Every time I filled an application that has a column to state my ethnic, I always get confused. And this is why.. I was born in the big metropolitan and the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, and raised there. Jakarta has its own tribes which is Betawi. Being raised with Betawi’s community, being used to their cultures somehow make me feel like I am one of them.
But though I was born in Jakarta and in the middle of Betawi’s culture, my mother is a Sumatran and my Father is a Javanese. Sumatra means my mother tribe is Palembang. Meanwhile daddy dearest is quite simple, Central Java. But then again, every tribe has its own culture. We do not follow their cultures and habits, but occasionally, if invited by our neighbors, we took part in it.
I am very Palembangnese, said my mother one time. But there are certain things where I do my things as my father’s way. Is it because of the mix? I was not raised as either Javanese or Palembangnese. If I am able to mix it with religion, my parent also wasn’t raised me with orthodox beliefs of Islam. There’s always an answer in every why that I had back then. There were also some times where the why was not answered. But I am not going into that this time. So basically, Betawi tribe has influenced me easily.
This is one of the best thing being an Indonesian. The various cultures, tribes, ethnics and languages. If you lived in US and coming from Texas, you may just say ‘am a southern’. But in Indonesia, that’s not applied. So how do we decide our ethnic? By the legacy of our parents? Or by following your heart. I have found my answer though. ;).