Friday, September 18, 2015


 One thing I’ve noticed since being here in Jakarta is the grand difference in nationalism from what I saw in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There, in the Balkans it seems ethnicity is the most important thing, people are their ethnic background first, Bosnians second. Yet, here in Indonesia, pleasantly, they seem to be Indonesians first and then whatever religion or ethnic background second. To be honest, I don’t really know the history of Indonesia but I’m not sure if they have ever had long standing ethnic tensions, like in the Balkans. Indonesians were more subject to colonial rule, which I suppose under one oppressor unites all the different factions (though it didn’t work long term for India, but that’s a different story).

A good example of this pride in being Indonesian could be seen last Friday, when I went to a Bon Jovi concert here in Jakarta (that was mad fun, standing a crowd of thousands of Indonesians singing along to Bon Jovi, they knew every word). Right before the main act, the reigning Indonesian Idol winner came onto the stage and began singing the Indonesian national anthem. First, there are words (big difference from Bosnia, where they can’t agree on which language to use or what words to put so their national anthem is just music). Second, and the biggest surprise, EVERYONE in the stadium sang along and they sang with great joy and pride (similar to as I see at baseball games in the USA). 

It was heartwarming for sure!

That is one nice change about being in Indonesia; they see themselves as one country, one people, good for them!


Post a Comment

<< Home