Tag Archives: nationalism

Hindsight is Always A Good Thing, Isn’t It?

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Months ago when the media started to pick up the migrant and refugee situation, I told my husband that we were lucky that in the UK, our Prime Minister decided not to back down with the European Union’s idea of taking in refugees coming from Syria. It was definitely not a popular opinion, and many has branded me either racist or fascist.

I mean, how silly is that?

We are living in a world where political correctness has taken over the freedom of speech, and freedom of thought. I agree that some people are just dickheads who would say anything out of spite, which some people deemed as hate speech. This is where the the blurred line is drawn. How do you know when you’re being critical to an ideology, or when you are just being purely hateful?

In my own definition of hate speech and freedom of speech, the line is drawn where the opinion is targeted to. I believe that ideologies, ideas, opinions, as well as beliefs are open for criticism. You can criticise liberalism, democracy, capitalism or socialism, nihilsm, humanism, Christianity and of course Islam as an ideology, but… it has turned into a hate speech when you start attacking a person, personality or their lifestyle.

How about the sentence “British women going to Syria to fight alongside ISIS and being a jihadi bride is stupid”? Does it mean that the women were stupid – which is an attack to a person? Or does it mean that going to Syria to be a jihadi bride is stupid – which is a criticism towards the idea of going to a war torn country to marry a terrorist she never knew?

Back to the day when I said that I was glad that our PM refused to accept those so called refugees. Why did I say that they were “so called” refugees?

Simple Definition of refugee

  • : someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons

Full Definition of refugee

  1. :  one that flees; especially:  a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution

Refugee.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2016. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugee&gt;.
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So… If someone has fled from Syria to Turkey for example, then Turkey government had to take them in because they are refugees. I can deal with it. But since Turkey is not a war torn country and that these people were not persecuted in Turkey, once these refugees left Turkey to find a better life in Europe their status would change into… “economic migrant”. Can you follow the logic up to this point? If you can, please continue…
If, these people who is now an economic migrant tried to enter a country illegally, their status would be now an illegal immigrant. Would you be surprised if a country would reject these people as they are now illegal immigrant?
No. I totally support them.
When PM Cameron decided only to take proper refugees — those who are from the refugee camp to the UK, after the Home Office got all the documents and background check, many British citizen called him inhumane and embarrassment to the country. They got so defiant and even printed a sticker saying that “refugees welcome” and put it in their house’s window. Why? I think it is just because that was the most PC thing to do or say.
I wonder what is in their mind when Norway had to teach these people about consent and rape. I wonder what is in their mind when France and Belgium is now dealing with terror attacks. I wonder what they are saying now after Germany — who has accepted more than a million refugee now is dealing with sex attacks in several cities (most notably Cologne). Angela Merkel is now tightening the border and wouldn’t let any more refugees in. But isn’t it a bit late for that?
Of course some apologist would say that there’s no link between the sex attacks and the refugees, and that we shouldn’t generalise refugees and crime rate. No we don’t generalise. We don’t say ALL refugees are shit because that would be hate speech (according to my own definition of hate speech I said above). We are saying that the idea of taking shitload of people without checking their background beforehand is just the definition of silly. We are saying that ultimately the government’s responsibility is not to the welfare of the refugees, but to protect its own citizen first and foremost.
I will end it here for now. Wish Germany the best of luck.
Prost!
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Migrant Crisis and Refugee Situation…

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It’s been months now that the media pressing about the story about the EU migrant crisis. It has been discussed probably too many times, and been seen from so many different angles. So, what is my position to this migrant stories?

Hm…

Let me start slow.

Al-Jazeera said that they would stop using the word migrant to describe the Syrian people trying to seek help, and instead using the word: Refugee. I could not agree more with them, because there’s a fundamental difference between a refugee and an immigrant. However, a refugee status can only be given to those who are under a direct threat in their own country.

Our family once thought of that when May 1998 riot broke in Solo. As Chinese Indonesians were being targeted, tortured, raped, and or killed, we thought it was the best for us to flee the country to seek asylum. But we didn’t. Our relationships with our neighbours, and my father’s networks helped our family. Things got better for us too, although slowly and painful. But I know many of our friends and family fled for their lives — some even never came back.

I apologised for this particularly disturbing photos #sorrynotsorry

So, I understand how it feels to choose between staying and risking your and your family’s lives, and take whatever you can, flee and start over in a land of strangers. I remember holding my passport when we were hiding in a hospital, while doctors and nurses are making human shield and barricaded the building, knowing that they weren’t the ones the mobs targeted. My mother told me that if things went south, I needed to go to Singapore and we would meet again there. She was as unsure as I was, of course, but we did not say anything.

It sucks.

Singapore was of course only an hour flight from Solo. That’s probably one of our closest neighbours, which would accept us being ethnically Chinese.

But then again, we didn’t go. These Syrians refugees did. And, I don’t blame them for fleeing their country. They could die if they have stayed. It’s just human nature to try to survive no matter how bad the situation could be.

Unfortunately, when it is as big as Middle Eastern conflict, it is not going to be that simple. After ISIS went on a rampage, millions of people were forced to flee for their lives and seek asylum. “Millions” is a big number, and some of these people are very particular about where they would want to go. Germany, Switzerland, England, France are probably the main destination… but why?

Many people saw this picky attitude as slightly rude, some grumpily said that they’re being ungrateful. Some of them were welcomed in Hungary (Hungarian government complying with the EU immigration rules that asylum seeker should be given refugee status at the first country they arrived in), but protesting and wreaking havoc because they wanted to go to Germany and Austria. Some of them could have seek asylum safely in France, but forced their way by breaking law to enter the UK. And some of them are not a real refugees — some were found to be illegal immigrants taking advantage of the chaotic border situation in the European land.

Like I said, I can understand how it feels to be helpless, because I was there too. But, I cannot blame this negative attitude toward the whole European migrant crisis thing. I cannot blame the government for taking an extra caution, considering there are resentment among their own citizen. Easy example: The angry far right Germans radicals decided to burn the refugees shelter, causing deaths.

Is that what you want?

So… If you ask me what is my position about the whole refugee thing…. this is my position:

EU has a rule. If the refugees want to be given the asylum they wanted, they should go by the rules. If they’re being picky, then the EU countries should be allowed to be picky too. If the refugees don’t want to go by the rules, then EU countries should be allowed to refuse them asylum. I think it’s the only way it could be fair for both of them.

But that’s me.

 

 

Merdeka!

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First of all, I would like to say Happy Independence Day 🙂

I know, I know it’s a bit late for that and I apologise for the lateness. The thing is, I haven’t touched my laptop for ages, and I know I should have. I need to keep doing the jobseach thingy, I need to keep the blog active, etc. But I just drowned in reading newspapers, crocheting and knitting. Not good.

I thought that posting something about the Indonesia’s Independence Day should be a good momentum to start writing again, but I missed it because I was lazy. So yes, it was definitely my fault. So, could we just move on so that I could start blabbering? Yes we could…

Being Indonesian
Talking about Indonesia’s Independence Day… There was something that one of my blogger friends said the other day about being an Indonesian. It was, probably, not about me, but I could relate to what he was talking about.

Being married to a non-Indonesian citizen, and living abroad could make a born and bred Indonesian lost their sense of nationality, or even patriotism. At least, that was the theory many people believes. But they probably haven’t seen it themselves, how the Indonesian students, or immigrants live abroad (or at least here in the UK).

We, Indonesian students had a really tight knit Indonesian Student Society, called PPI (persatuan pelajar Indonesia). During Ramadan month we invited each other on a mini gathering to break the fast together. Those who built their families in these foreign land kept their Indonesian tradition and not only introduce it to their children but reinforce it to them as well. We helped each other in this part of the world, even better than your neighbour for the last 5 years.

Our patriotism, our sense of nationalism, is not only challenged, but also sharpened and strengthen day by day, living in the country where people know Indonesia as either “Bali” or “Terrorist”. We were and are, and will always be your best cultural endorser, who spread the best word about our homeland, the real Indonesia that we know and proud of.

Even us who, because of our ethnicity, was born with a rather oriental features — was mistakenly recognised as one of those of other nationality, have been brave enough to stand up and tell them that we are Indonesian. We told them, we explained to them, no matter how complicated it was for them to digest, that we are Indonesian because we were born and bred there, and we are holding our green passport.

We were still excited if we saw anything about Indonesia was mentioned in the media. Or saw anything remotely Indonesia was displayed in the store. Even looking at clothes’ tag saying that it was made in Indonesia would make us jump and tell whoever shopping with us about factories in Indonesia and how friendly Indonesia was to foreign investor. We promote ourselves that bad, we lied a little about the “friendly” part.

I really don’t know where did these people get the idea that being abroad, living abroad, and being married to someone who is not Indonesian, but promoting, and being proud about our origin would make us feel less Indonesia than those who are living in Indonesia, but are apathetic about whatever happen in Indonesia and even embarrassed about who they are. If only they could see how dedicated we are. How Indonesia has been mentioned over and over again in our conversation, in our thesis, as a part of our study, as a part of our life. If only they know how many times we correct other people that BORNEO is 70% Indonesia’s and Malaysia only has a strip of land in the northern part of it.

And I have to say that it started to sting a little bit after I thought about it over and over again. Am I being perceived as a traitor to my own country just because I don’t want to stay there? Or because I did not end up marrying an Indonesian citizen?

Indonesian Blog
The same reason has also made me think about changing this blog back into using Bahasa Indonesia. I honestly has considered it as an option.

Mind you that the original reason why I started using English was because I needed to polish my English when I started studying in this country. It is not because I was being snobbish, and thought that writing in English would make me sound more educated or posh, or more modern. I was in the need to broaden my vocabulary in English so that I could converse better, understand better, study better, and in the end get a better result from my study.

I am pretty sure that I still need a lot of practising but since I am no longer required to write in a perfect academic style, I might not need to keep writing in English. But do I have to do that just to prove that I am still an Indonesian at heart?

I have to be honest with you that writing in Bahasa Indonesia would be much much more comfortable for me. There are a lot of Indonesian slang that could not be translated properly in English, such as “gemes”. I could never find an equal word for that one.

But should I? Do I really have to prove it?

Can’t people just take my word for it?

I still need to improve my English. I would have to work in this country, and build relationship with colleagues, neighbours, my husband’s family and friends, who unsurprisingly don’t speak Bahasa Indonesia at all. Isn’t that a really good reason why I need to learn English, respecting them as the host by speaking their language?

Can you imagine if foreign people coming to Indonesia to live there, work there, marrying your men and using our country’s facilities, but for the sake of their sense of nationalism, and patriotism refuse to speak Bahasa Indonesia, not even bother to try to improve their language even after living there for few years. How insulting that would be for you? Putting myself in their shoes, I would like to show them that I am respecting their language, as much as I want them to respect mine.

That’s only fair.

Happy Independence Day
This is a special day for Indonesia. I believe many people has their hopes and wishes for this beloved country’s future. So do I.

I hope that this country is no longer living in the slave mentality, or even post-slavery mentality. I hope that our people could see people from other countries as equal, and not either inferior or fake superiority that makes them so scared of everything vaguely “foreign”.

I hope this country is going forward while holding on to what our founding fathers has laid as our country’s foundation. And be proud of it.

Happy Birthday Indonesia

Merdeka!

I VOTED!!

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So, I have voted on Saturday 5th July 2014. Yes, the election abroad was held before the 9th July. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, it’s even pretty straightforward.

The Indonesian embassy is not too hard to find. It is located on Grosvernor Square, just near Hyde Park, London. You would be able to see our red and white national flag next to ASEAN’s flag. On this particular day, it is even easier to spot, because you could see people queuing to vote.

All you need to have is your passport. I saw some people come around without their passport, and couldn’t vote. I can understand his disappointment. I mean, I would be disappointed myself if I couldn’t vote after giving a lot of efforts to go there. However, I agreed with the committee that if you could not present anything to prove that you are an Indonesian citizen to be able to vote.

After I got myself registered, I was sent to the TPS3. This time, Mr. Fix-It would have to wait in the different area, because he was not going to vote. They have 3 different voting areas, people would sit on the waiting room, and wait until their name is called. When your name is called, you would have to present your passport once more, and then go to the next desk to get your ballot paper.

If you have never voted before, this is what happened when we vote.

One of the committee would open the paper in front of me, and show me that the paper is not tampered. After the ballot was signed, I took it to the voting stall. Unfold the ballot paper so you could see both candidates. You poke the ballot with the poking stick provided in the stall. Make sure you do it properly (they have the instruction in the wall, so you wouldn’t go wrong). Fold the paper back, and go out from the stall. Walk to the voting box, and drop your paper inside the box.

Next, you would get your finger — pinky finger of your left hand– dipped in the special ink, to show that you have voted. This is to avoid people cheating and wanting to vote twice.

At the embassy, they were having a little gathering. People are around swarming and eating Indonesian food. I didn’t stay long enough to join them, I have done my part for my country, I don’t need to socialise :p

There’s one thing though, that made me a little bit proud.

On our way to the embassy, Mr. Fix-It who accompanied me all the way said, “I admired your dedication. You go all the way here from Norwich just to vote and go home.”

Yes.

I don’t have any reason why I shouldn’t.

Whoever the next president probably wouldn’t affect me as much, as I am no longer living permanently in Indonesia. But it would affect my family — my parents, my sisters, my brother, my friends, my grandmother… It would affect people that I care about. So yes, I went all the way from Norwich to London and back (almost 8 hours return journey), to vote and contribute.

I told my husband that in Indonesia, this particular presidential election is a big thing because IT COULD change Indonesia for the better. So if my voice could contribute in this, I wouldn’t mind doing this again, and again.

So, if your TPS is just on your neighbourhood, or even 10 minutes driving. GO. Use your rights to choose your own president.

If you think that whoever the president wouldn’t affect your life, think about how it would affect your beloved’s lives. You still have two days to think about it, and choose wisely.

So I voted. You’re next…

Are You Ready To Vote?

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I am.

After days of being ignored by the electoral committee in London, I finally got informed that I could vote in the Indonesian Embassy in London tomorrow.

Some of my friends in Norwich has already got their ballots sent to their residence in Norwich. All they needed to do was to send back the ballots to the Indonesian Embassy after they voted. It is so much more efficient since you wouldn’t have to go all the way to London, and you wouldn’t have to queue. However I couldn’t do that.

The reason was because I registered late. The same reason why I did not vote for the legislative election three months ago.

The election abroad would be held earlier from the national election in Indonesia. While you in Indonesia will vote for our next president on the 9th, we would have to do it earlier probably considering the transportation of the ballots back to Indonesia for the counting.

So which candidate am I going to vote for? Well well well…

Honestly, I have lost my confidence in both candidates, so I am no longer considering any of the candidates as the reason why I vote for them. I will choose based on the coalition, and guess what? I dislike FPI… So you know roughly which one I would pick JUST to make sure FPI would be banished from Indonesia.

If you– like me, want our government to beat FPI and other radicalism, please use your voice. If you’re like me, and you want a better MENKOMINFO, whose job isn’t only censoring everything that he finds offensive, please use your voice. We might not agree with ALL of JKW action, or his coalition, BUT being abstinent means giving more chance to the worse candidate.

And we don’t want that.

Do we?

 

Applying for FLR (M)… What the hell is that?

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The fiancee visa will expired in 6 month. So, if you are coming to this country with this visa, you would have to get your leave to remain permit soon before your staying permit is over. After you are married, FLR (M) is the form you would want to get. If you want to do it in person like me, you will have to download the most recent form from the Home Office website. However, because this service is very expensive, use this service only when your application is straightforward.

What is straightforward application? Well… In my experience, if you have nothing else as consideration why you might not be able to get your application approved, means your case is not quite straight forward. In my case, because I have ticked all the boxes and get all the requirements, and came in the country with fiancee visa, mine is considered as a straightforward case.

The application centre I went to is the Croydon Home office. It is located in Lunar house in Wellesley Road, it is close to a tram station, two train stations, and a bunch of hotels. So, you would have plenty of options to get to this place on time. And I strongly suggest you come on time.

The documents that you need:

1. Your correct form, fully filled with black pen. It is clearly said that you need to fill in with black pen, so trying to fill it in with red ink is not quite wise.

2. The print out of your proof of appointment booking AND the payment proof. I almost forgot to print out the booking proof and crossed the manager at Travelodge for asking him to print that out for us.

3. Passports, and other photo IDs. Two of your photographs, and one of your sponsor’s photograph, all in the correct UK passport size.

4. The supporting documents: bank statement, payment slip, tax summary etc., same with the financial requirements you need for your fiancee visa. You would have to attach your language requirement proof, police registration, and your marriage certificate. It would be better if you could produce the official letter from the working place, or the council office too.

Make sure that you have got them all in original, and ready. You would not have time or opportunity to talk to the case worker, and defend yourself for the lack of the documents or needed evidence. So their decision would be solely based on the documents you provide to them.

Get to the application centre 15-20 minutes earlier then your appointment. You would have to go through all series of security check like the one we’re having at the airport, so it would take awhile. I would suggest you to bring as little as possible except for the documents. I carried my luggage and it was a little bit of a hassle.

First of all, you would see the receptionist that would check that you are bringing the correct form, and make sure you are who you say you are on your photo ID. After you got your self checked in, you would be sent to the waiting room. You will be given a number that would identify your case for the whole process. The waiting room is quite big with a cafeteria in the middle where you could order food or drink.

You would be called, by the officer that would check and enter your data to the case worker to work on. The officer would put together your documents and form, to be sent to the case worker with the biometric data that you would provide soon after. I regret that I did not put on a full make up, but I am glad I was not looking too bad either. You would get your photo taken, this photo would be on your Biometric Residence Permit. You would get your fingerprints taken as well.

After the biometric data taking, you would be sent back to the waiting room, this time for a little bit longer. The length of the process would depend on the straight forwardness of your case. The case worker would go through all the documents that you provided, and do the cross checking again. In the waiting room you would be able to track your case because they would have your case number displayed there.

It is said that normally it would take 2-3 hours in total. But I only need one and a half hour before we are called to get our documents and result back. AND, I got my application approved.

Honestly, it was a little bit anticlimax when the officer announced my approval. He just gave me the bundle of documents, and said that congrats your application has been approved. And we just sat there without knowing what to say, and feeling a little bit in a limbo even after we walked out the building.

But yeah…

It’s done now, and we are very happy. So, if you are doing or planning on doing the same thing, I wish you luck, and I hope this would help 🙂

Indonesia VS Malaysia di Mata Bybyq

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Beberapa hari lamanya saya dan adik saya si Mon itu terlibat di pembicaraan mengenai Indonesia versus Malaysia. Dan sebagai warga negara yang baik (yang meskipun sering dianak tirikan dan sering tidak dianggap oleh warga negara yang lain) saya merasa tersinggung dengan tindakan-tindakan yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah Malaysia.

Saya dan Mon berandai-andai, apa yang akan kami lakukan seandainya kami ini adalah pemerintah republik Indonesia. Apa yang akan kami lakukan terhadap Malaysia?

Memutuskan hubungan diplomatik sepertinya merupakan satu langkah strategis. Saya tidak mengerti apa yang ditakutkan oleh pemerintah kita sampai menarik diplomat kita dari sana saja tidak bisa. TKI yang ada di sana, juga bisa ditarik pulang, toh masih banyak negara-negara lain yang mau memakai TKI dan saya yakin sebenarnya pemerintah bisa memberikan lapangan pekerjaan. Kalau mau. Tapi sayangnya saya tidak melihat niatan tersebut dari Pemerintah Republik Indonesia.

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Pantomim Sapu Di Tangan, 30 Juni 2010

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Heyaaa…

Saya curiga ada beberapa orang yang mulai berpikir, “Bisa-bisanya si Bybyq ini bukannya ngerem di kamar, kerjain skripsi, malah nonton teater mulu…”. Maafkan saya! *menunduk dalam-dalam* Bukannya saya bermaksud untuk bersenang-senang, tapi ini mumpung ada kesempatan untuk nonton, saya tidak ingin melewatkannya.

Belum kapok dengan acara menonton Pertunjukan Seni dan Budaya Tionghoa, saya datang lagi, ke Gedung Kesenian Jakarta untuk menonton pentas pantomim dengan judul “Sapu Di Tangan”, oleh grup teater Sena Didi Mime, dan disutradarai oleh salah seorang pengajar di Institut Kesenian Jakarta, Yayu A.W Unru. Sapu di Tangan ini menggambarkan tentang bagaimana kehidupan manusia urban yang hidup di tengah-tengah sampah.

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Kurang Indonesiakah Gwe?

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Kadang-kadang gwe sering bertanya, apakah gwe ini kurang Indonesia? Gwe lahir di Indonesia dan menghafal Pancasila sama seperti anak-anak Indonesia yang lain. Gwe menyanyikan lagu Indonesia Raya yang sama, juga menghormat pada merah putih yang sama (Kalau putih merah itu bendera Polandia >> main Geo Challenge di Facebook)

Apa yang membuat gwe kurang Indonesia? Apakah kesukuan gwe membuat gwe tidak Indonesia lagi? Apakah pilihan kepercayaan gwe membuat gwe tidak Indonesia juga? Ataukah warna kulit dan bentuk mata gwe yang membuat gwe menjadi tidak Indonesia?

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Thomas, Uber dan Nasionalisme

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Beberapa hari ini timeline gwe di twitter penuh dengan dukungan terhadap tim bulu tangkis Indonesia dalam memperebutkan piala Thomas dan Uber. (By the way, gwe merasa agak aneh kalau mengatakan piala “Thomas Cup” dan “Uber Cup”, karena arti “cup” itu sendiri adalah “piala”.)

Tim Piala Thomas Indonesia hari ini kalah oleh tim bulu tangkis Cina, yang berarti berakhir sudah perjuangan Tim Indonesia dalam memperebutkan piala kejuaraan bergengsi tersebut. Isi timeline gwe nggak jauh-jauh dari kekecewaan, dari kekecewaan terhadap menpora, terhadap pemainnya, termasuk kepada wasit yang bertugas untuk memimpin pertandingan tadi.

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