Saturday, January 7, 2012

Indonesia: The Stereotypes

Ah, what a unique country we are- where the parents tell their kids to not marry westerners, and in the same time it seems 'cool' to have a blood from white people's blood.
Where the lower class thought of eating 'white people's food' as cool, but can't live without indonesian food for more than a month (especially without nasi/rice) which we claim to be the best food in the world.
Where the middle/upper class speaks disdainfully of Americans, but watch hollywood movies and listen to American music
Where the the people (especially the older generation) speaks anti-extramarital sex (and not just the muslims, so do the Catholics and Christians) , but the adults practice fornication as much as other countries in the world
Where the citizens of the big cities in Indonesia adapt the European or american lifestyle, but fights over cultural heritage with none other than Malaysia
Where the people don't drink due to religious issues (but some of us does too), but over than 165 million people smoke (yes, my mother, my father, my uncle, my aunt, and my friends smokes)

It seems that we are hypocrites,
well to tell you a secret- we are

Even me myself, sometimes is. It's just in our trait that we are not aware of. The funniest thing is, we blame other people (not necessarily from other countries) to be hypocrites while we ourselves actually are hypocrites, at least in our everyday

Another example, we complain about the practice of corruption in the government, but we somehow manage to manipulate our given power in workplace etc. for illegitimate gain.

Where as I was giving you the bad traits from our people, we have that unique traits too such as

Aside from being hypocrites, other than bash about other countries stereotype (like other countries do- especially toward Americans from what I have seen). Indonesian people bash about the cultural stereotype of different regions, because one region seems to be funny to others. So we do these stereotype bashing thingy in our own country. Probably because Indonesia has more diverse cultures than the land of Europe itself.

Oh another fact, we Indonesian women, who most of us born with olive skin, prefer to have whiter skin- preferably a little pale than our tan skin. Quite the contrary huh?

Where the people eat liver, tongue, lung, and intestine regularly. We can make any part of the body a cuisine because we spare meal and learn not to waste food.

We are blessed with lots of natural resources (this includes very fertile land. I have unintentionally thrown rambutan seeds in my backyard after I ate it and a few months later it grew), but yet poverty remains widespread

We have a lot of superstitions from different regions, and it is a part of culture

We are a religious nation, where people must have religion although it's free to embrace whatever religion you want. But we are the biggest muslim population in the world

We don't have surname here in Indonesia only the Bataknese and maybe some culture of other region/province. However some children still adapt their parent's name. I.e. my middle name is a variety of my mother's name. And my last name (not surname) is exactly the same as my father's last name (again, not surname)

A lot of girls are skinny without even trying

Our ghosts stories seems dreadful, but when you think about it the ghosts are funny-looking

Because of the extremely hot weather/climate, most people prefer to stay indoor in their air-conditioned room. We despise walking, and there are a lot of reasons for that. One, the extremely hot weather and intensive sun (mostly in Jakarta) are blackening our skin (as I told you the women prefer whiter/paler skin). However, our skin endure towards intensive sun so we use sunblock not for sunburn, but to avoid tan skin. Two, it is so hot that if we do activities out door, even just a 15 minutes walk- we'd be sweating like a pig. Three, there are no decent pedestrian sidewalk or zebra cross. There are no lamps as well, so the drivers tend to run over you when you are crossing the streets. Four, there are lots of car pollution. Five, because people who hangs out outdoor like in warung/tempat parkir or stuff are of the lower class people, the girls usually get 'flirted on' but in a bad way. Such as being talked to in a cheesy but insulting line, or getting your ass/other part of the body dabbed. And they are bad looking man.

The middle/upper class are so lazy they never do house chores. Most of the middle/upper class families you see, who mostly live in big cities has lots of servant. The number of servant usually depends on how big the house is and how much kids they have. It is so affordable for almost every middle/upper class to have servant because their salary is only $50 per month. So almost everyone can afford a servant, except the servant communities themselves. The kids/teenagers grow up without knowing how to do the dishes, iron the clothes, sweep/mop the floor, doing to laundry, making the bed, or other household stuff because it has been taken care of. But then when we get to college and live in dormitory we learned how to do it ourselves.

Another unique fact, most people can afford servant but yet poverty and famine is everywhere throughout the country. Maybe by people I mean middle/upper class.

Yes, we are that unique

I should probably take you from another whole of different approach of what Indonesia is, instead of my personal observation and opinion of the stereotypes

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 17,508 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world's eighteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and fifteenth largest by purchasing power parity.

The Indonesian archipelago has become an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.

Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest—and the politically dominant—ethnic group. Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread.
(source: wikipedia)

There are a lot more that I can tell you of, but it would take too much of this page and it has no ends. So I guess this is enough

P.S. The things I stated my opinion are infact my opinion of the Indonesian stereotypes, not everybody is so. But then this is what I observed in the city I live in, Jakarta, and maybe there are a whole of different lifestyle in other region (like I said Indonesian's culture is a diverse culture). I might be a little lost of the Indonesian stereotype, because it's not as blatant as other countries stereotypes where you can learn through the popular cultures. Indonesian stereotype is not so popular in the popular cultures.

Oh, and Indonesian food kicks asses!

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