Jumat , 08 July 2016, 01:34 WIB

President meets members of extended family on Lebaran

Red: Julkifli Marbun
President Jokowi
President Jokowi

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, KARANGANYAR -- President Joko Widodo met members of his extended family in Kragan Village, Karanganyar, Central Java, to exchange greetings on the second day of the Islamic post-fasting festival of Lebaran on Thursday.

"I am here as firstly, I missed you all, and when I was a child or was studying in kindergarten, elementary, and junior high schools, I came here almost once in a week or two," the president recollected.

President Widodo's late father was born in Kragan, and it is also the village where Wiro Miharjo, his grandfather, had lived. This is where his childhood days were spent.

Bey Machmudin, the head of press media and information of the State Secretariat, stated that after paying a visit to the members of his extended family, President Widodo met the local villagers and distributed food packages.

The packages, containing basic commodities for the poor, were distributed in front of the house of President Widodo and his extended family members, which is located across the office of Kragan village head. Some one thousand packages had been prepared for distribution.

The villagers expressed enthusiasm on being able to personally meet the president, and some had even gathered at the location since morning.

President Widodo arrived at the venue at around 10:25 a.m. local time. On the occasion, the head of state said it was similar to undertaking a nostalgic tour to revisit his childhood. The president said he indeed missed his childhood.

Recalling the time, President Widodo said he had to cross the Bengawan Solo River aboard a raft to reach the location. To his surprise, the local villagers still used a raft to cross the river now.

"Later, I will urge the district head to build a bridge. Let it be checked first by the district head or by the public works minister. If it is feasible, it will certainly be implemented immediately," he affirmed.

At the gathering, President Widodo also posed a question to find whether any of his friends, who went swimming with him in the river during his childhood days, were present there.

Kragan borders the popular Bengawan Solo River on its eastern side, and the river holds significance for the president.

"When I was a child, I used to swim in the river. However, no one answered when I asked just now whether there was anyone present who used to swim with me in those days," he stated.

A childhood friend of President Widodo, who attended the meeting, said if the bridge would be built, it would benefit him and the local villagers.

He revealed that the local villagers faced difficulties during heavy rains.

"During torrential rains, flooding occurs, and the raft cannot operate," 63-year-old bicycle repair man Tjipto Wiyono noted.

Sumber : Antara