Archive | December, 2010

We Are What We Wear

31 Dec

Javanese Cultural Evolution

As Indonesians, we look good in their traditional clothes and textiles. However, we are way too busy trying to copy what we see in MTV. As time goes by, Indonesians view their traditional clothes as “so yesterday”, “old”, as if it should be left behind. Then, when another country says that ‘batik’ is actually traditionally theirs, Indonesians got really angry. Well, where were you people??

It is incredibly irritating to see Indonesians dressed in emo clothing. I’m sorry but I just had to say it. They look really ridiculous. I used to see them walking around in malls, with their eyeliners and skinny jeans. We were made as Indonesians, wear our traditional clothes and textiles, they were created for us! Our ethnicities, our skin colours, they suit us. A long time ago, traditional textiles were worn every day, so we should be able to wear that now too.

When I lived in Australia, I saw African women in their traditional clothing, and Indian women in their saris (much prettier than when they wear miniskirts and tank tops)… and I thought to myself, wow they look beautiful! They look beautiful because those clothes are meant to be worn by them. Why can’t we Indonesians do that too? From that moment I started to believe that we would look better, more beautiful and attractive, if we just…. be ourselves. Be proud of your ethnicity. Wear your traditional clothes… because it just… suitable.

Alexia.

There are a lot of Indonesians who are like this...

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What’s Wrong With Having Dark Skin?

31 Dec

What's wrong with dark skin?

Many Indonesian women desire light skin, even though naturally most of us are born with dark skin, and I don’t know why – but it’s been viewed as something.. well.. unattractive. Why does the Indonesian society prefer light skin? Why do we want to look Caucasian? This might sound really weird to Westerners, they want to have our exotic dark skin! Besides, having dark skin means we have less chances to get skin cancer. I’m used to being teased when I was younger, because my skin is quite dark compared to many other Indonesian women (especially those who live in the big cities)… but it didn’t affect me at all. I’m proud of my dark skin. I am Javanese, and so I should have dark skin. It’s a part of my identity. Be proud of your skin colour, you are born with it!

I find it really funny when I walk into a beauty centre and meet these girls who’s skin colours are not necessarily dark, but still want to make it lighter, and they’re willing to do anything for it, including injections! (to me that is a BIG NO NO). What are you doing to yourself? Isn’t it much better to appreciate who you are? Skin, in any colour would look good if you take care of it properly. Love thyself 🙂

Alexia.

Historical Artifacts Are Supposed to be Preserved and Protected

31 Dec

Don't sell historical artifacts!

It really saddens me when I know that the Indonesian historical artifacts in the Museums are only replicas, because the real ones are sold overseas. Many of the traditional daggers which are exhibited in the Solonese Royal Palace are also replicas, the real ones are sold for big money, and what’s more shocking is that the Solonese King (King Paku Buwono the 13th) did not even sign any letters which states his agreement to sell these historical daggers to someone outside the palace walls – so basically, these daggers were stolen.

In a sugar plantation, in Karangrejo Village, subdistrict of Garum, regency of Blitar, East Java, a statue of Shiva was found. After being examined by archeologists, the statue is now known to be made sometime between the years 700 – 900 AC. However, they later found out that under that plantation, hundreds of statues are still buried underground. Local people were starting to believe that it was probably an ancient city which had been buried through time. The Government of East Java had secured the place so nobody can steal the statues. BUT… of course there are some who were desperate for money and willing to do whatever to sell those statues. Some would sneak into the plantation at night.

I know that the economic value of these statues are very high, but can’t the people see that these artifacts are extremely important to preserve in order to build our national identity? Many people say that “we should move on from  the past”, but in this case, we have to learn how to appreciate our past to be able to face the future. Our ancestors created community, culture, tradition. Because of them, we exist. So when we see a historical artifact, donate it to the museum, to be studied, protected, preserved and looked after.

Alexia.