Huff, finally I finished reading more than 100 pages of Chinese-Indonesian infos Iâ€™ve googled. In later days actually I searched for Imlek since I planned to write about this to welcome Chinese New Year at 26th January. But this morning I typed new keyword on Google and was amazed by how much Iâ€™ve got about Chinese-Indonesian matters.
My interest in Chinese-Indonesian community has increased since I entered Chinese-based University 6 months ago. (Though actually this interest is one of the reason to join this University). Reading so many essays, news, articles, and opinions written by Chinese, Western, or Indonesian, Iâ€™ve lighted in my way of understanding Chinese.
FYI, Chinese Indonesian (I like to say this rather than â€˜Indonesian Chineseâ€™) were divided mainly into 3 groups: Cina Baba, Cina Totok, and Qiao Sheng. Cina Baba tied more to Indonesian, Cina Totok to original Chinese, and Qiao Sheng to Dutch. But the last-mentioned group was no more exist in Indonesia after Independence Day.
I have Cina Totok friend in campus. Actually she never declare that but I knew from another friend. I was attracted to her since the first time we metâ€”in the same class at English Intensive Course. After some discussionâ€”some in class and mostly in campusâ€™ site discussion forumâ€”I found that we have some similarities. We both like studying languages. She speaks fluently in English and Japanese (of course sheâ€™s a LOT better than me). And though in some case we have opposing view of each other, but mainly we build a similar way of thinking. We both are independent girls.
Once I asked her to join an English Debate Contest with me in the same group, but then she said her grandma forbid her to join such an â€˜outside-contestâ€™. I was surprised at that time coz I thought she was dynamic-liberal girlâ€¦but then one of friend told me that, â€œOf course sheâ€™s forbiddenâ€¦sheâ€™s Totok, anyway.â€
Oh. Later I know that Totok Chinese is said to strongly grab their Chinese culture, including restricted activity for women. But I donâ€™t see any image of Totokâ€™s girl inside her. Sheâ€™s mainly strong, independent, dynamic, â€˜burningâ€™, â€˜hot-headedâ€™, and many of modern womenâ€™s signs. Even sheâ€™s agnostic. She likes controversion. Seeing this fact, I found that in some case, Chinese Indonesian younger generation has changed.
And do you know what? I was surprised enough by the fact that most of my Chinese-descent friends are more â€˜Javaneseâ€™ than me. Most of my classmates speaks Javanese so â€˜medokâ€™, including the â€˜bad wordsâ€™. Hoh. Even they spoke some words that I thought only known by lower-middle community of Javaneseâ€¦hahaha.
In other side, as a pure Javanese I was undirectly blamed of my low knowledge about my own local language. My Chinese-descent senior once said the word â€˜kerinanâ€™ and I automatically asked, â€œHa? What language is that?â€ I thought itâ€™s Chinese but later I found that itâ€™s Javanese high language (boso kromo) which means â€˜kesianganâ€™ or wake up late. HAHAHA poor me!
According to my Chinese-descent friends in campus, actually I feel almost no difference to get along with them. So when I read the past journal about Chinese Indonesian historyâ€”the Jakarta riot in May 1998, for exampleâ€”I feel that the situation has hugely changed now. No more discrimination. No more violence. They are better off even a lot better than the natives, hehehe.
One of my closest friend seems donâ€™t really like that I maintain close-enough relationship with my Chinese-descent friendsâ€”for some reason that I donâ€™t need to explain here. Hmmâ€¦the person is a bit extreme, actually. Iâ€™m not a kind of person who like to be in exclussive-introvert group and restrict myself from others. I donâ€™t like living in homogen environment. I donâ€™t like meeting with same people everyday. I donâ€™t like â€˜squaringâ€™â€”pengkotakan, the term used to separate one group from another. If I could declare myself, then I will automatically say that Iâ€™m a pluralist.
Different people is interesting. If I have chance, I wanna be a backpacker and walk along this line earth, coming to places that Iâ€™ve only read in newspaper, speak the laguange Iâ€™ve only heard from songs, and meet the people Iâ€™ve only seen in movies. If I have chance, I want to have friends from all over the worldâ€”at least one in every country and share our opinion together. Being together with colourful-background people will broad your minds. You will see the world in new perceptionâ€”a more beautiful one.
God created us in diversity not without a purpose.