day 11: what’s one thing you would never change about yourself?

My Indonesianess (I don’t know if there’s such a word like this).

There is nothing in this world that will change the fact that I am an Indonesian. I am, at least, the fourth generation of Indonesian born Chinese family. My great-grandparents ,or maybe even, as far as my great-great-grandparents came to Indonesia from South China, Fujian province perhaps.

Honestly, I have no idea which part of China they exactly came from, since I only heard about this briefly from my grandfather, but I know they came to work in tin mine in Bangka Island at the end of 19th century. Since then, my grandparents, my parents and myself were born in Indonesia. Although, sometimes we have rough situations about our ethnicities, we always feel that we’re Indonesian.

I always wanted to have a tattoo and that must be something that I can’t change forever. It might be something about my parents, my date of birth, zodiac, etc. I contemplated so long, until I decided to have something about Indonesia on my body. On the other hand, maps have always been fascinating me since I was a kid.


Well, living overseas always brings controversies when talking about nationalism to people who stay at home. Many people apparently think that one of the ways to measure your nationalism and patriotism is by not leaving your country physically. I disagree. That is very shallow.

My physical location will not make any different to my admiration of my country. Furthermore, since I moved to NZ, I feel that I am more Indonesia than I used to be. I talked about it (both good and bad) and promoted it to my colleagues to come. A couple of them came and stayed for almost a year. They even came to the place I’ve never been.

I love Indonesia, the country. It is amazingly beautiful country, with very diverse culture, natural resources, and biodiversity. Nothing can beat Indonesian food, although the nasty Malaysian often claims something that belongs to us. The country has a lot of potential to be one of the best nations in the world.

But, I hate the government, or the people behind our government. I am not leaning or opposing the current government, but I have always been apathy to politics since long time ago. I can’t trust them. At the same time, the government is a irreplaceable part of a nation. Hence, it makes my relationship with Indonesia is like a love-hate relationship.

Elisabeth Pisani, the writer of Indonesia Etc., describes Indonesia as the bad boy that every girl loves. You hate him because he disappoints you, but when he leaves, you will miss him. Most of the time, the latter wins.

I might be somewhere in the other part of the world, but it would not change the fact that I will be an Indonesian forever, and I am proud of it.



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