Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Makes You An Indonesian ?

During his recent visit to Jakarta, U.S President Barack Obama has properly pronounced several sentences in the Indonesian language, and also mentioned the Indonesian basic principle of Bhineka Tunggal Ika i.e. Unity in Diversity. .

This makes me wonder whether Putri (Miss) Indonesia 2010 Nadine Alexandra Dewi, born in England in 1991, came to Indonesia three years ago, cannot speak Indonesian language properly, is the right person to represent Indonesia in the Miss Universe Beauty Contest 2010. 

In order to find out the answer, I have read the following article on the blog Finally Woken authored by Anita, an Indonesian lady married to a Scottish gentlemen, now living in Perth, Australia. Happy Reading!

What Makes You An Indonesian?

Indonesia — By Finally Woken on September 1, 2009 12:00 am 

ist1_9204431-indonesia Somebody posted intriguing threads on twitter on the other day. I wasn’t sure what subject that triggered her posting, but she was ranting about Indonesians living overseas who pretend to know more about Indonesia [compares to those who are inside the country], who only like to criticize but do not help. She surprised me when she then said these people should stop being self-righteous, and should do something real to help Indonesia. If they think that the country is beyond help, these people should just stop being Indonesians.

ist1_4518328-indonesia-boyHer threads about being Indonesian – or stop being one, for that matter – got me thinking: what actually does make you an Indonesian?

It is the same question asked to me by a researcher from Glasgow University a couple of weeks a go. The research is looking into the nationality and immigration aspects in Scotland, but half of the questions were about me being an Indonesian. Her questions have opened up my eyes on issues I have never thought about before.

So, what does make you an Indonesian? Is it by birth, by ancestry, or by domicile? Do you have to have all three aspects to be a true Indonesian?

I was born in Indonesia, my parents are Indonesian, I have spent most of my life in Indonesia, but have been away from the country since a couple of years a go. Does it make me an Indonesian, still?

How about my friend Rose*, who was born in Indonesia from Indonesian parents, has spent most of her life in Indonesia but since she is married to a British, she has been living overseas for a couple of years and is holding another country’s passport. Is she not Indonesian anymore? No? Then what is she, British? Do you think British people will call her British?

Read More ..

20 comments:

Ferdinand said...

Hemm... mungkin blum ada... dan sebenernya malu juga waktu Obama ngomongin Pancasila dan Bhineka Tunggal Ika.. sementara kita malah mulai melupakannya....

H. Nizam said...

Ferdinand,
Mudah2an menjadi pelajaran bagi kita semua untuk mengingat kembali nilai nilai yang dimiliki oleh bangsa dan negara kita.

colson said...

National identity is something like the concept of "time" - in as long if nobody asks I know what it is, but as soon as someone asks for a definition I don't.

One of my daughters in law is a born and bred Indonesian who this year became Dutch. She's acquired a lot of "Dutch behaviour". Not only because speaking Dutch isn't perfect, she in my perception still is overwhelmingly the beautiful Indonesian woman I met years ago.

There may be a touch of "Dutchness" about her now, back in her Kampung people may notice some peculiarities in her behaviour, yet she will never shed all inherent and acquired Indonesian characteristics.

As for Nadine Alexandra Dewi it may be the other way round. Born and bred in Scotland she will very Scottish with a growing number of gradually acquired Indonesian characteristics.

However, so what? If she is a competitive candidate and has Indonesian citizenship, it seems all-right to me. Maybe I'll ask my daughter in law to compete on behalf of the Netherlands :).

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

yah, kalo ngaku Indonesia gag cuman ngomong doang sih..:)

the dream catcher said...

apa ya yang membuat saya jadi orang Indonesia? Karena ortu asli Indonesia dan saya sudah tinggal disini seumur hidup atau karena saya perhatian pada perkembangan bangsa dan negara? gak jelas

H. Nizam said...

@Colson,

Unlike time, national identity is defined by citizenship law which now enable children born from marriage between and Indonesian and foreigner to have Indonesian citizenship for a certain time.

But I agree that there are certain characteristics of the country of origin which always exist in a person although they change nationality.

About Putri Indonesia, organizer here always emphasize on English speaking ability, whereas last year's Miss Universe has to use a translator in the contest.

I am glad to hear that you plan to suggest your daughter-in-law to compete in beauty contest.
But would it be for Miss or Mrs Holland ?

@TUKANG CoLoNG,
Anda benar, kewarganegaraan tidak ditentukan oleh sekedar kemampuan bicara.

@Dream Catcher,
Saya perhatikan bahwa anda punya perhatian pada bangsa dan negara.

colson said...

@ Multibrand: Well, Mrs Van den Brink (Colson I mean :)) actually. But with the help- of some hush-money she probably can pass for Miss Holland.

colson said...

As about national identity, I don't agree national identity is defined by citizenship only. I think it is a multi-factor thing; from the sense of humour to one's cultural and social references, from the way people greet each other to the hierarchy of main values etc etc.

berpikir positif said...

semoga falsafah dan nilai-nilai luhur bangsa masih melekat di diri kita dan itu membuat kita tetap menjadi bangsa indonesia dimanapun berasa

dee said...

iaya bener! bukan berarti kita menikah atau tinggal dengan org luar atau org dari negara manapun, hidup jauh dari tanah kelahiran..menjadikan kita lupa akar budaya, identitas diri..seperti kacang lupa dgn kulitnya".. paling tidak walaupun sudah menjadi warga negara lain mengikuti suaminya, dia tetap menunjukkan bahwa ia asli Indonesia"..dalam hal ini "anggun c. sasmi" dia masih "Indonesia" ..dan saya bangga menjadi bagian dari warga negara Indonesia! Makasih H. Nizam

Yari NK said...

What makes me an Indonesian?? To me, personally (chalk it: PERSONALLY) this is an easy question. That's because I am an Indonesian citizen and I love Indonesia... It doesn't take anything else or another complication for someone to regard me as an Indonesian! End of story! :D

H. Nizam said...

@Colson,
I agree that the broad meaning of national identity would cover things you mentioned beside what has been stipulated by the law/regulation.
Re: Miss Holland
Sounds great! but I wonder how many people in Holland would want to take hush money.

@Berpikir Positif,
Semoga demikian adanya, karena ada hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan asal usul seseorang yang tidak akan hilang dimanapun dia berada.

@Dee,
Pendapat anda sangat tepat!
Saya pernah dengar Anggun diwawancarai bilang bahwa walaupun sudah WN Perancis dia merasa orang Indonesia dan menjalankan kebiasaan Jawa serta pertahankan warna rambutnya.

@Yari,
Now we are very clear about you.

Fir'aun NgebLoG said...

sebenarnya sich klo ada jalan dan kesempatan saya pengen pindah tinggal di malaysia :D hehehe

ismay said...

haiiiiii

ismay said...

setuju aza lahhhh

ismay said...

salam kenal, mampir ke saya ya

Teras Info said...

Saya orang Indonesia karena sudah ditakdirkan terlahir di Indonesia, saya bangga jadi anak Indonesi...

O..ya...terimakasih banyak sudah follow di blog saya...
Saya ijin untuk follow balik...
salam persahabatan selalu...

H. Nizam said...

@Fir'aun NgebLoG,
Kalau anda berusaha keras maka suatu saat cita2 anda bisa jadi kenyataan.

@Ismay,
Senang berkenalan dengan anda, terima kasih telah follow.
Saya akan follow balik.

@Teras Info,
Terima kasih atas komentar dan follownya.

Passionate Blogger said...

This is, I think, a common phenomenon - inability to speak the national tongue. There is a saying - 'Bahasa menunjukkan bangsa'. Should we take it literally? There are a few Malaysians who can't speak the Malaysian language. My children are more comfortable conversing in English than Malay, even though we speak to them mostly in Malay. We can't force anyone to accept our language and on the other hand, ability to speak our language doesn't mean that they love us more.

H. Nizam said...

Ismail/Passionate Blogger,
You are right, a person who can speak our language well that mean that they love us more than those who do not speak well.