In 2006, ACICIS Administrative Officer Erin McMahon (Semester 14, Feb 2002) organised a redesign of the ACICIS logo. Our new logo takes the form of a legendary character from wayang (the traditional puppetry and drama of Indonesia) named “Gatotkaca” alias “Kesatria Pringgadani” (The Flying Knight of Pringgadani).

Gatotkaca was the son of Bhima and Hidimbi; a unique combination which made him half-Rakshasa (giant). He got his name from his head, which was shaped like a pot (in Sanskrit, Ghatam means pot and Utkach means head). According to the Mahābhārata Sanskrit epic legend, Gatotkaca was a noble, self-confident and courageous warrior. His bones and nerves were made of iron and steel and he obtained supernatural powers, including the ability to fly, after going through many gruelling trials. In the Mahābhārata, Gatotkaca, who had promised to appear the second Bhima thought of him, was summoned by his father to fight on the Pandava side in the Kurukshetra battle. Invoking his magical powers, he wrought great havoc in the Kuarava army, ultimately saving the lives of his father and Pandavas at the cost of his own life.

Aside from being intelligent and extremely powerful, he was also considered a loyal, humble, diligent and respectful figure. These admirable qualities led to a Gatotkaca statue being erected near the Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali. Many locals believe that the statues presence provides spiritual protection and security for all incoming and outgoing flights.

We believe that this logo is extremely fitting because Gatotkaca represents many of the virtues which pertain to ACICIS. Taking part in any ACICIS Study Indonesia program provides the perfect opportunity to enhance students’ personal development through, among other things, cultivating awareness and respect for other cultures and building self-confidence. It goes without saying that studying another language in-country also requires a certain level of bravery. However, having the courage to abandon the familiar comforts of home and discover a wider world-view ensures a most rewarding experience for those who choose to embrace it. Even the ability to fly is a feature shared by both Gatotkaca and ACICIS students! After all, students must fly over to reach Indonesia, and once there they really do ‘take off’’ in terms of language learning!!!