It might be obvious to people who read how this blog came about, that both Tari and I can be quite brash in making decisions. But this blog post was hard to write, and we both had strong opinions on what should and could be included. We wanted to post this earlier, but we felt like we should take time to properly process everything.
Our friendship came about quickly and unexpectedly, and not without its up and downs. We are after all quite opinionated people who had quite different backgrounds growing up. But we’ve always found it fascinating how much we agree on despite our differences. We both feel passionately about food, we think Riz Ahmed is unreasonably attractive (even though he’s not Tari’s usual type), and we are absolutely, and unquestionably in love with Indonesia.
Batak and Jawa by (recent) heritage, Condet by birth, and Bandung-bound by heart. Everything inside of me, everything who makes me who I am; female, Indonesian, closet introvert, vaguely Muslim by choice, chocolate fiend – everything is so well defined, but they come together to make me, me. I’d often talk with Tari over our shared love of history, and how events that came so many years before our existence would shape our interaction today.
Chinese and Jawa by (recent) heritage, Jakarta by birth, Bekasi by residence, Tari’s varied backgrounds gave her perspective and views that made for interesting conversations. Female, Indonesian, a complete people magnet, devout Christian, and obsessive hobbyist; she is at once my polar opposite and a mirror image of beliefs that fit so well with my own. We’ve always been amused by our friendship because of that curious mix of contradictions, but hey – we’ve always agreed on food.
Before we left for Australia, Tari and I talked about how food will be the thing that will drive us crazy. Because from Sabang to Merauke, all the different types of food that can be found in Indonesia can only be described as stupidly delicious. We tried to pick specific places that suited our palates the best, but we came to the conclusion that it was impossible to pick one, when all was so mouth wateringly amazing, and when they all had a special place in our hearts.
Much like its food, we both agree that the people of Indonesia are just as varied and just as lovable. Forgive us for equating people with food, but it really is the easiest way to talk about this without offending anyone. Recent events in Indonesia has both of us feeling devastated because we both felt confused and frustrated by racists chants we thought we’d long left behind. We’ve both had brushes with racism, but in Jakarta we’ve always found ‘our people’, people who understood our passions, our joys and griefs. We’ve had amazing conversations with strangers, who shared our thoughts and feelings, and they were ever only a stone’s throw away.
With everything that’s going on, we hope that you will indulge us a little, and celebrate the Indonesia we all love. Go out today, and explore your neighbourhood. Talk to people and find common grounds, ask them where to get the best sate or martabak around the area. Laugh over stupid memes while sipping on hot tea while you wait for your steaming bowls of bakso. Now more than ever we need to remember the foundations in which Indonesia was built on; Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.