Thursday, October 20, 2005

Westernization in Indonesia

Driving down the road in Pondok Indah, the elite residential estate in South Jakarta; A red Indian standing in front of a neo-classic house with a shot gun. As my eyes tried to focus on it I realized that he was just a statue. Around him were placed also his wife and children. Turning on the local TV chanel a country music party program was going on cheered up by Indonesians dancing and singing in cowboy outfits. Hanging out with people I hear English words being slipped in everywhere in conversations as if it is another Indonesian word. With phrases such as “ So what gitu loh? “ and “Please dech!” created a brand new fusion language the ‘Ind-Glish’.

It has been a long observation for me while I was growing up in this country that much part of our culture has been altered by western values. However not until I tasted the west going to college in Sydney and on my summer break from this grad program in NY this year I noticed the changes got so much more radical.

None of the people I know including house' maids and drivers do not carry a cell phone. People meet in starbucks rather than in their private homes. All this turn on an emotional drive in me to express this culture alteration that is more like 'a clash' to me for people to realize what's really happening in Indonesia, especially in the urban areas.


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