April - South East Asia
This month’s cultural theme is focussed on Indonesia. Let’s start with a few facts about this country. Indonesia is a country located in Southeast-Asia, it consists of 14.572 islands and with that number it becomes the worlds biggest island state. Also fun fact, where now, or not now anymore, Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, it won’t be for long anymore. This, since president Joko Widodo yesterday (29-04-2019) has decided that Indonesia will have a new capital city, which city this will be is still unknown. So that’s a surprise for all of us!
Since this month’s theme is all about Indonesia, I interviewed a classmate of mine. She is born and raised in Indonesia, but lives nowadays in the Netherlands! Meet Inge Paraya!
1. Hi! Before we start with the interview, how are you?
‘Hi! I’m enjoying living in the Netherlands and struggling with module 4 right now.’
2. Now you’ve lived here in Enschede for a while, what is the biggest difference between Indonesia and the Netherlands, did you experience a culture shock when you came here?
‘The most differences that I noticed at the very beginning of living here are in the weather. It is very hot in Indonesia, especially in my hometown, since it is located exactly under the equator line. Meanwhile, the weather is changing so fast in the Netherlands, it can be so hot and cold at once in one day. Of course, that was really annoying in the beginning, but I’m used to it right now.
And other things, I would say the mountains. In Indonesia you can find a lot of mountains in every island and as you know, we can’t see a real mountain in Netherlands. About culture shock, of course, I experienced it. It was kind of weird to live in the country that is quite different from your hometown, where especially the culture is different. But, I’m trying to adapt.’
3. Are the people in the Netherlands different than the people in Indonesia?
‘Dutch people are straight-forward (as I read). In contrast with that, most Indonesians like to do chit-chat conversation before talking about something core. But Indonesian people are kind of similar to Dutch people as well. They both are friendly, no doubt to smile.’
4. What thing about Indonesia do you like the best and what thing about the Netherlands do you like best?
‘Food! Since Indonesia has a lot of islands, the taste of the food differs from one island to another. Every island has their own unique taste and I love the way it is. The taste of Indonesian food makes me always miss them. About the Netherlands, I think I like the way the everything is organized and structured, mainly the transportation. Here, I can find bike-track that I find rare in Indonesia. Also, all the public transportation is adequate.’
5. What is the weirdest Indonesian food you’ve ever eaten, and would you recommend it to us?
‘Until now, tempoyak is the weirdest one I’ve ever eaten. It is made by taking the flesh of the durian fruit, which is mixed with some salt and kept in room temperature for three or five days for fermentation. I would recommend you try it, but I’m not sure you will like it.’
6. Where can you party better, in Indonesia or in the Netherlands, what is the main difference?
‘Definitely the Netherlands! Honestly, I didn’t drink before coming here. I had my first party here in Enschede and I liked it. I can’t really compare it to parting in Indonesia since I never had a party there before. But sometimes I saw a little bit of the Indonesian parties in my friends’ Instagram story while they were partying, and I think Netherlands is the better one.’
7. What is the funniest/strangest thing that you’ve experienced during your time in the Netherlands?
‘I already said my first party and beer was here in the Netherlands. Actually, it wasn’t because I want to, yet I had to. Before going to the party, me and my friends played a drinking game. I lost most of the time, so I did have to drink. I asked for exception and just drank chocomel, but my friend didn’t let me. I ended up drinking Jagger and got drunk at my very first party. I became very energetic from the booze and danced all night. That was unforgettable and funny memory for me.’