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Monday, 05 October 2015 00:00

Oney Anwar: "I never forget where I came from"

Chasing the WCT dream while moving to Australia, Oney Anwar keeps his eyes on his homeland. An insightful interview, here.

Oney you decide to change your life and with the help of your family and sponsors you manage to live in Australia. Do you consider that decision a turning point in your life as a surfer? And as a person?
Yes definitely. Moving away from your family and home country means you have to adapt and mature quickly, but it is the best opportunity I could have ever been offered. I have learnt to surf all types of conditions, meet so many great people that have helped push my career forward and also got my Australian residency. Fully fledged Aussie, mate.


Now your are able to see Indonesia with another perspective. What is the opinion of a young person like you, watching his country from abroad? The differences with the western culture and your birth country?
There are so many cultural differences. It was a reality shock having cereal for breakfast and steak almost every night. It took a while to get used to but now it's just normal to me. But when I am travelling or in Australia I always miss perfect waves and laid back lifestyle of Indo.


And what about surf culture? Definitely there is a surf/beach culture in indonesia, how do you compare it with the western world ?Yeah there is difference in the surf culture. In Indo we try to respect everyone in the water but number one we respect the locals. In Australia, particularly Snapper, you don't really know who is a local and so everyone just burns each other.


Your experience on the WSL, chasing the WCT is a dream, being there is a dream come true? What lessons have you been learning with that?
Yeah it is a dream come true to get this opportunity to travel on the WQS competing for a spot on the Tour, but I never forget where I came from and I am grateful everyday to be given this epic opportunity and hopefully inspire other Indo kids to do the same.


Indonesia is the biggest archipelago in the world, with the best waves in the world. Do you think Indonesian people forget about the ocean? What is important to do, to pass the message to the Indonesian people about it?
I think there needs to be a lot of education about the ocean and its ecosystem. People need to learn about the impact pollution has on the oceans, on our animals and even in our waterways. I would love to see the government get involved in more projects to educate local people about rubbish disposal, but the Indo surfers are really getting behind the movement by doing beach clean ups and programs to reduce the use of plastic


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