It’s The Culture, Stupid..

When I was a kid, I grew up with my dad yelling around the house saying bad things about our government, every time our TV changed to a speech by Harmoko. And during national elections, I always asked “Mom, which are your going to pick? Red, green or yellow again?” to my mom, who then answered “Definitely yellow, I’m a PNS (civil employee) and therefore must choose yellow.”

Long story short, 20 years later and I’m still the same girl who hate this country, along with its stupid, hypocritical government.

There’s a big chance that I’m going to do what my father did (spreading hatred towards the government), so that my son can grow up without relying on anyone (especially our government) for his success. But nevermind the government, because they’re a bunch of idiots trying to make themselves rich by any means, and thought that praying 5 times a day is enough to secure a place in heaven, even though they’re doing things that are worse than a thief or a prostitute.

One more thing that I don’t get in this country is pride. I have been pretty amused by how intense this cultural thing has influenced everyone to do whatever it takes in order to pursue it. A parent does not have a health-care saving for their child, but instead of riding an old motorcycle, they prefer to buy a new one which cost + 10 million rupiahs (in cash), or pay it in installment of + Rp 500,000,-/month, for 36 months (3 years). Health insurance of Rp 200,000,-/month is considered expensive, but Rp 500,000,-/month to buy a new motorcycle when they already have an old one is not.

I even have a friend who is trapped in credit card debts of Rp 80 million, and still can afford to make another ‘hole’ by buying a car. She used her credit card to pay the down payment, and the rest will be paid by installment for 5 years. It’s one debt after another, and all she said was, “I can’t take my son to school with a motorcycle, it’s too far..” And since she is no longer running her own business, which means, that she is now a full-time housewife, I feel pity for her husband.

Waking up early in the morning and drag yourself out of bed to work sucks, it’s even worse if you are working in order to pay debts. But this isn’t just a fairy tale, it’s happening to a friend of mine who now have to work with a demonic boss just so that she can pay her debts. Why does she have those debts in the first place? Well, she just renovated her house, that’s why. She and her husband were trying to create a comfort home for their family, but then they spent too much and finally ended-up with thousands of million rupiahs in debt. Their home looks great now, but she doesn’t have time to enjoy her new-renovated home, because she left her home at 7 AM and returned at 9 PM, 6 times a week.

So it isn’t just the government who is full idiots, right? It’s our own culture which emphasizes on what we have that has pushed everyone to do whatever they can to be accepted, to have pride, and to earn acknowledgement from other people. And we all wish for corruption to end? For corruption to vanish, first we must create a new culture that eliminates materialistic-end-results as a source of pride. People want to have expensive things and they will do whatever they can, including believing that corrupted money is another form of “rejeki.”

This will continue to God knows how long. Why? Because nobody here gives a damn about where the money came from!

* * *




6 responses to “It’s The Culture, Stupid..

  1. I think eliminating the concept of money is accepted solution so far , but how can we do that?
    I read your all letter, article or your daily note with full attention but can I know what rejiki is?

    • Rejeki is “good fortune” in Bahasa Indonesia. As you may know, our country is one of the most corrupted government in the world, yet the consumerism pattern/culture here is also increasing..

      Thanks for your comment

      • Yes I know much about Indonesia and I know Malaysia could be better country for business men. but I can’t know more than you. Still I was thinking you are speaking about India because you mentioned rupiah, oh yes you have same currency, good,,,I was in Pakistan and I saw some deep corruption and bad uses of resources, I guess the reason is the ugly spirit, in your picture, you have lovely baby, you must make him grow with love and ability to change 🙂
        no need to thank me for commenting about common problems 🙂

      • India’s currency is Rupee and it’s different with Indonesian Rupiah 🙂

  2. Replaceing one countries ideology with another, as is the example I see written in your article, does not help people of the country to become empowered. This idea of “Democratic societies” is just a word that belongs to an ideology but that ideology overshadows the true essence of Democracy which is CAPTILASIM a user pay society. Societies where the rich get richer on the backs and hard work of the poor who grow poorer. Thank you for your article. Regards Claudia Koelndorfer – Australia

  3. Congratulation that Netherlands have apologized for Indonesia , when I posted this context , I remembered you but I had long time to get to your post. now its Abdulla,..Claudia is my mother
    you can check the news here
    and tell me , how to get notified when you post some thing, am new user of WP but would love to read for you
    thanks take care

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