miund

The “Polite” Post

In Sarcasm on March 19, 2007 at 1:57 am

The world is full of funny people and they aren’t necesarrily comedians.  These funny people exist in ordinary places.  The only time you can distinguish a ‘funny’ person from another is when a certain part of their body is opened up.

Their mouths.

I’m not talking about people who sounds funny, talks funny or any kind of funiness caused by physical defects.  I am talking about those who talks about who they really are but acts the opposite in real life.  Let me show you an example:


Statement:
“I never take advantage of office facilities nor abuse my position at the office for personal interests”

Action #1:
Taking the office car to accomodate a family’s picnic for the weekend.

Argument:
“Hey, I’m responsible.  I filled up the gas on Monday morning”

Action #2:
Attaching the gas bill to re-imbursement forms.

According to my values and work ethic, this is not a forgivable act.  When one states that one does not take advantage of the company’s property, one should never touch it outside working hours for personal necessities.  And if any emergency occurs, one should ask a proper permission from the authorities to proceed with the action of abusing the facility in any kind of manner.

Now I don’t have the time to write many other examples in this post, but I assure you, these funny people do exist and they’ve never been a problem to me.  At least not directly.  What becomes a problem is when these sort of people judges other people and condemning those who are just really minding their own business, doing their own thing.

Funny indeed how human beings can be so critical to things.  Even funnier that those who are critical does not seem to have a desire to look at the mirror and ask themselves:

“Am I really in the place to criticize?”

Many people have criticized me on many things I did.

“Your writings aren’t good enough for the show.  Sorry.”
“Hey miss match!  What’s up with the pink top and red shoes?”
“You haven’t got the voice for us.  This radio needs something… er… younger”
“Your show is good, but the ratings are not”
“Do you really need to pick your tooth?  It’s annoying”

And I’ve been hurt by the criticisms.  I’m one of those people who believes that there is no such human beings in this life that are not prone to critics.  But then I survived.  Got out of that little hell and lived, trying not to make the same mistakes in the future.  Sometimes I get out a bit slower, and get depressed for a certain amount of time.  Sometimes I spat back and send the person into that little hell before I even go in.  Sometimes I don’t even have to deal with it as I just laughed it off and think of it as nothing.  But there are times when I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from spitting out a bomb that might hurt not just the person who critisize, but everybody nearby.

And the last one is the hardest of all.

Fuck YOUIndonesians are prone to criticisms, especially the Javanese.  They are very much accustomed to bite their tongue and nod in agreement (or fear, I suspect) whenever their ‘wrongdoings’ are being pointed out.  This is considered polite, especially if the wrongdoer is considered younger or junior than the critic.  They aren’t taught to argue and stick to their beliefs and opinions.  They aren’t taught to behave in an in-your-face manner.

This gives the elders a superior feeling.  If you think Romeo and Juliet was a tragic love story, go to Central Java.  You’d find tons of devastating love stories that would make you eventually think “Heck, at least Romeo got lucky with Juliet the night before they died”.  And the superiority isn’t only applied at forbidden love cases, it is applied in everyday happenings.

I’m part Menadonese, and am well-aware of my tendency to talk a bit louder than anybody around me.  The western influences from my mother’s Dutch-esque upbringing formed a very talkative and quickwitted personality in me.  Thank goodness the Javanese part from my father tones things down whenever needed.  And yes, I have a timid side that I’d rather keep away from public.

Apart from the good balance in the personality, sometimes there’s an unusually stronger power to say mean things that consumes me everytime somebody pushes my buttons.  And it is crazy.  It is when I suddenly shed the politeness and become somebody who I would hate.

I was about to say something harsh to somebody today, but I bit my tongue.  Now that it’s bitten severely and put back in its place, my tongue won’t even move an inch and hurt anybody near or far.

Now I am busy browsing the internet for fingercuffs, because if mine weren’t to be held back, I’d keep on typing and will eventually come up with names, sordid happenings and what I really want to say about it.  It ain’t gonna be pretty and will make a mess everywhere.

I’ve taken my Javanese pills while typing this and for the sake of politeness, I’ll stop right now.  Afterall, I do have to “respect” the elders as my parents taught me.  And by stopping, I’ve got to say that they did a pretty darn good job raising me.

Cheers.

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  1. This is an impressive posting, Miund. I admire your courage in saying things the way it is.

    You said, “Indonesians are prone to criticisms, especially the Javanese. They are very much accustomed to bite their tongue and nod in agreement (or fear, I suspect) whenever their ‘wrongdoings’ are being pointed out. This is considered polite, especially if the wrongdoer is considered younger or junior than the critic. They aren’t taught to argue and stick to their beliefs and opinions. They aren’t taught to behave in an in-your-face manner.”

    I notice that really clearly lately, having a close relationship with a strong Javanese person. I didn’t pay attention to such things, not until we’re in a relationship where things should have been opened up freely…

    “This gives the elders a superior feeling. If you think Romeo and Juliet was a tragic love story, go to Central Java. You’d find tons of devastating love stories that would make you eventually think “Heck, at least Romeo got lucky with Juliet the night before they died”. And the superiority isn’t only applied at forbidden love cases, it is applied in everyday happenings.”

    Exactly, I believe that I have one life to live. Whatever happens, happens lah, at least I’m honest with myself. I say out loud whatever I’m thinking. The truth, no matter how painful, should have been more respected than “white lies” in the name of God or Culture. Yes, “forbidden love” is very very hard to overcome in Javanese culture. I’ve just noticed that. It’s extremely painful because the person in love has to submit to a culture, not to love. And that person would simply say, “I love you in heart only. I can love you but that’s about it, so we won’t hurt people around us.” It made me cry and angry at the same time.

    All in the name of politeness and culture.

    ~ Jennie

  2. Yes. It is hard to live in a modern era, acting ‘today’ with a (huge) part of you still tightly tied into your roots. The good thing is, I don’t really have a problem with my family about this… but the ‘morality’ injected in me since I was very small sometimes emerges in unlikely timings. You know, the times I’m supposed to be able to spat back, I stay quiet instead.

    Succumbing to whatever happens isn’t my style at all, especially when it comes to work and social life. But as I grew older, I hung out quite a lot with people of different nationalities and sometimes I found the shocking truth: they could be more ‘Javanese’ than me in certain ways. And it is harder to deal with them, because they always want you to be straightforward, yet at the same time expect you to behave like a true Indonesian (read: submissive).

    As for now, I’ll just pretend to be a Javanese when it comes to talking. But hey, the Javanese culture never tells me not to type what I think. So I do just that. Haha!

  3. As I’m becoming more “Americanized” in outward attitudes, I’d need to “adjust” myself whenever I speak to an Indonesian. Sometimes I forgot, which was not a rosy picture, then I apologized profusely. It’s quite “intriguing” to find out what’s going to happen next, but more likely things would go downhill, at least for a while.

    Submission is not something I do best. I believe in equality in mostly anything, except for some stuff that are clearly gender-defined. Races, cultures, ethnicities, religions, educational backgrounds, classes, etc. don’t mean anything to me. We are all equal beings on earth and elsewhere. But apparently things are not that simple. All sorts of stuff cause people to see us using their own private lenses (a.k.a. biased/prejudiced).

    We all do that, and it’s human. I just don’t believe that some of us are better than others simply because they belong to a certain culture. Submission is indeed an Indonesian (or Javanese) trait that I often find quite restricting. I just don’t believe in being “peaceful on the outside” is more important than “peaceful on the inside.”

    I’d prefer to have a peaceful mind by being honest to the world (and myself) than “looking peaceful with the society” while holding something (a grudge or whatever) inside.

    You go girl, Miund.

    ~ Jennie

  4. Thank you, Jennie 🙂 So glad that there are people out there who appreciate my thoughts. And I assure you, I won’t stop typing down my thoughts whenever I’m not able to vocalize them. At least until someone puts that fingercuffs on me. Hahahahahakhakhk…

  5. You’re very welcome.

    ~ Jennie

  6. i’d just vocalize something i don’t like and do/say anything i want… is this considered wrong here?

  7. Ha! Tell me about it! I wrote a post in my multiply blog about Indonesians weird so-called “ethics” and.. um… etiquette (I’d rather call it indecency instead, wakakkakak…). My friend, an Indonesian, was really annoyed by the way Indonesian people commented on her figure, “Lo gemukan ya?”.

    I guess at first she, like most of us (including you and me, hehehe..) had bit her tongue and tried to ignore it. After several times, she’d calmly replied, “Iyah. Lo jelekan ya?”. When I heard it for the first time, not only did I hysterically laugh, but I also promised myself that I’d use the same response to my not-so-polite older cousins, and yeah, maybe to my not-so-polite-especially-to-the-younger-people aunties (to the latter, maybe I’ll use the sugar-coated bitter pill approach, hehehe…).

    Another worth-noted example is given by a commentator to my post, whom often got questions like, “Why are you not married? Aren’t you afraid to be a perawan tua?” (sounds familiar, anyone? kekkekekek…). Her quick, brilliant answer: “Gak usah kuatir. Tua sih udah pasti, tapi perawan gak bakal!”

  8. i don’t like the way indonesians do their “basa basi” drill… and surprise visits hahah

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