Complete Information on Indonesia

Archive for the ‘Lifestyle in Indonesia’ Category

Why Indonesian people call foreigners as ‘bule’?

There are many nicknames to call someone different that you don’t know. Like dude, dudette, pal, mate, and many others.

Uniquely in Indonesia, the people have its own term to call the foreigners like the international tourists, or even a local tourist ( local bule ).
They call them ‘bule’. Bule, from its literal meaning, actually means ‘albino’. Indonesian used it to call the foreigners especially to the white people.

While this can be seen as an offense like a racist matter, Indonesian people actually do not have ill intention when they call the foreigners that way. It’s just that any person would need to have some way to address another instead of calling others by the word “Hey” or “You there”.

Some foreigners might find this offensive and abusive as the nickname ‘bule’ tends to degrade the foreigners as non human-beings or aliens.

Most sellers in Bali do not address the foreigners as ‘bule’. They just call them ‘mister’, like in “Hey mister, come and buy this!”

Nevertheless the contradiction whether the word ‘bule’ is offensive or not, the foreigners who come to Indonesia actually have the right to call Indonesian people as ‘bule’ too, because to the international tourists, Indonesian people can be regarded as foreign people to them.

The tag of this photo is ‘”bareng bule…nice”
( “with bule…nice” )

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

Queue is not a word for Indonesian people

Queueing is normal. It happens everywhere in the world. Most people from any country would respect to the unwritten norm to queue or wait in line, and never ever take someone’s turn.

In Indonesia, however, there is no such thing like queueing. You are lucky if you can see Indonesian people queueing.
Indonesian people can often be so impatient. They don’t like to wait in line unless they are forced to, like in supermarket cashier or in a bank. Yet, often they do not queue in the bank.

This bad habit of Indonesian people really needs to stop. It is a shame to other country who sees it. In the event like the local government giving out free ration to those who need it, the rations are enough for everybody. Yet, those people still do not want to wait in line or queueing. They do not realize the danger of not queueing.

(See this video to see the danger of not waiting in line)

Yes, the kids got the danger. They are, strangely, queueing in the crowd with their parents knowing their bodies are small compared to the adults. Thus, they get pressed and kicked around in the crowd. Not to mention, there could be a thief in the crowd.
Indonesian people really need to realize the importance of queueing. It might take a longer time than not waiting in line, but it is worth the wait.

For supermarket owners, a queue can actually be very helpful for the business. People waiting in line will get bored, and thus a diversion might be useful so the customers do not get too bored while waiting. The diversion, fortunately, can be those little groceries or chocolates or candies that they don’t usually buy. Putting those things in the display near the cashier can be beneficial as they tend to buy what is on the display.

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

Indonesians’ mindset might be bad for the future

Complimenting others has always been a customary of socializing everywhere in the world. Abused by women, compliments can be honest or dishonest. It can be used to get the other person happy about us, like our boss or our partner in love.

But that is not the unique thing. The unique thing about being complimented is the reaction or the response. The American people, for example, will say “Thank you, I did my best” when they are complimented. Indonesian people, however, will not answer it like that.

Instead, they will say “Not really”. This shows that they do not feel arrogant. Of course, that does not mean the American people are arrogant.

This mindset of the Indonesian people, however, is actually bad for their future. Why?
One of many reasons that cause Indonesian people lose in international competition is this mindset. By saying “Not really”, it can also mean that they do not feel that good at doing what they are actually good at. It shows that they are not confident in themselves. It is as if they have lost the will to compete in the first place.

This must be why Indonesia moves forward slowly, and maybe a little too slow. The people work not to be successful, but to survive. They do not try their best but only so-so. They accept the routine of waking up in the morning, working from morning to evening, then reaching home just to realize the day is almost over.

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

Indonesia is designed for Indonesian

A country is its people, or its people is the country? Nevertheless, every country has their everything designed for their people. In countries like the United States, for example, the design of its door is tall and wide. This is because most people living in the United States are tall and most are fat.

It is fine if you are shorter than most people living in America because you do not need to worry about getting head bumps when you enter a door.
But if a tourist from the America or Europe comes to Indonesia, then you have to watch out a little.

Another thing to know is when you use public transportation like a bus. If it’s crowded, then you will realize that you are either too big or too wide to sit in the chairs designed for 1 person for each chair.

The size of the chair might be too small for non-Indonesian

The size of the chair might be too small for non-Indonesian

This can be a rather big issue for the Indonesian government especially the one who deals with tourism. Surely, the chair size fits most Indonesian people and thus it is efficient as it can carry as many people as it can, but the possibility of tourists using it must have been considered too.

But then again, there is always alternative instead of using the public transportation. Tourists can always use a taxi or rental car as it will prove to be more efficient and not tiring if compared to traveling in a bus.

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

Indonesian people are very tolerant, or too tolerant?

In many countries, if you are late to work or if you make a little mistake, they can be very intolerant. They will scold you immediately and harshly. All of them seek perfection from their workers or employees.

In Indonesia, however, if you are late to work because you got stuck in a traffic jam or you make mistakes, you won’t get scolded directly even though it depends on who your boss is or whether he/she is a temperamental person or not. This is because Indonesian people are very tolerant. They realize that people make mistakes and it really is not their place to scold those people as they surely make mistakes too once or twice in a while.

Motivating employer

Tolerance, after all, is one of the Indonesian’s best traits that will make all Indonesians proud wherever they are. But the bad thing is that if those things are tolerated too much, the people might be so laid-back. They become a person who would not worry at all even if they make a mistake. Maybe this is why Indonesian people are so relaxed and laid-back. It is because they are not afraid getting scolded by their bosses.

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

 

‘Insya Allah’, the cliche in Indonesia

Almost all people in the hard working country like Japan or New York think that they should have everything planned out before they do it. Because they think, doing something without planning it beforehand, can be disastrous, especially when it is a crucial plan for something big.

Planning before implementing

Planning before implementing

But in Indonesia, as you might have guessed, most Indonesian people do not plan. The idea of planning something beforehand is considered ridiculous. Why? Because they believe that even though everything is planned neatly, the implementation might go awry or that the result is different from what is expected in the plan.

So, when you are in a team of wedding organizers, for example, you might be surprised with the answer “Insya Allah” even though the question demands the answer only between ‘yes’ or ‘no’. “Do you really believe we can get this stuff done on time?”. The answer to that question is only ‘yes’ or ‘no’. But often, you will hear “Insya Allah”.

‘Insya Allah’ means ‘only by God’s permission’ or ‘only if God permits’. In other words, it basically means that you let everything decided by God or by nature or fate.
It has become a cliche as it has been used so much that it has lost its real meaning.

If you ask an Indonesian to meet you the day after somewhere, most of them will not directly answer “Yes, I will come” or “Sorry, I can’t come tomorrow”. Rather, they would answer “Insya Allah”. Thus, you cannot really blame them if they do not come the day after because it is raining hard.

If you ever got asked by someone whether you can come tomorrow or not, you can answer “Insya Allah” if you are not sure.

A little comic about 'Insya Allah'

A little comic about ‘Insya Allah’

In the first box, the girl asks the green man whether he will go to a meeting or not, and the green man answers “Insya Allah”.
In the second one, the girl says “Okay, see you later then.”
After that, the girl is confused and want to ask again. In the last panel, she asks whether it is “Insya Allah yes I will come” or the opposite.

This habit of Indonesian people, let it be on purpose or not, does have a bad effect as it reflects that Indonesian people are not really people with planning. They let the nature of fate and adapt to the situation and condition. Maybe this is why Indonesian people are so panicky in most events.

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

‘As long as it is enough’, not an Indonesian style

In Japan or other developing countries in the Europe (if compared to another part of Europe), the concept of living ‘as long as it is enough’ or ‘as long as they have what they want thus they do not need more’ are really the style of living for those people. People in Japan, for instance, some of whom are really prosperous in financial and yet they still choose to live in average.

A private transportation surely is better, but almost all Japanese people still choose train

A private transportation surely is better, but almost all Japanese people still choose the train

In Indonesia, the concept of living ‘as long as it is enough’ is also followed by those living far from the cities. But to those living in the cities or near the cities, there is no such word as ‘enough’. It is never enough.

They will always want more and more. More money, more luxury, more cars, more houses, more practical things, and more wives. Wait, exclude the last one unless the person is going for polygamy, which is of course, banned in Indonesia.

The richest in Indonesia

The richest in Indonesia

See another example in the Indonesian news that made it internationally these last two days. The workers in Indonesia commenced a two-day strike across all Indonesia. What they want is simple. They want a raise. In Jakarta, the demand for raising their salaries to IDR 3.700.000 (around $ US 350) was not fulfilled, but they should have been happy with it  because the Jakarta’s government has decided to raise the minimum wage to IDR 2.441.301 ( $ US 214 at the day’s rate). They are not satisfied at all, so they ask for more and more.

(See this video below about the strike or demonstration)

But then, will one ever stop and finally say “This is enough”?

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

Just relax, the lifestyle in Indonesia

In Japan or New York, when people get tired from working, their friend or employer will say “Do your best” or “Good luck”. This shows that they are really hard workers, and thus brings great benefit to the economy of the country.

Office employees in Japan, working day and night

But in Indonesia, if you ever get tired from working or when you want to do something, you will not hear “Do your best” or “Good luck”.
You will hear “Just relax”. This is the reflection of lifestyle in Indonesia. The Indonesian people are pretty laid-back people. They do not work hard unless they are truly hard workers or that they get a big incentive. But then, even with a big incentive, they would still be lazy in working.

Playing chess while working

The solution for this, of course, is by assigning one supervisor that will supervise the workers and the employees. Of course, the supervisor must be someone who knows well the difference of working hard and relaxing. Because often, the supervisor is a laid-back person too and that affects all the employees supervised by him/her too.

Result when being supervised

(See this video about a factory where the workers work diligently although they are still having a chat while working)

It is not entirely allowed to have a chat while working because the concentration will be divided between the work and the chat. But still, human are social creatures, right?

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

Mineral water is not famous in Indonesia?

When you go to any country in the world and get thirsty, what would you buy when you want to drink water? You would ask for mineral water, right?

In Indonesia, if you ask for mineral water, people will be confused. Why? It is not because there is no mineral water in Indonesia. The tap water in Indonesia is also forbidden to be drunk. (See this post to know why)
It is because most Indonesian people do not know what mineral water is.

Indonesian people identify mineral water as AQUA. Yes, they identify it as one of the brands because the most famous and bought brand of mineral water in Indonesia is AQUA.
They also identify it as ‘air putih‘ (white water) even though surely they know the water is not white but transparent.

But still, sometimes even if you ask for an AQUA, you would not get AQUA but other brands like 2tang and Club. It is almost like you are asking for a coca cola but the seller asks “Is sprite okay?” Despite this issue, almost all Indonesian people do not care with what brand they drink.

(See this video about the mineral water brand)

Now you know which brand to invest, right?

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

National strike day is equal to national financial crisis day

In so many countries, October 31st is the Halloween day. People wear terrifying costume, carving pumpkins, and children playing trick or treat in their neighborhood to get candies. Families getting together in the living room with a fireplace because it is getting cold as winter is just around the corner.

But in Indonesia, today is not a Halloween day as Indonesian people do not celebrate Halloween. Today, October 31 2013, Indonesian people especially the workers are celebrating the national strike day. It is not a real designated day, of course, but rather just a day acclaimed to be one.

Workers from all around Indonesia are having a strike, They stop working and start demonstrating their demands to the government. They basically want their minimum salary to be raised. This causes the national financial crisis day because almost all factory and office stop operating today. Why does the office stop too? Because they afraid that the strike and demonstration will get uncontrolled and too anarchist.

The strike alone is enough to cause the companies suffer great loss financially. If the workers’ demand is fulfilled, then the owner of the factory will surely get into a financial crisis and have to fire some of the workers as the owner cannot afford to hire them all with such high salary.

Courtesy given to those in the descriptions

If that is not bad enough, the strike does not go for 1 day only but for two days. Imagine the profit and time lost of two days worth.

(See this video about the strike and demonstration)

This demonstration, even though it succeeds, will turn out bad in the end because the only way to raise the workers’ salary is by firing some of the workers.

(Credits go respectfully to the rightful owner)

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