It is 2030 where diversity is the new normal. It is not anything like in 2010s where social advancement was "not" on par with technological advancement. I still remember how the technological advancement was meant to provide a medium for people to understand one another; to bridge the gap in between our neighbors and how it could have been used to not only build a solid human unification but at the same time promote diversity in business settings. However it was to no avail because the majority of people, and in the case of business settings, members of the upper management failed to embrace this advantage that technological advancement had provided us. This happened because we, back in the days, were too clouded with fears, judgments and ignorance to listen to other people's stories.

It is very different in 2030: now, people thrive in diversity, and everyone gets the same chance, wherever, whoever they are, not bounded and not judged by their race, gender, location, social background or disabilities. In 2030, all companies are all over the inclusive workplace model; it’s one of the most well-established norms in corporation practice. It is funny, it is still a vivid memory in my mind, this one time when I was an exchange student in Helsinki, Finland and the university had a career day event. I asked one of the well-known companies if I could have an internship there, so the recruitment manager checked my CV and said that I was eligible for the internship. However, when he found out that I could not speak Finnish, he said that they could not hire me. But in 2030, there is nothing like this story anymore, because with the technological advancement of our time there is no such story as “just-because of the nationality or the language”.

In 2030, Inclusive workplace means that people are assessed by their qualification, qualification form and CV that are being sent to companies never included the gender and nationality anymore; this is done as a way to eliminate bias. One of the most amazing things about the inclusive workplace idea is that there is no institutionalized sexism and racism; everyone is fit for the job as long as they are qualified for it; so John is not always a manager name anymore, it could be Iman, Alexa, or whatever names really.

Fresh graduates’ mobility in between continents are rocketing nowadays either for internships or jobs as companies realized that talents can be found in every corner of the world. It is truly apparent that our society has managed to establish a remarkable system of global recruitment.

Offices and workplaces are all equipped with easy access for the disabled and even better, some have very simple policies to work over distance. Furthermore, the setting of workplace is not anymore like the old rigid-classroom arrangement, meaning that both introverts and extroverts can equally perform at their best by allowing them to freely choose their style of dynamics at the office. Paid parental leave is now not only a privilege owned exclusively by the highest developed countries, but a right for all parents and their newborns.

All of these would not have happened if not for the increasing dialogues about diversity, women's rights movements and youths voicing their ideas relentlessly. Besides, inclusive workplace is not only a matter of being politically correct or the question of morale, it is also about an investment which benefits the companies in the long run. Organizations that embraced the inclusivity simply come up with better solutions and more creative innovation; a diverse workplace enables creative minds to come together and think outside the box like never before.

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Have you ever feel like it does not bother you being in a place thousands miles from the place you have been living your whole life? Sensing you are so far away from familiarity yet you feel home, you feel like you belong? That is what I feel towards winter. That is what I feel towards a place that offers changing seasons. Having lived in a tropical country my whole life, I dreaded winter, but who knows I turned out to feel more at home in this winter wonderland.

Winter offers genuine serenity, everything is just so peaceful. It offers me the quite and the peace that I have not ever been able to know but yet, longing. It offers the kind of romance that you seek with your soul and your surroundings. Everything is covered with white snow making dark days so bright. Despite its cold days, I guess, winter actually incite warmth inside people -- it makes you want to connect with loved ones and drinks hot chocolate and glogg under a warm blanket. Sunrise and sunset during my winter are just so magical; It was anything but usual. Winter does not have to be this loud and festive kind of summer to create happiness. It can be the sounds of snow under my boots as I take my paces and the joy of going sliding on some hills or simply the delight of knowing that summer-joy is not the only kind of happiness that exists. Changing season and winter teach that yourself changes, people changes and there are always seasons of things. You just have to find things to be happy about in each season.

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To me, I haven't truly explore big cities, if I haven't step my feet inside the art museums. I really do not know what it is but something about art museum and the collectives of those installed collections really makes me happy. It is just intriguing to see the intricacies of the work and the passion being thrown into making it. It is like walking into another world really, every piece inciting different thoughts and feelings and I feel constantly awed both in a good way and a weird way. So, here is a little bit of "digital walk-through" of some pieces from Helsinki Art Museum and Stockholm Art Museum. Enjoy! Until next time!

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Okay, I am just going to be horribly honest here: first, the title to this is really bad (but I just want to get this thought out), second, it sucks to live in the third world country.

So, following my return, I cannot help noticing things the way I never did before neither ignoring the feelings that follows. I know it is really bad to be whiny and some of you might think that it only exacerbates things, but to be truthfully honest: I FELT SO GOOD THAT I WHINED ABOUT THESE THINGS. Because, I feel like I can let out the anger, sadness and disappointments faster instead of bottling it. I don't want to force positivism, happiness and optimism should come sincerely (I mean otherwise what's the meaning of it, right?!). The next thing after the storm of whining is the peace of mind that now I can move on to find solutions to those things!

So, here are the things that I think are such necessities in life; that I have been so lucky to experienced but not all people are privileged with. First, clean air: ever felt how deliberating it is when you go somewhere far away from crowded big city? Then you get to taste a lot of cleaner air without having to worry that you might poison your lungs? It feels good and it makes up for those tiny things that makes you happy.

Second, clean water: It is such a significant difference having to get used to buying bottled water/filtered water all my life then slowly getting used to drinking tap water that tastes so clean and fresh, and.... switch back again to not drink tap water. Third, separating waste and recycling!: Imagine how happy I was when I finally be able to separate my waste during my exchange semester. It is so easy because Scandinavian countries already have a very neat system for it. So, it goes like this: Plastic, organic, carton, paper, cans, glasses and mix waste. I remember I did that wholeheartedly, because it as if I was not such a horrible human for this earth, that I actually did something, even though it was such a tiny, insignificant act but it was better than nothing, I felt a bit better. The first day I came back to Jakarta, I cringed so much for coming back to the careless me (just throwing it all together).

Fourth, access to healthier diets; I really do not know how to explain this but let me give you example: 1 L of rapeseed oil = 30k IDR or around 2euros, there is no rapeseed oil in Indonesia, only palm oil would actually cost that cheap! Fifth, comfort of safety: I am so lucky to have my semester in one of the safest country in the world. In fact, I don't remember feeling scared ever when I went out alone in Helsinki, even past midnight! I do not ever remember being cat-called or seen someone being cat-called regardless the clothes. This obviously in contrast to what happen in Indonesia, cat-calling is very common and I hate it with all my being because it is so derogatory and demeaning and no women should ever be treated like that! Sixth, fast & free internet: Did you know that Finland actually put forward the idea that reliable and free internet is part of human's rights? I wish every government in every country could be this sober and thoughtful!

Wishing all of these things to happen in developing countries is a little bit far-fetched right now, but hey I don't know, it is still possible to fix the wrongs!

Until next time!

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Months really went by fast! Especially if you are enjoying something! My semester in Helsinki is over now, so I think it's best to give tips on the 10 things must do or see in Helsinki!

1. Sauna

Finns love sauna. Literally, every apartment buildings equipped with sauna facility! So, if you ever go to Finland, don't forget to hit some sauna places! Oh, it is especially unique experience if you come in the winter and swim in really cold lake and then have some sauna or the other way around. (image does not belong to me)

2. Central Railway Station / Rautatientori

What kind of person who would travel to a city without seeing the very centre of it? So, go here first after you arrived and experience the very busy and highly diverse-looking part of Helsinki! You can also get yourself travel card to go around the rest of Helsinki with public transportation of your choice (Train, Bus & Tram). Veeery convenient!

3. Cafe Regatta

Do you know that Finland is ranked the 1st in the world for coffee consumption with total 12 Kg/Capita? So, to enjoy a cup or two in one of the coffee shops would only be right! I can safely say that Cafe Regatta is among the best coffee shop! Especially in bright summer day, with smell of cinnamon and baked goods... Other cafes that I can recommend is Johan & Nyström, and Fazer cafe.

4. Aleksanterinkatu

I love Aleksanterinkatu... because it is such a pretty street and giving me this real-europe vibe! If you crave fancy-schmanchy shopping spree, this is the place! All famous brands are along the street of Aleksanterinkatu

5. Market Square & Helsinki Cathedral

Still located around the center, market square & Helsinki cathedral are mustvisit placesfor people who wants to truly experience Helsinki, because you haven't truly visited a place until you have picture in front of the famous landmark building, right? :)

6. Hakaniemi market

this is the place you can buy some local fish, reindeer meat as well as finns traditional dishes! Also on different floor you can find some fabrics with famous finnish design

7. Esplanade park

There are not really any nice parks in Jakarta, so I am way too excited when I see how beautiful Esplanade park is!

8. Kallio

If you consider yourself party-goers or like going to the bar or whatever (which I dont) Kallio district is the place... it is especially so vibrant in the weekend

9. ART Museums

I loveeee going to contemporary art museums just for the sake of seeing the unthinkable concept called art! Being an European city known for its design; then spending 4 hours in ART museums is very justifiable!

10. Design District!

Known as Hipster district (although, you do know you won't be hipster if you visit this district right?). I consider this Instagram-worthy visit! Also, there are about hundrends of shops that are just simply not anywhere else in the world!

Of course there are tons of other things/places to see (such as: somenlinna - UNESCO's world heritage), but I only focus on things at the very center of the city for now!

Until next time!


“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”
Judith Thurman

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in the amidst of overly deafening society, some people really go all out in doing it. They feel that it is part of their right to be personally involved in people's personal choices.

You see, happy people will not have time to do these such of things. They are content with their life. The people who tend to do these things are either highly insecure with their life and themselves and/or they are simply ignorance individual - who lacks conscience of how to be progressive, open-minded and accepting human being.

I have come across individuals like this; I think the best you can do is to just forgive and to avoid social contact with them. People with negative energy and bad vibe is not worth it to be kept around.

What are your thoughts on this?

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The first thought that came into my mind before I landed in Helsinki was that... "Well, it will feel like Sweden only slightly bit different". But no, I was wrong, Helsinki looks and feels totally different. It certainly does not feel very Scandinavian. I guess in a way Helsinki's architecture adopt Russian legacy rather than Scandinavian impression; even though Finland has been Swedish for longer. To put it simply, it has this Eastern European vibe instead (even though I have never been to Eastern Europe, well...); which makes sense because it is close to Estonia and Russia. Someone from Belarus even said that He feels like home when he visited Helsinki. I notice that larger part of the city has lots of building from cold war era, some parts constituted by modern glassy buildings and other has these grand "european" buildings from older era. However, Helsinki certainly has its own charm, the more you look around, the easier it gets to appreciate this city plus there are so much more left to discover (Although, Stockholm is still my favorite and I will tell you why :))

P.s: Hopefully can review Oslo/Norway soon!

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Known for its deep-rooted urban lifestyle for design and even awarded as City of Design by Unesco, Design district is one thing that can not be missed when you are in Helsinki. The district consists of sustainable design & local food, classic & vintage stores, nordic-style household showrooms, scandinavian organic make-up brands and paper & craft stores. The buildings around design district are also quite distinctive due to their unique architecture and colors. Design district is truly heaven for all design enthusiasts.

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