I was blogwalking as usual, and when I visited guebukanmonyet’s blog, who had a new post titled ‘a little bit of america in all of us’, I read it and thought to myself, “hmm… it’s funny how I feel totally the other way around”
I don’t hate America, hate is such a strong word. I don’t crazy love it either, if that’s what you think I’m guilty of.
I do use the word ‘hate’, but I say it in these contexts: I absolutely hate terrorism, violations of human rights, abuse and sexual harassment towards women, the fact there are people still living in poverty, female genital mutilation, radicalism, fundamentalism, ignorance, dishonesty, corruption and injustice (and several other things I will not tell you unless we become the bestest of friends). I don’t like and don’t agree with the current position and actions of the American government and its loony but hilarious President, but I do not dislike the American people, their culture and especially not their products.
I admire that particular country for their greatness. Greatness of being able to be the strongest most powerful country based on multi culture with people consisting of multi racial individuals from various countries of origin yet still able to forge a strong sense of national identity.
I envy their people who love their country and product to death, while we Indonesians, although we don’t love our government for very legitimate reasons, why we love anything that is not produced in our country is a mystery to me. We have so many things that are priceless cultural heritages, yet we (especially the young ‘uns) think it’s old fashioned/kampungan, not trendy etc, while we see many batik-wearing bules (caucasian expats or tourists) in Indonesia who are in love with our culture (not just our girls).
I am confused by many of our people’s unreasonable hatred towards of America (because America invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and accuses Muslims of being terrorists, yadda yadda ..) yet as guebukanmonyet wrote, those very people still enjoy America’s music, food, movies and products anyway (are they hypocritical or just really mentally confused individuals?).
I am especially bewildered by Indonesians who blame America for EVERYTHING that goes wrong in our country. (So, environmental problems, financial problems, political problems, economy problems, socio-political problems are all created by America for the purpose of controlling/taking over our country? I mean, really? I seriously doubt that, I don’t think they are that evil and have nothing better to do than disrupt Indonesia)
I do, however, love their music/movies/art/pop-culture. I think with that alone, (without having to create evil plans to destroy our economy/politics/finance/environment) they have succeeded in world domination. Just think, EVERY very famous American person/artist is famous elsewhere in the world. Even orang kampungs (common villagers/village people – not the ones who were famous with YMCA) know who Michael Jackson or Madonna is, although they might not be able to pronounce the names correctly, but that’s besides the point. I unashamedly admit my music and songs are influenced by some great American artists and musicians, my writings (ok, I have only my blog, but I dream of someday writing a book) are influenced by several entertaining and witty blogs owned by Americans, plus, I am an American Idol die-hard fan.
I miss America very much because I lived there for a while, during which time I was experiencing some personal turbulence. I felt that I found myself there, the experience of living there, being exposed to their culture and people had changed me in a way that I would never think possible and certainly for the better. Ever since, I have felt a connection with it and its culture, which is funny seeing as I am not American. But I know many non-Americans in the world have that feeling, for them (and me) America represents the land of opportunities and freedom. It’s what Americans pride their country on.
I do have some America in me, but I have some Europe and a lot of Indonesia in me as well. At the end of the day, I strongly feel that because I was born in Indonesia; have European, Arab, Indonesian blood streaming through my veins; have lived in Indonesia, New Zealand, America and now here in Europe; hold an Indonesian passport; I am a perfect example of someone who feels she is a citizen of the world. It’s not that I am losing a sense of National Identity, it’s just home for me is where my heart is. And I don’t hate America, Europe or Indonesia because I have pieces of my heart in all those places.
Published with kind permission from the author, Rima Fauzi: ht tp://rimafauzi.com/blogs/