US president-elect Barack Obama's former classmates in Indonesia swelled with pride Wednesday and congratulated the Democratic candidate for becoming the first black president of the United States, reported dpa.
Dewi Asmara Oetojo, who was a schoolmate of Obama when he went to a primary school in Jakarta in the 1960s expressed the feelings of the Illinois senator's old school friends: "It's just amazing. We're so proud of him," she said.
Asmara, who is a member of Indonesia's parliament, said she never thought Obama had leadership qualities but remembers the boy as an easygoing person and also "very wise."
Obama, the child of a Kenyan father and an American mother, moved to Indonesia at age 6 with his mother.
Asmara expressed hope that Obama's childhood stay in Indonesia would make him different from other American presidents.
"We're very happy," said Widiyanto, another classmate, explaining that Obama had been active in various school activities, including involvement in the boyscouts.
Hundreds of spectators shouted "Long live Obama," when the US ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron Hume, announced Obama's victory at an embassy event and asked attendants to cheer the 47-year-old senator.
Hundreds of students at Obama's old school, the Menteng 1 primary school, celebrated Obama's election win by shouting "Long live Obama," and "Obama wins! McCain loses!" as classes were stopped to watch the election coverage on local television.
"It's just great. We're very happy and proud to have Barack Obama win the election," headmaster Kuwadiyanto said, adding that there was an emotional connection between the students and Obama.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla also congratulated Obama, saying that he is the hope of the American people and the world.
"The American people want the change. And this also is the hope of the world. As we're hoping Obama wins. I congratulate Obama," detik.com quoted Kalla as saying.