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Red and white heart

Today is 69th Independence Day of Republic Indonesia. After years of fearing the worst, now I have hope with the newly elected president, Djokowi.

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Let me reflect on what it feels like living as an Indonesian abroad.

These things come to my notion observing Indonesian chauvinistic trait against Indonesians living abroad. Chauvinism is a form of exaggerated patriotism and limitless belief in superiority of the nation.

Some Indonesians abroad have adopted part of the culture of their country of residence which is in some cases needed in order to survive. This is called integrating. Sadly this is hard to understand by Indonesians living in Indonesia. The latter often judge Indonesians abroad who do so as forgetting the country. On the contrary Indonesians embrace foreigners who love Indonesia and are fully integrated living in Indonesia.

Some people, mostly those I know shallowly, are surprised if they hear I am still able to speak Bahasa Indonesia fluently. In my turn I react also with disbelief. How could they think so? Bahasa Indonesia is my native language, the language I grew up with and the language I feel most comfortable expressing myself with.

Many Indonesians are proud of their culture, nature and food. All three are excellent also. However loving other countries’ culture, nature and food doesn’t necessarily means you turn your back on your country. In my case Indonesia.

So if there are Indonesians who love to travel abroad and prefer to eat foreign food, please read this post. Indonesian travel destinations are breathtaking but the world is big. If there are Indonesians who want to explore it let them. This is my take against “Explore Indonesia first, then go abroad”.

Indonesian food is undoubtedly mouthwatering. However respect Indonesians who love to dig world culinary heritage. It is about taste after all.

I wish those who judge Indonesians living abroad know the following; Indonesians living abroad talk about their country often and take their culture with them. Well I guess this applies on immigrants all over the world.

In my case, I lost count how many times I happily provide my Dutch family, friends and colleagues with Indonesian travel tips. Like most Indonesians living abroad I have been introducing real Indonesian food here and will continue to promote it including Indonesian eating custom.

Ah at the end, I realise who am I to ask Indonesians NOT to judge Indonesians living abroad. As long as I have a red and white heart, that is what counts. No matter how integrated I am in The Netherlands, I still and will always love Indonesia. It is my beloved country where I was born and bred. Being an Indonesian is an undeniable part of my identity.

Today I salute Republic Indonesia for its 69 years of existence. Thank you for the freedom. Let it be improved for the better the following years.

Happy birthday Indonesia!

29 thoughts on “Red and white heart

  1. Bravo, Lorraine! Very well said!
    I once encountered a moment when a colleague (sadly one of the senior ones) mocked me for what he thought as me being less proud of Indonesia just because I said that I was amazed by the beauty of Grand Canyon. He said that compared to Raja Ampat (the place where he’d been in) Grand Canyon was crap. My reply was that just because I admire one particular place, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I belittle the rest of the world; that the earth is too beautiful for me to think the way he does.
    And he just went silent.
    Dirgahayu Indonesia!

    • You did make him rethink his statement Emmy, well done as well. That was a Chauvinistic trait of that person.

      Some Indonesians here with whom I have lunch from time to time, only want to eat Indonesian food when we meet. The only exception is Chinese food for a change. When I suggest to try other cuisine, they mock me of being less Indonesian cause there is no rice on the menu.

      The feeling of being Indonesian can not easily be defined by things I wrote above. It is a feeling.

      • So true, Lorraine.. So, true.. Having a non Indonesian spouse also makes things like this more challenging for me (not that I regret that) I feel like I have to convince twice harder in many aspect of nationalism.

  2. Sukaa banget sama tulisan Mba tentang Dirgahayu kali ini. Let’s hope for the best buat pemerintahan baru, semoga Indonesia lebih baik lagi.
    Happy birthday Indonesia!

    • Setelah absen 2 tahun ini nulis lagi di 17-8 Astrid. Aku cape denger orang bilang “Ngapain jalan-jalan keluar negri, Indonesia itu bagus banget”, “Loe sok luar negri banget sih suka makan makanan luar. Ngga laper ngga makan nasi?” atau “Ih ternyata masih suka Pete, Tempe, Tahu padahal udah lama tinggal di Belanda”. Tiap orang kan seleranya beda-beda ya. Tapi aku yakin hampir semua orang cinta negara asalnya apapun yang mereka buat.

      • Iaa banget tuh Mba, apalagi suka koment “kenapa seh milih cowo luar, emang di indo kurang apa cowonya?” dengan nada sinis😦 padahal kadang aku mikir, yang tinggal di luar lebih bangga sama indo koq. waktu aku setahun di sana, aku seneng banget nyiapin makanan indo pas ada acara, pas hari batik aja, aku minta anak host fam aku dipakein batik, aku cerita tempat2 di indo yang bagus, which is klo kita di indo aja gak segitunya kadang kan Mba.

  3. Saya menyetujui apa yang tertulis di tiap-tiap baris tulisan ini. Happy Independence Day ya mbak…semoga terus menjadi duta Indonesia di Belanda.🙂

  4. Iya mbak🙂 Gara2 tinggal di luar, aku jadi ngerasa lebih Indonesia daripada dulu ehhehe. Semoga makin banyak yang promosi Indonesia😀

    Happy 17an Mbak😀

  5. Ini Afrika? Bukan ini Baluran!
    Ini Maldive? Bukan ini Karimun Jawa!
    Ini Bora Bora? Bukan ini Ora Beach

    Hadeuuhhh , eneg bgt baca travel twitter macam gini !

  6. Wah aku merasa beruntung kenalnya sama orang2 kayak mba dan Fe, yang gak judgemental kayak gitu yah? Kan juga kita duta bangsa mau tidak mau yah gak? Kalau pikiran tertutup kayak gitu semua orang2 asing juga males ngomongnya. Lagian kalau gak ada orang2 kayak kita yang jalan2 ke luar negeri, Indonesia susah berkembangnya. Kita kan bisa belajar dari peradaban dan perkembangan negara2 yang lebih maju, dalam menjaga harta2 budaya dan alam kita. Kalau perkataan org sini “why re-invent the wheel? When you can learn from others?”

    • Makasih Nadine. Dulu juga waktu masih SMP sempet aku mikir gitu, Indonesia bagus banget. Eh tapi dunia itu besar dan bagian dunia lain juga bagus untuk dijelajahi. Lagipula dengan teknologi sekarang dunia yang besar lebih accessible untuk dijelajahi.

      Menariknya ada orang Indonesia mencap sesama orang Indonesia yang suka budaya negara asing sebagai sombong bahkan pengkhianat bangsa tapi orang yang sama sangat antusias ke orang asing yang suka budaya Indonesia. Standar ganda ya?

  7. Setuju banget sama tulisan ini. Mbak, kadang ya ada aja orang yang lebay. Tinggal diluar dibilang gak nasionalis, ngritik pemerintah di bilang gak nasionalis, tapi lucunya ada aja yang ngenyek kalo aku bilang aku lebih demen ke Yogya/Bali ketimbang ke Singapur/Thailand😀 . Standar ganda

    • Iya bener kan May. Itu juga tuh kalo aku kritis tentang pemerintah dibilang aku jelek-jelekin negara sendiri. Padahal pemerintah itu kan orang-orangnya yang aku sebel, negaranya tetep cinta dong.

      Iya, mengenai travel juga tuh. Keliling Indonesia dulu baru keluar negri. Yang tinggal di Sumatra diatas (Aceh, SumBar, SumUt) & Kalimantan ya lebih murah & gampang ke luar negri dulu daripada jelajah Indonesia.

      • Hahaha di twitter jawaban favorit orang shallow pasti bilang “kalo gak suka pindah aja keluar negeri, idup aja di luar negeri”. Diih padahal mah kita ngritik kan tanda kalo kita masih care sama negara kita ya. Ibaratnya cinta tapi gak buta🙂

        Tull, banyaaak mbak yang bagus di Indo yang jadi pe’er buat di liat. Kalo ke Eropa mah kayaknya muluk muluk banget buat aku ya hehehe sementara nabung nya cukup heppi kalo bisa jalan jalan ke Derawan atau ke Ora😀 . Gak perlu paspor sama pusing visa dulu🙂

  8. Pas landing di Perth kmaren, seperti biasa kedengeran lagu Tanah Airku diputerin sama Garuda. Dan buremlah mataku Mba.
    “Biarpun saya pergi jauh, tidak kan hilang dari kalbu, tanahku yang ku cintai, engkau ku hargai”

  9. Setiap aku bikin status ucapan selamat hari kemerdekaan, aku selalu bilang : “I love my country but I don’t like the politicians…..”. Ini pas banget dengan soal kritik mengkritik. Toh kita kan warga negara, sangat berhak untuk mengkritik pemerintah kita sendiri…

    • Betul. Kalo disini aku mengangkat diri sendiri jadi duta kuliner dan budaya, memperkenalkan masakan Indonesia yang ngga standard, selain sate, soto, rendang, nasi goreng dan sambal goreng buncis🙂

  10. Aduh, mbak Yo keren banget bisa masak macem2. Aku pinginnya jg gt, tp apa daya gak bs masak macem2.
    Sementara msh ngasih souvenir2 aja dan crita ttg Indonesia.

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