Huff, finally I finished reading more than 100 pages of Chinese-Indonesian infos I’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 I’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, I’ve lighted in my way of understanding Chinese.

FYI, Chinese Indonesian (I like to say this rather than ‘Indonesian Chinese’) 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 met—in the same class at English Intensive Course. After some discussion—some in class and mostly in campus’ site discussion forum—I found that we have some similarities. We both like studying languages. She speaks fluently in English and Japanese (of course she’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 ‘outside-contest’. I was surprised at that time coz I thought she was dynamic-liberal girl…but then one of friend told me that, “Of course she’s forbidden…she’s Totok, anyway.”

Oh. Later I know that Totok Chinese is said to strongly grab their Chinese culture, including restricted activity for women. But I don’t see any image of Totok’s girl inside her. She’s mainly strong, independent, dynamic, ‘burning’, ‘hot-headed’, and many of modern women’s signs. Even she’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 ‘Javanese’ than me. Most of my classmates speaks Javanese so ‘medok’, including the ‘bad words’. Hoh. Even they spoke some words that I thought only known by lower-middle community of Javanese…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 ‘kerinan’ and I automatically asked, “Ha? What language is that?” I thought it’s Chinese but later I found that it’s Javanese high language (boso kromo) which means ‘kesiangan’ 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 history—the Jakarta riot in May 1998, for example—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 don’t really like that I maintain close-enough relationship with my Chinese-descent friends—for some reason that I don’t need to explain here. Hmm…the person is a bit extreme, actually. I’m not a kind of person who like to be in exclussive-introvert group and restrict myself from others. I don’t like living in homogen environment. I don’t like meeting with same people everyday. I don’t like ‘squaring’—pengkotakan, the term used to separate one group from another. If I could declare myself, then I will automatically say that I’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 I’ve only read in newspaper, speak the laguange I’ve only heard from songs, and meet the people I’ve only seen in movies. If I have chance, I want to have friends from all over the world—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 perception—a more beautiful one.

God created us in diversity not without a purpose.

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