titis – Public Relations)