Well, that was interesting, my last post “Culture of Contempt” which was basically to direct attention to the "Culture of Littering" seemed to morph into a scary movie version of them “them vs. us”.
I am never real happy with a “them vs. us” argument as I am never sure what team I am supposed to be on. Take EXPAT for example are all BULE (white skin) Expats? Is there a time limit? Length of residence? Family Roots? What about the children of mixed race?
Moving on, you can have Philipino or Japanese Expats but they cannot be “BULE” (or maybe nominated BULE like asian whites in apathied South Africa)? A citizen of East Timor working in Indonesia, are they EXPATs or cousins returning to the old country?
Chinese are Expats except when they are born here, then they are accepted as part of the fabric of the country? Does one have to be Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu to be part of the team? Or is it Javanese, Balinese, Sudanese perhaps Papuan? Maybe there is secret points system that I am not aware of. Maybe a second generation, mixed blood, Papuan Christian is entilted to so many opinion points as opposed to???.
Maybe I should I stick to just being a “BULE” , sort of “off white” so should pass there but does that mean I have to:
a. Drink to excess (what if I don’t , can that be overlooked?)
b. Chase underage women (what about the major enthic group that frequents areas like Batam, does this mean they get “BULE” points?)
c. Over Earn (If I don’t do I lose points?)
Maybe I don’t do any of those things does that make me a good Bule or bad Bule (or maybe there is no such thing …)
If I am Javanese and move to Bali/Papua for a job, am I a variation of EXPAT? my culture, customs are as different in that area as any “BULE”. I am obviously there to earn more money than I can at home which is a prime driver for any number of Bule.
Ok that’s it, just a little rant for a Sunday. In reality, I believe that Indonesia’s greatest strength is her diversity. People who try and dictate what makes an particular social or enthic group here are doomed to failure and frustration. Be it Javanese, Sudanese, Chinese, Bule, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Expat, Tourist, all go into the pot and in some way make Indonesian what she is. You can boil the pot all you want but she will still continue to confound, confuse, amaze and tempt you.
P.S. I still don’t know what team I am on…I kinda like it like that.