Surabaya’s Mrs. Mayor: Indonesia’s Best-Kept Secret

Tri Risma Harini, the mayor of Surabaya and the first woman Architecture alumnus

The Huffington Post:
Surabaya, Indonesia–Here, in Indonesia’s second-largest city, legend tells of a titanic battle between Sura, the great white shark, and Baya, the crocodile. Meeting in a river one day, the two creatures fought ferociously for supremacy of the animal kingdom. The place where they clashed became known as “Surabaya,” the city of the shark and the crocodile, emblematic of the repeated waves of colonial sharks and crocodiles that have controlled the city for centuries. ………………..
Today, Surabaya has a new hero in the form of its hands-on mayor, Tri Rismaharini, who is breathing new life into the city. Better known as “Ibu Risma”–“Mother Risma”–Surabaya’s mayor is part of a rising generation of new leaders, empowered by the decentralization of authority across Indonesia and ready to seize the reins of national leadership.
Many mornings at 5:30am, “Mrs. Mayor” can be found picking up trash along the roadside. In the afternoons, she hands out balls to children in the parks while reminding them to study hard. At night, she patrols the parks, scolding underage youth for breaking curfew. If traffic gets snarled, she’s been known to get out of her car and direct it herself. She also hosts a radio call-in show, fielding questions about evictions, clogged drains, and the occasional obscenity.

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Categories: Asia, Indonesia

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