Hi, my name is Björn Duys, and I am the new manager of Erasmus Huis Jakarta. This is not my first time in Jakarta because in the 1970s my father, who was also a diplomat, was posted in this city. Therefore, the whole family was here, and you can say that I spent a big part of my youth in this city. I arrived in Jakarta a couple of weeks ago and it felt like coming home.
When I saw the vacancy for this position as the Erasmus Huis manager, I thought this would be the perfect job for me. Not only because of my Indonesian roots, but also because of my background in management and organization. I do believe that my experience working for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 33 years could be of an asset for this function. My current job is a kind of a change from my previous positions (operational manager and head of consular affairs), but it also has a lot in common. That was what triggered me to apply.
I have been posted mostly in South American countries, such as Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. But if I see the two cultures (South American and Indonesian), I could see plenty of similarities. In South America, music is a vital ingredient to their lives, and you could see the same thing in Indonesia, with arts, music, dance, and theater. But what these two culture have really in common is the friendliness and people´s empathy. However, between us I prefer Indonesian food ?
My wife Monica and our three children are still in Colombia and they will join me here when they finish the school year. By the way, although we are a very multicultural family, as my wife is Colombian, our eldest son was born in Chili and the two little ones were born in Madrid, we share our love for Indonesian food and culture. For sure my parents played a huge role in this.
In the 70’s my family and I visited Erasmus Huis very frequently. I remembered that in those days, I was already impressed by the many activities that Erasmus Huis organized by then. Erasmus Huis has always been promoting the relations between the Netherlands and Indonesia, and for me it has always been the bridge between the two countries.
But Erasmus Huis has changed a lot since then. Not only in location or size, but also that it became a very professional organization. I feel proud to be a part of the team and I would really like to be able to contribute to Erasmus Huis with my passion, experience and motivation. Now that we are opening up and organizing offline events again, I want to give everybody a warm welcome with “Selamat datang di Erasmus Huis”.