Day 36 - Friday Challenge - 5 Things About my Country "INDONESIA"

in #the100daysofsteem2 years ago (edited)

Hello dear Steemians, today let me join the fun in steemit contest to write about my country.

It was not clear in the rule whether it is a country where we are living now or whre we have grown up so I was actually thinking to write about both countries.
I was born in Indonesia, and have been living in Germany since the last 11 years. This way I think I am qualified enough to write about both ^_^.
However the article would probably too long if I write about both in one article, so I'd divide it into 2 posts.

I will start now by telling you 5 things I like about my birth country „Indonesia“:

source: pixabay

1. Definitely the food

Indonesia is an archipel which consist of 17508 island and at least 6000 of them are inhabited („Fortunately not all of them are inhabited for the sake of all other creatures aside of homo sapiens,“ said my husband @jaki01 :-D).
We have about 300 tribes living there so you can self imagine, how many diversity of cultures we have. So, “food culture“ is basically only one of our cultural wealth.
Aside of the original cuisine legacy that we have, the 353 years of colonialisation period done by Netherlands, Portugese, Spain, England and Japan, added with some visits of Germany-Christian Missionaries, Chinese and Arabs traders have also enriched the local cultures.
Many new recipes have been invented through assimilation of those various cultures.

So there is no so called „typical Indonesian“ taste regarding our cuisine collection because you would find many different kind tastes depends on where you are enjoying the food in my country or from which tribe the chef came from ^_^. And those are only talking about the traditional cuisines.

How many new recipes have been invented again after people started to do cross-border marriages and migrating?! Unclear.
So, I feel very fortunate to have so plenty of delicacies to try out…
There are still so many that I haven't even tasted yet.
It's so good that we have internet nowadays so that I can seek the recipe online to learn to make it by my self.

Finally.. IMHO, I have no reason to be bored at home cos there are plenty of things I can learn to spend time even just in the aspect of „FOOD CREATION“ alone. And the world still has more to learn beside food, right?

source: my personal collection

2. The Art collections.

This included music, dance, crafts, paintings, traditional costumes, etc.
With so many tribes we have, there are definitely so many beautiful things we must cherish. So it's painful to me, imagining that all those cultural heritages has been threathened to vanish slowly…
not just because many youngsters are lacking passion in nurturing their own culture but also because the slow but steady increase of wahabi's influence over the last 20 years in my country.

I know it's gonna be unfair for a devoted muslimin to abandon her dancing talent, but I still find it cringey anyway whenever I see a „javanese traditional dancers“ performing a traditional dance with modified costumes because they want to keep wearing hijab.
That's just not the way it is supposed to be. Traditional dances from Sumatra would be ok, cos the costumes would have been more suitable.
But well… it's just the way it is now ^_^.
It is another evidence to verify, that cultures evolved over the times.
Moreover, it can also be seen as an enrichment cos you get a new style to replace things that is gone afterall :-D.

These are videos contains picture compilation of indonesian traditional costumes and traditional building designs. They represent the culture of the biggest tribes living in our 34 provinces.
1. Indonesia traditional costumes (39 designs varieties representing 34 provinces):

2. Traditional building designs from 34 provinces:

3. Diversity of languages

Just for the same reason mentioned above, we also have many different languages which are not comparable to dialects in Germany for example. There are also some dialects spoken in some different states in Germany but they do still have some similarities between each others which make anyone speaking standard German would still somehow be able to guess what is talked about, atleast through the context of the conversation and some words that are still recogniseable.

But in Indonesia most off those languages are completely different. That's why we absolutely need a national language which must be learnt by every single citizen to give us possibility to communicate with each others, called „Bahasa Indonesia“. This language derived from Malay languages, which is quite widely spoken in east Sumatra, the sixth biggest island in the world belongs to indonesian territory that was connected to Malay Peninsula. That makes Indonesian and Malaysian citizens could still understand each others because we only have little insignificant differences in vocabularies and accents.

This language was chosen to unify our people because it was rather simple compares to many other languages spoken by other tribes in Indonesia. Some of the other languages have even their own alphabets.

Why do I particularly like this fact among many other assets Indonesia has?
Because this circumstance had made us Indonesian growing up to be multilingual/polyglot or bilingual at least.
This is one of the reason why indonesian immigrants tend to find it not so hard in adopting local languages and to adapt with the local culture, at least to the level required for the integration purpose.

4. Nature

Indonesia, as a country lies on the equator and ring of fire (we have many active volcanos), is blessed with natural assets. We have been basically living in paradise since our territory is especially habitable for diverse floras and faunas.

You can basically throw someone in the wilderness and as long as that person is not too spoilt, they would be able to survive. You have no problem to find anything to eat and you won't die caused by extreme weather unless there is any accident.
Our soil is rich of natural ressources like oil, gas, minerals and gems.
On the other hand, having the position on the ring of fire and between 2 earth plates always put us in a high risk of experiencing natural disasters.

5. People's character in general

This aspect is a little bit tricky. Every person is unique, they have their own personal trait of course but here I need to generalise them, because we are now talking about Indonesia as an entity.
Indonesian people grown up and raised as believers and social types. These things blessed us with many positive traits which are at the same time can be a disadvantage too.

I will only give few examples of these traits:

  • emotional but also friendly and forgiving.
    Indonesian folks are easily touched, and can forgive things rather easily because we are yearning for harmony as soon as the other party apologised or when the problem has passed.
    Indonesians like to avoid conflicts. Unlike many colonies that tried hard until they finally got compensation from their ex-colonialists, Indonesians didn't even try to pursue that :-D.
    Balinese people held no resentment either despite their misery caused by bombing incidents.
    People have forgotten despicable things our dictator had done and have even supported many of the criminals against humanity to join the political campaign T_T.
    Some of the excuses are: „We need to move on, reconciliation is better for the sake of a peaceful life. We can't bring the death back to life anyway.“

As long as you stay away from religion and their family, you can basically get away unscathed after offending them, just say sorry ^_^.
Those are basically not bad traits, but you can also imagine that sometimes these are not good at all, because some villains just like to do bad deeds without much consideration since they know that they can easily shirk responsibility just by saying:
„Maaf, saya kemarin khilaf, maklum hanya manusia tempatnya salah dan lupa“ (Sorry, It was my bad but not intentional. I am just human being, who can always make mistakes and forget things) :-D.

  • Indonesians help each others
    Indonesians may seem to easily be offended and disintegrated, because losing face is deemed to be something really terrible and they tend to like whorshipping „things and persons“, that's why one needs to be careful not to „touch“ that „special things/persons“.
    On the other hand, they would soon lend a hand to others in the state of crisis. That's why we have rather good records in surviving many terrible crisis, even with such unreliable politicians in the government.
    I critisize a lot the irresponsible acts of many Indonesians and also the government's slow reaction towards the covid-19 pandemie for example.

I was angry when a health minister has the heart to make a joking statement like this one:"Indonesians are immune against this virus, we are already too deeply contaminated by many poisons anyway (he meant: pollutants and the fact that some street vendors use chemicals in their food irresponsibly, many of them sometimes not even made for food).
Making sure that our consumer goods are safe is supposed to be his job, allright!?
Such a joke is not for him to say, especially not in an interview about serious issues like this.
It got me on my nerves too when even the vice president could say that "We will be Ok, covid-19 will not harm us because we are protected by God.." hmmm...

So... I am glad that Indonesian folks normally have always been able to survive the crisis by helping each others.
We can't rely on our government but we can normally rely on our compassionate fellow citizens.
During hard times Indonesians tend to grow love again, although they have fought in their normal days over insignificant matters.
They only need to start realising that we are now having mutual problems.
All we can hope is just that the realisation is not far too late.

  • familial bonding is in general very strong.
    In Germany you are considered lucky if you still have good contact with your siblings and if they are even agree to help you financially.
    But in Indonesia it's not so rare that your uncle, aunts or cousins help you in need despite being not so rich tgemshelves.
    It's not rare that you stay in your distant family's home when you happen to study in the city where they live, for FREE.
    My uncle paid for my tuition fees too when I was in highschool and my aunt has taken care of all her nephews and nieces while their biological parents both must go to work, for FREE.
    Minus points: "your family would have much influence in your private affairs too".

So, for you who are interested in doing an intercultural love relationship with Indonesians, be prepared for these :-D!

  • etc...
    There are still some more that I actually want to share, but my article is already this long so I think I need to stop LOL.
    I had planned to write 5 things I dislike about Indonesia here too but it seems that I need to insert that in my next article about my recent homeland because I think it's rather possible to make a one on one comparison in those aspects.

However I still can tell you about 5 things foreigners often misunderstood about Indonesia:

A. Indonesia is not Bali and Indonesian beauty is not only found in Bali!
Bali is only a small island belong to indonesian territory. So Indonesia is not a small country at all. It is the largest archipelago in the world (read the link given above). I have been living for nearly 30 years in Indonesia and I haven't even seen 10% of them T_T.

B. Indonesia is not an islamic country.
Indonesia is officially a secular republic, but our constitution states that our people believe in "God/mighty spiritual beings" so it is a bit ambiguous actually.
But "NO", our constitution and civil law system don't use religion rules as basis.

Islamic rules are integrated into law system ONLY in the province DI Aceh, and that was only due to a special peace treaty contract between the rebels and Indonesian government signed under attendance of UN to end the war there that run over few decades, to finally allow the commoners to live a normal peaceful life.
Aceh is just one of our 34 provinces in Indonesia and it has a special status with a relatively wide autonomy right.

But Indonesian population is dominated by moslems (on paper, because plenty of them do not even pray regularly nor follow the rules strictly LOL), this makes Indonesia indeed the largest moslem folks in the world because Indonesia only stands below USA when it comes to the amount of citizens.
However Indonesia has a special department taking care of religion matters and this department has a special court to deal with moslem's issues (in general it's all about family law like such as: custody, alimony, inheritance etc).
The issues of other believers would be taken care of by normal courts.

In fact, Indonesian Penal and Civil Code are still those left by the Netherland and our parliament just made some revisions of particular clauses here and there.
That is why I often found similarities in some aspects when I had a law subject during my 5th semester in the university here in Germany.

C. Indonesians are conservative
Not completely correct!
Indonesians are mostly believers, yes, but not everyone do follow the religion's rules.
Many have rather conservative ideas in certain things like: "LGBT, Sex, freedom of speech when it comes to religion topic."

Yes, BUT... Indonesia is a paradox nation.
You would find devoted moslems who would wear hijab and strictly following islamic rules, but you would also find those who love to drink and eating pork despite being moslem :-D.
And by the way, the conservative ones are not only moslems either.
There are also non-moslems who are much more conservative than most moslems in Indonesia.
There are 6 official religions in Indonesia afterall and many more paganism practitioners (animismus and dinamismus).
Prostitution is illegal but only few years ago Surabaya was still known to have the biggest red district in South-east Asia ^_^.
Gambling is illegal but if you know where to seek, you'd find comparably big portals of gamblers.
You would also be able to find alcohol beverages easily, they are just really expensive because of the taxes.
Public entertainment shows, especially the "live shows" are not conservative at all. Sexy performers with erotic songs and dances are even normal in the small villages when people hold parties. Censors are only possible in electronic or printed medias :-D.
But it is correct that tourists need to pay attention to the local customs to not having a problem there. Some regions are more conservative than others.
The key is: "open your eyes and ears, be reasonable enough to adapt!", then you'll be allright.
So, NO, it's absolutely wrong to accuse Indonesian folks as conservative folks who would lash you for having premarital sex.
It's not likeable and still considered "taboo" in the public view so that parent would normally not even talk about sex education to their children, but we all know that many of youngsters do not even care that much about virginity issues anymore and pregnancy before marriage is not a rarity.

D. Indonesia is poor
NOPE. Indonesia is not poor. Our GDP is not so low (nominal per capita is 4.460 USD) and our economy grows fast in the recent decade. It's just that the gap betweeen the rich and the poor is too wide. The fortune is not evenly distributed.
Still it is a fact that the purchasing power of Indonesians is not too bad.

E. Indonesian women are reserved
Wel.. not always. You may regret it if you especially seek Indonesian ladies to have a submissive and obedient wife :-D.
It always depends where you find your woman LOL. If you deliberately go to remote villages and get uneducated women or get a wife coming from strictly religious family then maybe yes you'd still find that quality.
But the modern ones are not that reserved nor submissive anymore ^_^.
But there is still some truth in that thought afterall.
Compares to the feminism ideas in western countries, Indonesia is still rather mild.
In general Indonesian women would still consider men as the head of the family and they expect men to be responsible for the overall welfare of the family.

Well, that's enough for now and thank you in advance for the upvotes as well as thanks to @steemcurator01 for organising the challenge!
Have a nice day everyone!


Guten Morgen Ana,
das ist ein wunderschöner Beitrag, den ich mit viel Freude und großem Interesse zum Frühstück gelesen habe! Juchu, endlich mal wieder etwas Positives... :-)
Ich habe auch darüber nachgedacht, an dieser Challenge teilzunehmen, doch als ich mit meinen Stichwörtern bei "5 Dinge, die du nicht magst" angelangt bin, habe ich mich gleich wieder geärgert. Vielleicht sollte ich es dir gleich tun und das Kapitel einfach weglassen... Und so schlimm ist es hier ja auch ganz bestimmt nicht, immerhin bist du bereits elf Jahre freiwillig hier... ;-)
Liebe Grüße aus dem hohen Norden, wo ich gleich erstmal das Auto freikratzen muss (das mag ich im Mai wahrlich nicht!),

Liebe Christiane, deinen Gefuhl kann ich gut nachvollziehen 😂. Den Ärger habe ich eigentlich auch gleich gespürt, darum fing ich mit dem positiven Teil an.
Am Ende ist es doch schon zu lang und das ärgerliche Teil fehlt noch.
Es gibt kein perfektes Land zu leben. Jedes Land hat Vorteile und Nachteile.
Wenn wir die Luxus haben, frei entscheiden zu dürfen, würden wir leider nur ein Land finden, in dem die Nachteile nach unseren Prinzipien bzw. Lebensbedurfnissen noch einigermaßen tolerierbar sind 😊.
Das Problem liegt nur darin, dass nich jeder diesen Luxus hat.
Liebe Grüße (Ana)

Ein sehr interessanter Beitrag, der mir deine Heimat ein weiteres Stück näherbringt!

Indonesia is not Bali and Indonesian beauty is not only found in Bali!

Dass Indonesien sehr viel mehr zu bieten hat, als das im Bestseller "Eat, Pray, Love" beschriebene und im Film hollywoodmäßig inszenierte Mekka für Selbstfindungstrips, hast du auch bereits in früheren Beiträgen eindrucksvoll dokumentiert. Die Berichte über die Kultur deines Heimatlandes lese ich immer mit besonderem Interesse.

Neugierig bin ich auch auf den zweiten Teil, den Blick auf deine Wahlheimat Deutschland.

Hallo liebe Vieanna, schön von dir wieder zu hören. Ich hoffe, ich schaffe noch heute den zweiten Teil meines Beitrages fertig zu schreiben. Man lebt nur so, dass man oft lang nachdenken muss, wie man aussagekräftig genug aber so kurz wie möglich das Land beschreiben könnte.
Bis man mich fragt, habe ich oft nicht mehr gemerkt, dass ich schon so lang hier wohne.

... because my home is where I can see my beloved persons everyday.

Dieses Zitat aus dem 2. Teil deines Beitrages gefällt mir besonders gut. :)

Solche Gedanken hilft einem, überall sich wohl zu fühlen, auch wenn das Leben dort nicht immer so angenehm ist 😊.

Excellent article and good writing! Even though it’s very long (for me), I enjoyed reading every single word that you described for your beloved country, Indonesia. Very interesting stories!

I personally love to study the history and geography of other countries around the world. As far as I knew from my study in the past, Indonesia is a very large and beautiful country. In the meantime, I learned much more detailed information about Indonesia that I haven’t known before from your article now.

It’s great to see the variety of Indonesian foods via your food collection again. They all look delicious.

The Indonesian traditional costumes are beautiful and the traditional building designs are magnificent. I enjoyed watching the video you provided.

According to your description, “Indonesia, as a country lies on the equator and ring of fire (we have many active volcanos), is blessed with natural assets. We have been basically living in paradise since our territory is especially habitable for diverse floras and faunas”, I would love the beautiful nature in Indonesia, for sure.

I think there are some similar characters between Indonesian and Thai people; i.e. “we help each others”, “familial bonding is in general very strong”, “women would still consider men as the head of the family and they expect men to be responsible for the overall welfare of the family”, etc.

It’s good to know the facts about Indonesia that we may misunderstand in the past.

Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to reading more stories about Indonesia and German with much interest.

Have a beautiful week and stay healthy! ;)

Yes, we do have similarities. Asian people in general considered losing face is a serious issue for example LOL. Families support each others.
Considering foods.. I love Thai cuisine so much too. It has perhaps more similarities to the taste of Sumatra people, because they tend to be savory and spicy, right?
Indonesian cuisine do not always have such tendency. Some regions have relatively mild taste and rather sweet for example.
But we both love sambal (spicy dipping sauce) to complement the dishes I guess 😁.

Yeah! I'm so glad that we have similarities.

And I'm really happy to know that you love Thai cuisine so much, too.

Regarding the taste, I think we are similar, too. Not all regions in Thailand that people love savory and spicy; i.e. our Southern people have the same taste of your Sumatra people, our Northern people, and most people in Central part have mild taste, etc.

And yes, you are right! We both love "sambal (spicy dipping sauce). Oh! It's great that we have the same favorite..... ;))

... forgiving ... yearning for harmony ...

Are you sure to be Indonesian? :-)))

Well... There are always some exceptional cases in everything. Just take it that you are lucky to get this one of a kind lady 😊.
I am special 😁.

Neverthless... I think I am still forgiving enough, although it may take a little while...
Immerhin sind wir doch schon mindestens 12 Jahre zusammen oder 😂.

@kobold-djawa! Yeah! I totally agree with you.... "You are so special" .... ;)))

@jaki01! I think you are very lucky to have a kind lady and a good wife and an excellent mother for your little princess..... ^__^

Manchmal glaube ich, ich wurde im falschen Land geboren, vor allem, wenn ich die Beschreibung der fernöstlichen Mentalität lese, mit der ich schon immer am meisten anfangen konnte. :)

Wirklich ein toller Beitrag, mit dem du dir sicherlich viel Mühe gegeben hast und der mir gezeigt hat, wie sehr ich die große Vielfalt dieses kulinarischen Paradieses doch unterschätzt habe, von dem du uns in Zukunft hoffentlich noch viele leckere Rezepte präsentieren wirst.

Liebe @kobold-djawa, wieder ein sehr schöner Beitrag von dir. Ich lese sowas sehr gern, weil es authentisch ist, weil du weißt worüber du schreibst, obwohl du denkst nur etwa 10 % von Indonesien zu kennen. Deutschland ist klein dagegen und ich kenne so wenig von Ostdeutschland, weil wir lange zweigeteilt waren. Gut finde ich die Vielseitigkeit von Indonesien, die Kulturen, Sprachen, Religionen, Natur etc. Wenn viele Stämme (Volksgruppen) eine Nation sind, dann ist man dort auch viel weltoffener, möglichen Veränderungen gegenüber.

Danke 😊, das freut mich.
Indonesien hatte damals noch schlechtere Infrastrukturen und außerdem muss man ja mit Flugzeugen bzw Schiffen verreisen, um in die andere Insel zu kommen. Die Reisedauer alleine ermoglicht manche von uns nicht, einen Urlaub so weit zu machen. Gesetzliche Urlaubstage bei uns ist maximal nur 14 Tage im Jahr und man kann sie meistens nicht am Stück nehmen.
Außerdem kostet zB eine Flugreise nach Ostteil unseres Landes mehr als doppelt wie eine Reise nach Singapur, Malaysia oder Thailand 😅.
Hinzukommt, dass Urlaubkultur hatte bei uns nicht existiert.
Die Eltern in die Heimat zu besuchen hat die hochste Priorität.
Deshalb galt einen Urlaub bei uns bisher nur als ein Luxus, dass nur die Reichen sowohl zeitlich als auch finanziell leisten konnten.
Das ist der Hauptgrund, warum viele Indonesien die Urlaubsorten ihres Landes, die in anderen Insel sich befinden, meistens noch nicht gesehen haben.

Thank you for taking part in the latest 100 Days of Steem Challenge.

Very interesting article, learnt a lot about Indonesia.

Keep following @steemitblog for new challenges every week.

The Steemit Team

Nice article

Thank you 😊

Thanks to @jasuly for burning 1000 CT! You have been rewarded with a 100% vote. Your action makes this project grow and helps to restore a Clean Planet! Join us on our Discord Channel and on our website

Thank you for your all the information about your country,

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.49
TRX 0.09
JST 0.062
BTC 49193.22
ETH 4116.36
BNB 561.89
SBD 5.97