During an interview with Indonesian journalist Putra Nababan of RCTI last week, Barack Obama commented on several rumors about the four years he spent in Jakarta as a child. Here’s a list of facts vs. myths according to the US president.
1. Obama loves the folklore of Indonesia’s shadow puppet (wayang) plays.
Fact ““I love the Mahabharata and Ramayana stories,” said Obama. “I used to love wayang and I am still inspired by the stories and [the character] Hanoman.”
2. Obama has memorized the five principles of Indonesia’s state ideology, the Pancasila.
Myth “That’s a rumor. That’s not true.”
3. Obama loves bakso and nasi goreng.
Fact “I love bakso, I love nasi goreng, I love street food. I still remember the sound of people selling street food shouting “Sateee!” or “Baksooo!”
4. Obama used to tease female class mates to get their attention.
Myth “That I deny.”
5. Obama broke his friend’s arm.
Fact “It was by accident. We were riding a bike together and we fell. I was so traumatized! Is he OK? Please tell him I apologize. I felt so bad, I remember feeling so terrible.”
6. Obama wrote a poem about his dream of becoming a president.
Myth “That’s not true. I remembered reading one of my teachers saying that I was planning to be a president when I was six. When I was six I wanted to be a fireman.”