JAKARTA, Indonesia — After another week of dust-ups between the media and President Trump, his predecessor shared a bit of wisdom Saturday from the other side of the world about tolerance and taking the daily news cycle in stride.
‘‘I wasn’t worried about what was in the newspapers today,’’ President Obama said during a nostalgic visit to Indonesia’s capital, his childhood home. ‘‘What I was worried about was, ‘What are they going to write about me 20 years from now when I look back?’ ’’
Obama was greeted by a crowd of thousands, including leaders, students, and businesspeople, in Jakarta, where he opened the Fourth Congress of Indonesian Diaspora. He is wildly popular in Indonesia, where many view him as an adopted son. A statue of the boy still remembered as ‘‘Barry’’ stands outside his old elementary school.
He reminisced about moving to Jakarta in 1967 when he was just 6 years old, shouting, ‘‘Indonesia bagian dari diri saya!’’ or ‘‘Indonesia is part of me!’’
‘‘If the rainy season came, the floods were coming and we had to clean out the floors in our house and then chase the chickens because they had gone someplace else,’’ Obama said to roaring laughter.
‘‘Today, Jakarta is a thriving center of commerce marked by highways and high-rises,’’ he said. “So much has changed, so much progress has been made.’’
Obama lived in the country with his mother, an anthropologist, and his Indonesian stepfather. The couple split up after having his half-sister, and Obama moved back to Hawaii when he was 10 to live with his grandparents. But he said he has never forgotten the years he spent in Indonesia.
‘‘My time here made me cherish respect for people’s differences,’’ he said.
Obama’s speech came on the final leg of his 10-day vacation in Indonesia.