Oleh: agung | Februari 7, 2009

The difference between Indonesia Natives, The Westerners and Indonesian Chinese.

I am a native who used to hate Indonesian Chinese to the bone. However, after living in the States for 10 years and now is working in one of the biggest bank in New York City, my view changed and understood why Chinese are different from the natives.
And actually there is a lot which we don’t understand about Chinese, and frankly speaking we have to know and think about all of these again, because they are something which we can use for our own good and to develop our nation. It’s not like I am saying that we have to become Chinese, it’s just that if it’s good, why not? And of course there are bound to have bad things but every nation have their own.
Let’s start with my view on the difference between the Natives and Chinese:
The obvious differences after I worked for more than 3 years and had a close Western friend and Chinese friends from Shanghai in my workplace, I saw a lot of differences, just to name a few:

i. The Western (friend), upon receiving of salary will directly visits the bar, drunk himself, buy new clothes, and buy lots of gifts for his wife. The rest 10% will be saved in the bank. Go on to dine at expensive restaurants, moreover when he just received his salary.
ii. The Chinese, upon receiving of salary will directly deposits into his bank account, sometimes further invests it with the bank, purchases stocks or just reap from interests. His clothing is worn out. I ever asked him, his money which he saved into his account can comprise between 75%-80% of his salary.
iii. For me. Upon receiving of salary will sometimes splurge a little on food, buys clothing if they are on sale(discounted) , buys stuff which my wife needs, the rest about 15%-20% will be deposited into the bank.

*** In the States, most Chinese who work as salary man (actually Korean and Japanese as well) are able to afford nice cards and buy suites at young age even though their parents are not conglomerates or Chinatown’s mafia. They even pay for their purchases in cash, not credits. That’s because they really keep their cash well as compared to other nations.

i. The Western, after work ((usually works from 8 AM – 6 PM) from Monday to Friday (Saturday and Sunday are off days)) will go to bars or go for food splurging his salary. If there a sudden need for Overtime (OT), will grumble in the office. Usually when it’s Monday, Western will look really grumpy, because it’s still a long way till Saturday, his thoughts will be only weekends. When it’s Thursday, he will laze in work, his thoughts will be only Friday. Walk around spreading gossip everywhere he goes.
ii. The Chinese, after work will head home directly, cook, and never eat-out (I always invites him for meal but he never join, expensive he said, need to save, unless it’s on special occasions). When asked to OT he will never reject, moreover will offer himself for OT. When asked to work on weekends he will be most willing. Sometimes he even work part time with another company to increase his income.
iii. For me, when asked to do OT, is a little lazy but also sometimes I already have plan to eat-out with colleagues. Sometimes I really felt like going home because I had been in the office whole day, but be it I want it or not I have to work (so the impression I gave is because I am forced, not like the Chinese who is so willing). It will be the worst feeling when I have to work on weekends.

*** Bosses usually love Chinese when it comes to work. That’s because they are diligent workers whom never say `NO’ to bosses. It’s also easier to secure a job when you are Chinese because you gave the `Good Worker’ impression. Or hard working employee. Rarely, unless it’s really urgent he is unwilling to do OT. Even though he is not willing for OT, he will go to the office on Saturday or Sunday, or work OT the next day.

i. The Western’s apartment, wow looks wonderful. Contemporary style. Full of expensive stuff and furniture. The important thing is his salary will be well used for his apartment.
ii. The Chinese’s apartment, OMG…. pandemonium. There’s only 1 mattress, on the floor. A worn out table, and two weathered chairs. The TV is ultra small, no cable TV. Most importantly, it’s really modest. When asked, he told me “Go through hardships first, reap the benefits later” (lit. translation. Meaning is there is a satisfying end to a difficult beginning). It is not in an expensive district, it’s located in a run down area where most people would not want to live.
iii. My own apartment, well pretty good, it’s just that my wife likes to decorate the house. So my apartment is not as bad as the Chinese’s. I really take off my hat he can live that way. Even though he has a lot of money. His salary is higher than mine because he has been with the company longer than I do.

*** After 10 years, usually the Western, Blacks, will still live in that apartment or take up house loans; the Chinese already can afford his own house. Due to intensive savings and only buy necessities so the money is well saved.

*** Here I can see big contrasts, initially I thought, woah this Chinese is very stingy. He has so much money and yet he just saves it in the bank. And if we compare with Chinese history, we will know why they will be more advanced than the Natives in the long run, because I ever exchanged thoughts with a few more Chinese, Indian, Arab, German, American and this Chinese in particular. We have to know the history of this Chinese guy.

Comparison between cultural history of Chinese and Indonesian of the ancient times
The Chinese are nation which is proud of themselves, because Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world, almost on par with the Mesopotamia and Egypt. Because of that Chinese culture really stick in his flesh and bones. It is almost impossible to let go of that culture because it is true that the culture alone is great; frankly speaking; if we are to compare with our own culture (Natives) we can’t beat Chinese culture. And it is also true that their culture is well acknowledged across the globe.

According to one of the famous Journal of Archeology in the world, Malays have more factors which are directed towards the Mongolians or Chinese.

In other words Indonesian are actually Chinese, although biologically and evolutionary there are factors from Indian and Arab in the natives’ blood.
However, the Natives are closer to the Chinese genetically. Chinese (the minority) had gone through hardships since 4000 years ago. China since ages ago, hearsay, had been on constant war, the minorities are tortured by their government and there was a constant change of government. Chinese can be considered as one of the toughest nation. Suffering is a common thing, and to suffer even more, usually people will be more daring and brave, so all sorts of ways will be taken, well they have to live one way or another. This happened as well in Indonesia.

Because China is a country with lots of issues, they migrate everywhere. They are everywhere; my friends from Nigeria and Ethiopia (Africa) said there are a lot of Chinese there as well. And surprisingly, the Chinese over there are successful and never have to live in poverty.
In Indonesia, when I was still living in Jakarta, I can see the differences just that at the time my thoughts were not opened yet. I ever helped out at a fabric shop of my Chinese friend in Senen. Right beside it is another fabric shop opened by a Hajj. After 2 years, business of the Chinese is doing reall well, and Hajj finally had to call it quit. It is not as if the Chinese is playing tricks or using voodoo spells on Hajj. It’s because even after profiting, the Chinese will save the money and keep it in the bank, to further grow his venture. And both he and his wife will only have sunny side up.

While only profiting a little, Hajj will bring his family for a meal at a nice restaurant because of dignity. Sooo isn’t it Hajj’s fault? Can’t we see for ourselves that the Chinese are thinking way ahead and more persevere? I think this is something which we should set as role model from the Chinese. Maybe we don’t have to be as stingy as him but we also don’t have to care about dignity.

I have met lots of people from different countries and one thing which is real is that those who DO NOT MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON DIGNITY ALONE are usually from DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.
Take a look at Honkies for example, Japanese, Englishmen, Americans, Germans and Singaporeans; they are very DEVELOPED in their thoughts. Unlike Indonesian. If it’s YES then just say YES, if it’s NO then say NO. So there’s no uncomfortable feeling. If there had been uncomfortable feeling for sometime, they will end up fighting (quarrelling) .

Alas, Indonesian cares about their dignity too much, don’t wanna admit their mistakes or when have to change something unsightly.

This is our weakness.
In the eyes of the Internationals Indonesia is well known as the Southeast Asia version of the German’s Nazi. During WW II, the Germans were living in poor because they were defeated during WWI, in order not to angry the citizens, the smart Hitler purposely blame the Jews who were rich and controlled German’s economy at the time. Due to this the Jews were slay and not treated as their own countrymen. Although they had resided in German for a long time and treated it as their country, even though they still held their culture head up high, just like the Chinese in Indonesia.

Strangely, in Indonesia the Natives hate the Chinese but not the Dutch or Japanese. Come to think about it, the Chinese did not commit anything wrong. Me as a native just realised that.

The Dutch tortured Indonesians and leeched our natural resources for 350 years and after that left us with the most dangerous disease which is imbued onto our flesh and blood, corruption, which until today still stir about economy crisis after 53 years of independence. Not only it’s not cured but it sunk even deeper and spread all over the body and mental of Indonesians.

The Japanese, only conquered us for 3.5 years, but tortured us in a more beastly ways as compared with other nations. Due to their defeat from wars, the Japanese, whether they want it or not have to conquer the world economically because they cannot lift up their weapon anymore.
Ironically, we as the Natives hate the Chinese instead of the Dutch or Japanese. It’s funny. All other countries (Korea, China, Burma, Vietnam and Africa) hate their invaders and not fellow citizens who had lived under the same sun for so long which is Chinese for Indonesia. What faults do the Chinese committed, nothing at all. Why are they more aggressive and greedy when it comes to business? Why? Because during the period they live in Indonesia they are treated as outsiders and felt like adopted citizens. Imagine if you are a Chinese, it is only natural that you want to protect yourself, who would want to have a tomorrow where you don’t have anything to eat? Or dead? Precisely because of this they have become smarter, greedier and learn to take chances when the smallest opportunity came by, in the end they succeed in conquering the economy of Indonesia. But they also work hard, MORE ….. MUCH MUCH HARDER THAN US NATIVES. Not only in Indonesia alone.
It seems like the Chinese will work hard and succeed wherever they are.

They (the Chinese) will not surrender to fate, and always WANT TO DOUBLE THEIR LIVING STANDARD, we Natives, usually are contended with our success and laze because we felt we are already on cloud nine.

For Chinese, this doesn’t apply, no matter how high it is, there is always something higher.

We are the fool here, listening to whatever the bastard government said and mark the Chinese as the black sheep. Because they themselves are rotten but afraid being caught red handed. So they are using the Chinese as the shield and act as the black sheep.

How are we going to live in a developed country, you tell me? If we don’t unite.

A developed nation has to be able to live peacefully with each other and does not care about the skin’s colours, religions and nationalities. Everything has to be acknowledged as a nation.

Take the States for example, willing to look for people from whatever countries. However, they are united and they are well aware that everyone has their ugly sides.

Not to be broadcasted but discussed and altered. The best, is to be applied together to further develop the country.

Not bashful or showing off, if you are showing off all the time you won’t be able to advance. You have to be more open and willing to accept your mistakes/faults and want to change for the betterment.

Life Is A Role Playing Game !!
PS: There are a few issues which need to be straightened, not all Chinese across the globe are successful people, there are still a lot of them who are living below the poverty line. For example you can see them who are living in places like Tangerang, Banten. There exists Chinese who have been living there for generations (till a point their skin tone is different from those who migrated in the twentieth century), who are still struggling to feed themselves.
I hope this correction will remove the stereotype in Indonesia, that not all Chinese are wealthy people who are successful.
(By : Unknown)

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