Category Archives: The Byq Family

Pulang?

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Status facebook teman-teman saya sering kali mendatangkan inspirasi buat menulis. Bukan cuma statusnya, tapi juga komentar-komentar orang lain — orang-orang yang tidak saya kenal, terhadap status tersebut.

Hari ini, misalnya.

Salah seorang teman saya yang bersekolah di luar negeri (luar Indonesia, maksudnya), mengunggah foto itinerary penerbangan dari tempatnya bersekolah, ke Indonesia. Pulang, sepertinya, setelah menyelesaikan pendidikan selama beberapa tahun di sana. Saya tidak tahu pasti apa yang dia bicarakan di statusnya, karena tidak ditulis dengan bahasa yang saya mengerti… tapi sebuah emot kecil yang mengikuti statusnya bicara banyak.

Komentar yang mengikutinya beragam, tentu saja. Grup teman-teman yang ditinggalkan, dan grup teman-teman yang menyambut pulang. Pulang…

Sulit rasanya menyebut kata “pulang”, kalau tempat yang dituju tidak terasa seperti rumah. Saya tahu, dan bukannya sok sok tahu, bahwa banyak pelajar Indonesia, terutama mereka yang kuning sipit seperti saya malas pulang ke Indonesia. Bukan karena kami tidak nasionalis, tapi karena kami tidak merasa di Indonesia kami masih dianaktirikan.

Kasus Ahok beberapa bulan lalu contoh jelasnya.

Karena kasus Ahok kemarin, makin banyak orang Indonesia, pelajar maupun bukan, makin malas kembali ke Indonesia. Percuma rasanya mengorbankan kehidupan yang aman, mapan, dan bebas diskriminasi di luar negeri, untuk membangun tanah air tumpah darah… kalau pada akhirnya dikriminalisasi seperti Ahok.

Memang benar, jadi minoritas itu tidak enak. Di mana-mana juga sama tidak enak jadi minoritas. Selalu saja ada grup orang-orang rasis bodoh, yang tidak paham konsep kebhinekaan. TAPI, setidaknya di negara lain, di sini misalnya, HUKUM selalu ada untuk melindungi kalau kami dibully oleh orang-orang semacam ini.

Di Indonesia? Hukum tidak pernah memihak yang benar. Kalau tidak memihak yang kuat dan berkuasa — kasus Antasari Azhar, Munir dll, ya memihak yang banyak dan populer — kasus anaknya Ahmad Dhani, FPI, Riziq Shihab dll.

Banyak orang Indonesia tidak mengerti, bahwa nasionalisme saja tidak cukup untuk hidup. Realistis saja, tidak ada manusia yang mau mati konyol kalau ada kesempatan buat membangun kehidupan yang lebih baik — membangun kehidupan, di tempat yang bisa disebut “rumah”.

Saya merasa turut berduka teman saya harus kembali ke Indonesia, dan bukan hanya untuk berkunjung seperti kalau pas saya pulang kampung. Saya kenal belasan anak Indonesia, kebanyakan perempuan, yang merasa terjebak di Indonesia. Kenapa perempuan?

Ha, saya punya teori. Perempuan. Minoritas. Indonesia yang semakin lama semakin gila agama. Jelas saja banyak perempuan minoritas pengen kabur dari sana. Saya hanya bisa berharap mereka bisa menemukan jalan keluar (yang legal) dari Indonesia.

 

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Mendadak Juli

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Cepatnya tahun ini berjalan, tiba-tiba saja sekarang kita sudah berada di bulan Juli. Sayangnya saya belum mencapai apa-apa sampai pertengahan tahun ini, jadi malu mau bikin mid-year assessment.

Hal yang paling sulit menurut saya adalah ngepost dalam bahasa Indonesia. Rasanya, seperti kembali ke jaman lima tahun yang lalu waktu saya mulai ngepost di Superbyq dalam bahasa Inggris. Kagok.

Bukannya saya sok, ya… tapi bayangin deh… Setelah lima tahun posting dalam bahasa Inggris, tinggal di negara berbahasa Inggris, dan dikelilingi oleh orang yang sama sekali tidak bisa berbahasa Indonesia. Saya tidak berkontak dengan Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia di sini, juga tidak terlalu sering telepon ke rumah — jadi sehari-hari saya hanya berbahasa Inggris, di rumah maupun di luar rumah. Nonton televisi, siarannya berbasa Inggris juga, begitu pula kalau pas mendengarkan siaran radio.

Jadi mohon harap maklum…

Saya sendiri juga heran kenapa kemampuan berbahasa saya rasanya menurun, karena waktu saya berangkat ke sini untuk pertama kalinya, saya yakin banget kalau bahasa ibu itu bakalan nempel terus meskipun jarang dipakai. Lagipula, bertahun-tahun meninggalkan kampung halaman di Solo, dan menetap di Jakarta selama itu juga tidak membuat saya tiba-tiba berlogat Jakarta. Apa yang beda?

Mungkin umur juga pengaruh kali ya? Waktu masih muda dulu adaptasi lebih mudah, otak juga masih segar, jadi lompat dari satu bahasa ke bahasa lain rasanya gampang.

Eniwei…

Udah bulan Juli, mau ngapain nih kita? Sepertinya saya harus mulai mencari aktivitas yang lebih produktif. Simbok saya sudah menawari saya buat sekolah lagi…. Meskipun terdengar jual mahal waktu ngobrol sama belio, di sini saya sebenernya jingkrak-jingkrak kesenengan. Ditawari sekolah lagi, Bow!

Kayanya Simbokku gatel kalo liat saya nganggur begini. Mungkin setengah kasihan juga karena dikira saya bosen kalo nggak ada kerjaan, padahal di sini selalu ada printilan buat dikerjakan Contohnya ya… lima menit lagi saya musti berangkat belanja keperluan rumah tangga…

Tschuss!

Sisters

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Sejak beberapa hari yang lalu, semua media memberitakan kebakaran yang terjadi di London. Kebakaran ini merupakan salah satu yang terbesar di Inggris sejak beberapa tahun, dan mungkin juga merupakan salah satu yang memakan paling banyak korban meninggal.

Tidak heran, apartment tersebut memiliki 24 lantai, 20 di antaranya adalah untuk tempat tinggal. Diperkirakan ada sekitar 500 penghuni di sana, atau setidaknya yang tercatat.

Seiring dengan dipadamkannya api, berita yang muncul di televisi pun beralih dari berita usaha penyelamatan dan pemadaman, ke berita mengenai orang-orang yang terkena imbas dari kebakaran ini. Cerita mengenai seorang ibu tang melempar bayinya keluar melalu jendela, agar sang bayi diselamatkan — bayi tersebut dikabarkan selamat, atau cerita mengenai kakek-kakek yang tidak bisa menyelamatkan diri karena dia tidak bisa menggunakan tangga darurat.

Tapi satu cerita yang buat saya agak personal adalah mengenai tiga kakak beradik yang terpencar saat berusaha menyelamatan diri dari kobaran api. Salah seorang dari mereka tertinggal di dalam apartment, dan cuma bisa berkontak dengan kakak-kakaknya melalu HP sampai akhirnya hubungan pembicaraan terputus, dan si adik dikabarkan tewas.

Si kakak bercerita kepada media bahwa saat ditelepon, si adik yang tertinggal di apartment berkata, “kok kamu ninggalin aku?”

Saya tidak bisa menjelaskan kenapa, tapi saat itu juga saya ikut merasakan apa yang dirasakan oleh si kakak. Saya punya tiga orang adik, Cuy, Dan, ada satu masa di mana, saya dan dua adik perempuan saya berbagi apartment di Jakarta. Saya tidak bisa membayangkan apa yang akan saya lakukan kalau saya ada di posisi si kakak itu.

Apakah saya akan melakukan hal yang sama — mendengarkan detik-detik terakhir si adik melalui telepon? Atau kembali masuk, dan lari ke lantai berapa belas, sedangkan si kakak sendiri sudah bengek karena menghirup terlalu banya asap?

Saya bukan termasuk orang yang sensitif, dan saya jarang merasa kasihan kepada orang lain. Tapi tiga kakak beradik ini… Man… kalau bukan karena berita di TV sudah beralih lagi ke cerita yang lain, mungkin saya sudah mbrebes mili…

Indonistan

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Even though it is not a direct cause, the governor election in Jakarta which has happened last week has something to do with the re-activation of this blog. Once the result of the vote was out, it is difficult not to have any opinion about it.

You’re not a residence of DKI Jakarta, Byq. What does it do to you?

You know what? Even if it does not affect me directly, you have to remember that I spent years of my university years in Jakarta. I have friends, family members, and relatives working, and living in Jakarta, and it definitely affects them and their lives. So, even if it doesn’t affect me directly, this voting result does affect people that I know.

But it does.

It does affect me directly. It does affect me in a personal level as so many attacks were thrown to people of minority groups like myself. It is not only about the defeat of a governor candidate, it is the defeat of progress.

Months ago you thought that Indonesia (or at least Jakarta) has changed a bit. You kind of hoped that finally you can start living in a country where people are no longer politically driven by their religious fanaticism. You kind of hope that for once, in the capital city — where you really put your hope of progression of mankind on — you could see how faith in humanity could be restored.

But of course, you shouldn’t be surprised, should you?

This has happened all around the world, why wouldn’t it happen in Indonesia too? The rise of the far right radicals — which in Indonesia is represented by PKS and FPI (and any organisation similar to them).

Some friends has been joking about the day when Indonesia one day would be transformed into Indonistan. A place where the government will no longer be free of religious intervention, a place where the leaders are more afraid of being called infidels than being fair and just. A place where minority groups will once more being oppressed, and bullied. That joke though… is no longer funny.

It reviving the refugee nightmare in me. It reminds me the day when my parents were about to send me out of the country to save myself from people who will harm us — just because we are minorities. It is basically a reminder that until today, or maybe forever, I would never be welcomed completely in Indonistan Indonesia.

Some people are still trying to console themselves by saying that this is not the end of the world — that Ahok might still have a place somewhere in Indonesia’s politics. Well… maybe. But really? I think it’s just anticlimactic. The country had the chance to bring the country into an overdrive with him… But… of course…

I am not in Jakarta right now. Heck, I am not even in Indonesia right now, and I am super glad that I am not. I am not feeling any patriotic right now, but why should I be? How could I be? I am sorry for those who are now stuck in Indonistan, and just don’t know how to get away from this sticky situation. I am just hoping that I would never have to come back… at least not while the country is still screwed like this…

An Update (Again)

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Just came back from my annual visit to Indonesia. As usual, to celebrate the CNY.

This time, Chinese New Year feels different for me. In so many ways.

Not only that now I am no longer receiving angpao, and instead having to give kids ones, it was also… I don’t know. Ambivalent? I don’t know, I am not even sure how to put it. What I know is that in this trip home, so many things has changed. And, I realised that I have changed a lot too, since the last CNY.

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Mentally, mostly.

One little thing like… how I feel when I was surrounded by family, for example. It has changed too.

I used to like being left alone. I can blame it to my teenage angst, but now I can appreciate it more. I can appreciate being surrounded by cousins whom I haven’t met for at least five years, or nieces and nephews I haven’t never seen before. I can appreciate the attentions, as much as I could appreciate them leaving me alone in the past.

Or, the way I reacted to the problems in the family. I feel that I am no longer trying to fix stuff. It was, of course an effort not to treat my sisters and brother like children anymore. They are adults now, and the realisation has helped me to let them go, and be their own person. And they are their own persons, and I am proud of them.

It’s just…

Being the eldest in the family, there’s always this feeling of wanting to protect my sisters and brother. They probably don’t need my protection, not anymore. But it is always ingrained in me, the sisterly tough love to them. And, to be honest, this is probably the closest I could ever be to parenthood, so… IF they read this, I hope they understand if I was mummying them. (No, there’s a difference between mummying, and mummifying. Pay attention!)

Anyway. One thing doesn’t change though…

The FOOD.

As the closing of today’s post, I will present you: THE FOOD

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The True Truth?

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Few weeks (months?) ago when one of the very popular motivator (or in my word: bullshitter) in Indonesia was in a really big crisis. What crisis, you asked? Well, if you asked, chances are you are not an Indonesian, or at least you are an Indonesian but you don’t live there. Or you are an Indonesian who lives in Indonesia, but you are just detached from real world, or probably was locked up in a bunker without any contact with other human being.

Hey, I am not judging. I am just saying, with all those noise, it is unlikely that you don’t know who I was talking about or what it is about. But I acknowledge that there would be reasons why you might not aware about this, and because of that, I will tell you…

Because I am nice, that’s why.

So. there is a man who made his fortune by bullshitting the country — they call this person a motivator. I’ve never found myself motivated looking at this old baldy, he’s kind of off putting if I might say quite frankly. This man loved to profess his love in public, telling people how a man should be — even went as far as telling how a woman should behave. I had a long rant about that, but unfortunately it was ages ago and it was on other blog. Can’t find them 😦

Anyway… this guy. This guy who preached about the value of family. This guy. Yes…

One day there’s a man appeared out of nowhere and told the world how fake this guy is. This man said that he is the son that has been abandoned by this baldy motherducker. This guy came out, with evidence and supports from this so called motivator’s family members to back up his soppy story. In the end, he didn’t ask for financial support or whatever… he just wanted him to admit that he was a lousy father, and a liar.

After trashing the story, and went as far as challenging this guy to go on a DNA test, in the end this piece of crap admitted that this man is his son anyway. He still grumpily denied the accusation of neglect and abuse, but anyway… it is not what I was going to talk about. Actually… the whole story about this man is just an intro to what I want to talk about.

Yeah… it is that important that I spend the whole 350 words just as an intro to what I am going to talk about.

I am talking about truth and honesty.

There is a difference between admitting something, and confessing something. When you voluntarily reveal the truth that other people don’t know yet, you are confessing something. When you are confronted with an information, and you tell the person who confronted you that the information is true, you are admitting something. For some people they are just the same thing, but done in a different timing.

But timing is everything isn’t it?

If that motivator told people in the beginning that he made a mistake when he was young, and he has a son that he hasn’t seen for ages and he was sorry and would have done anything to give a better life to that son… He would be seen as a noble, a changed man. But when he has covered this up for years, and then publicly confronted with the truth… and he admitted it… he’s not confessing. And if he’s saying sorry… I think he’s just sorry he’s got caught.

If that motivator has confessed his past in the beginning, no matter how bleak it was… he is now the nation’s hero who’s come back from the fall. But no… he hid the reality, and then admitted only when someone has opened up his scandalous past — which in the end makes him a liar. Now it would be hard not to question everything he has said in the past. It would be almost impossible to take his words seriously. It would be unlikely to trust him again in the future.

And I think that is a fair judgement, isn’t it?

When your friend, or someone come to you and confess something… it takes courage, and integrity to tell you about something unfavourable they have done in the past. They take the risk, and they will have to accept whatever consequences that might come with their action. But it says a lot about their personality, and character.

Why am I talking about this so suddenly?

Uhm…

Actually I could talk about whatever I want to talk about, and however long I want to talk about it. And, I don’t have to tell you my reason talking about this random thing. This blog is pretty random anyway, isn’t it? But I do have my own reasons, and let’s just keep it for myself for now 🙂

Heh…

 

Letter To My Sister

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As you might have known, I like writing letters to my sisters and brother, although I know they don’t really read my blog. I don’t mind. I don’t write for them, I write for myself. It might be good for them if they visit this place every now and then to see what I have in mind that I cannot tell them directly, but if they don’t… well.. their loss. Ha ha.

Anyway…

Dear my Baby Sis.

I call you Baby Sis because you are. I know you are an adult and you are dying to be treated like one by us — our parents, aunts and uncles, and Grandma, and especially your sisters. Tough shit, you are still our baby sister, and we won’t stop worrying about you no matter how old you are and you will be. Have you seen our aunts and grandma? Have you seen how they treated each other? Yes, we are the same, this kind of thing runs in blood.

So suck it up and listen.

I know you have a new life, and a long long life ahead. It is time to start planning properly. Start finding out what you really want, start finding out what makes you really happy. Your happiness is not attached to other things, or people, it is in you and your state of mind. I learned it the hardest way, and I realised the best moral lesson from Disney’s films (our favourite) is Ohana from Lilo and Stitch.

I know your name is not Lilo, and although for some people it’s close enough :p, you are a Lilo. You are MY Lilo. And you might want to watch the film again if you forget, but being a Nani, I won’t let anyone or anything to harm you, although it means you will cry and shout and hate me. The difference is, you are an adult, and in the end you will have to choose your own way.

Whatever way you choose, please choose the way of happiness.

There is no happiness in trying to please anyone. And, believe me… the way of happiness is easy. It is always easy. You don’t have to break in, or make a force entry. You won’t feel alone, or embarrassed, or uncomfortable. You will be the best of yourself, and you will feel a whole even though you are alone.

There is no happiness in trying to avoid confrontation, because sometimes it has to be fought. Peace can only be found in freedom, and freedom can only be found in truth. People who said that ignorance is a bliss are cowards who would rather hide in the dark than go out and see the reality.

I really wish you read this, and you understand. That experience has made me bitter and suspicious, but it does me good. It makes me aware of things that you and your other siblings don’t understand yet. Some knowledge that I wish I could transfer, so you could understand without having to experience yourself.

In the end, I wish you a good life.

Prost!

Making Sense of Money

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How do you know you have more money than sense?

Well… In the UK, one comedian said: When you buy a biography written by a fictional meerkat millionaire — who was invented in an advertising campaign.

In the tech world: When you actually drill a hole on your iPhone7 to make a earphone slot.

In Indonesia: You ask someone to magically double your money.

Byq… What the hell are you talking about?

As much as Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, there is a big percentage of people who believe in supernatural stuff — that is more cultural related than religion. Some people believe in local magical creatures, or superstitious old midwives’ tale. Some believe that other people possess supernatural powers.

We were once — or even until today– crazy about indigo kids. We loved it when some villagers claimed that their goat’s poo could help curing cancer. We were ecstatic when a kid sit on the table, smoking cigarettes and ramble something, pretending that they’re connecting to the spirit of the dead. And some believes that some people could double your money by keeping the money in a box, and pray over it.

You’re right, I am talking about that religious cult.

It surprised my parents that people could be THAT stupid. It surprised me that they were genuinely surprised to see how people could be THAT stupid. I mean, they have lived longer than I do, I always assumed they have seen more stupid people in their lifetime than I have. Apparently not… Longer life doesn’t guarantee fuller experience.

It surprised my father that people THAT stupid could have a lot of money. I told him that some people have more sense than money. And money can’t buy common sense. He’s happy with my answer.

It surprised my mother that there are thousands of people actually believe this, and still believe in the leader even after all his lies are now open in public. I told her that it’s what a brainwash do to people. The difference is that if the number of believers is in thousands it is called a cult, and if it is in billions, it is called a religion. She’s not amused — doesn’t matter, because I do 😀

And you know what surprised me? What surprised me is that one of the political leader in Indonesia — a public figure people seen as an educated person, that can be trusted — a member of a political party in Indonesia believed that shit too. Not only that he was once endorsed this cult leader as “National Treasure”, he even involved in the cult, and be a member of it. It is amazing that every time I go back and visit Indonesia, I can always find something that is so pathetic it is amusing.

It never ceases to keep us entertained.

Anyway, if you really don’t know why believing that anyone could double your money while keeping it inside the box is stupid, let me explain to you how money actually work. The simple way. Just because I am feeling generous today.

The history of money started when people start trading. People used to bartered their goods with other people, but then barter system gets really difficult as you would have to find someone who wants your goods and has the goods that you want at the same time. And they have to be in the same value, so whoever trading could get a fair trade.

People then invented money system. It helps trading and valuing goods and services. The money we know today is printed by the government, and circulated by the national bank. So, if the government printed X amount of money, that will be the money that is in the circulation. IF anyone claim they can double the amount of money you put in the box… how can he do it without changing the amount of money circulated by the national bank? No they can’t, because they can’t print their own money.

Simple logic.

 

Heute Bin Ich Eine Tante Geworden…

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Yes… and my German is getting better and better everyday, thanks to practising daily 😀 Oh, you’re can’t be bothered to copy and paste the title to google translator to know what it is about? Well… let me tell you what it means.

It means, “today, I have become an aunt”.

Yes my kind ladies and gentlemen, the lovely readers of Superbyq. Congratulate me because today, I am officially a proper aunt.

Of course I was an aunt before this. My cousins have got kids. And my husband has a nephew, but his nephew is not… you know… my direct nephew. And it is not the same because with my sister, I have been following her pregnancy process, and growing a sense of belonging to that baby. Aunthood is probably the closest I would ever get to parenthood.

Are you asking if I am not brooding? Nope. Still not.

I am still genuinely happy for my sister, and overjoyed with the new addition to our family. There is no question about it. However it doesn’t mean I would like to be the one contributing :0 Let’s not ruin today’s happiness with this “my womb my decision” rant, okay? Let’s just celebrate the day I officially become an aunt.

Ich bin außer mir vor Freude! Ich möchte mein Glas erheben, zu gratulieren meine Schwester und Schwager. Ich wünsche ihren Familie vielen Glück und gute Gesundheit.

Prost!!

Women And Hobbies

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One of my friend posted this link from MGOTW on his facebook page. This is the link if you would like to click, and if you don’t this is the summary:

It is basically a discussion thread asking why WOMEN don’t have hobbies and lack of creativity. The question was asked by a man, and it was answered mostly by men who agreed with him. The thread was basically discuss how women (or specifically women that these guys have known in person) don’t (or if they do, it would be rarely) involved in any activities other than gossiping (which they usually call “hanging out with the girls”), or stuffing themselves with cake while watching TV, or nagging their other half because they want attention.

Hold on.

I didn’t say that it is 100 percent true.

Afterall, the discussion is in MGOTW, where most users there are likely to have an issue with women in general. If I was a Freudian, I would assume that their mums had tried to breastfed them with lemon concentrate when they were still an infant, making them so bitter about women. So, if you did click the link and were feeling slightly upset… please. It is MGOTW, take anything you read there with a pinch of salt.

But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about what they’re saying though. There’s a reason why lots of people believe that women don’t have hobbies. Even women themselves agree to a degree that their peers seem to be lacking in this department.

Before I continue, I have to say that I have exclude the UK in general. I learned from my years being here, that this country is the “United Kingdom of Hobbyists”. It seems men, women, old, and young… everybody has a hobby. One at least. From stamp collecting, to trainspotting, from Magic The Gathering, to knit, and crocheting… you name it. They have it.

However if I see my friends in Indonesia — female friends, albeit I don’t have many. Ah, even my female family members. It seems that they don’t understand what a hobby is about.

Most of them love being online, looking at interesting stuff in video and repost and reshare, and tag people who actually have hobbies. “Bikin ini dong” (make me this, please). Or making a ridiculous comment about how my cooking and knitting hobby is what define me as a good housewife. Most of them don’t understand that people do stuff just for the sake of it.

People like being solitary, and being passionate about something. People do that to have fun. It doesn’t have to be the man-style hobbies like boxing, fishing, rock climbing. It doesn’t have to be too geeky like gaming, or train modelling. It is something that you do.

Most women I know don’t do this. Even my own mother thinks that hobby is a waste of time. She thought she gardens as a hobby, but to be honest, she just ask someone to do the garden while she enjoys looking at it. She doesn’t read, let alone write. She doesn’t cook, let alone experimenting with baking. But of course… My father is the same.

I don’t think it is all gender related. It is mostly cultural too. My grandfather is a big music buff, he wouldn’t spend a day away from our electric organ, he’s a greenfinger too — a proper one, you could see him on the garden tending our mango trees. My grandmother loves cooking, but she mostly do it as a part of daily chore. I am not sure if it is her hobby, or it is just something she should do because she likes feeding the family.

My sister loves tennis, like my grandfather. If she wasn’t pregnant she would have gone to the court at least twice a week. My other sister… she has a bunch of hobbies from crafting to mountain climbing. My brother on the other hand… I think he’s more like my father. He does game a bit, but I have never seen him with a particular hobby.

See? It is not a gender related thing. It is also cultural, and I believe economic factor plays a big role in it. My parents grew up when things were difficult, so it is impossible to develop a hobby because hobby takes money. I think human character plays a role too, because I found some people just don’t have this kind of passion some other has.

I think introvert people are more likely to develop a hobby because they have time for themselves. They will have time to consider things that they actually like doing, rather than doing things because their pals doing it too.

So…

What’s your hobby?