unrequited love

Things change so fast, literaly. The last time I posted this, I am super proud with Ahok and Jokowi and now, while writing this, it has been more than a week since Ahok was sentenced for two years of jails as he was found guilty of blasphemy, a law that I never really understand anyway.

I was very sad when I knew that, because to me, Ahok is more than just a person. As a triple minority in Indonesia (chinese, a christian, and a woman), he is my symbol of hope. A hope that after all, people like me can fight for something and make things better. That being a minority doesn’t mean we have to be afraid to show our love to this country.

But to saw Ahok sentenced for two years of jail, it broke my heart. I know and we all know that he a good person. That all he ever wanted is to build this wrecked city to be better each day, and to take care of his people. All he ever wanted was to show his never-ending love for this city, and trying to give all he has for this country.

And yet, people still hate him. People still managed to point out his flaws and have this much hatred for him. People are brave enough to go on streets and screams bad words about him, death threads, and even insult his ethnicity.

Why?

My most favorite subject in school is History. I love them, because I like to read stories. I like to know that behind everything, there is always a story about it. But when I learned about what happened in 1965, and what happened at 1998, I felt super sad.

Its just, heartbreaking.

To read all this stories about people whose case were never justified by the law at all, the pain they will always have to bear for the rest of their live, the pain of someone they love so deeply died tragically, just because of their ethnicity. They died, never knowing what did they do wrong.

It scares me how much hatred can someone have in their heart towards someone else, just because they have different beliefs and culture. I wondered how many people still get panic attacks and nightmares about this event, long after this. The horrible horrible day.

No one deserve it.

And now, Ahok doesn’t deserve this either.

After everything that happens last week, I felt broken. Because no matter how hard I try, maybe I will never get recognized. Because I am just a minority. Because I am Chinese, instead of Indonesian. Even though I actually never even went to China before. I have been living in Indonesia for all my life.

And yet, for some people, I am still someone that is bad. Someone that should never be allowed to live here. Even though Indonesian is my mother-tounge. Is being an Chinese-Indonesian a curse?

Well, I guess it was never my fault. I never chose to be born this way. And I don’t think we should ever hate on others just because we have different beliefs or culture. Instead of trying to unite the difference, we need to learn how to celebrate it.

We don’t get stronger by being the same. We don’t get better by only sharing and being with those who have the same opinion as ours. But we grow when we unite, when we learn to tolerate others. We grow smarter by learning from others and sharing with others with different thoughts than us.

Sadly, some people still don’t realize that.

After this, there will only be two choices. To be sad because of it, and then be afraid, or to finally stand up and fight for what we think is right. My dream is to help and support more people like Ahok, because maybe the last time, he didn’t get enough of it. We let him fight the battle alone.

But after Ahok, we realize that we need to be together! We need to fight and support the right and clean goverment, and also criticize them when they did something wrong. That is how things work.

Because at the end of everything, this is still our country. Our city. The future is in our hands, and if we don’t stand up for our opinions. Instead of being afraid and shutting ourselves down, we need to finally stand up and contribute to this country.

I believe that after all, Indonesia is better than all of this.

And yes, maybe for now, this love I have for this country is going to be a one sided love.

And for once, it’s okay.

Real and undefined love never need to be requited anyway.

adel.

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5 thoughts on “unrequited love

  1. I guess, political issues in here are more like playing the hunger games. Means having a powerful alliances are necessary. Such a lone wolf, though he’s still a wolf, will cost him lots of efforts more than the others in order to survive. Sad reality 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! I just hope that in the future, after all of this, people will start to realize that these genuine people need more than just a moral support. They need our actions too. This event should never shut us down or make us feel afraid. Because actually, he is not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi,

    This was a very impressive post, let alone for someone so young. I thought I’d take a few minutes to thank you by offering you some more of my thoughts than I usually do

    I have commented elsewhere that I have no political feelings for or against Ahok, although years in jail for a few words seems unacceptably drastic regardless of the circumstances. I also point to the comments of a leading Indonesian analyst who suggested that part of the reason Ahok got the sentence he did was that, in the certainty that he would appeal, the next judges in the appeals court could be the ones facing the anger of the crowds (instead of them) if he was not imprisoned. You know your country better than me, but that seems quite possible in Indonesian logic and processes.

    Anyway, I will paste your text below and respond briefly to parts of it and fix some problems (I hope that helps).

    Things change so fast, literally. The last time I posted this I was super proud of Ahok and Jokowi and now, while writing this, it has been more than a week since Ahok was sentenced for two years in jail as he was found guilty of blasphemy, a law that I never really understand anyway.

    May I suggest you do go to understand blasphemy and the law that supports it in Indonesia? This is important for two reasons, namely 1/ Blasphemy is a political tool that may now be used more often, so you need to understand it to fight it, and b/ You want to avoid it being used against you in the political climate of the future, particularly as you are smart and determined (which makes you dangerous to them).

    I was very sad when I knew that, because to me, Ahok is more than just a person. As a triple minority in Indonesia (chinese, a christian, and a woman), he is my symbol of hope. A hope that after all, people like me can fight for something and make things better. That being a minority doesn’t mean we have to be afraid to show our love to this country.

    Absolutely, although I’m not sure if being a woman makes you a minority:)

    But to saw Ahok sentenced for two years of jail, it broke my heart. I know and we all know that he a good person.

    Who is we? Many people would disagree with that (I’m not taking sides, just asking you to reflect on who “we” is)

    That all he ever wanted is to build this wrecked city to be better each day, and to take care of his people.

    Again, I’m not taking sides, but those he evicted have strong feelings too and not necessarily and completely for “bad” reasons. I encourage you to see that while there may have been a lot of people angry with him, the number angry with him for any one reason may have been much smaller.

    All he ever wanted was to show his never-ending love for this city, and trying to give all he has for this country.

    I don’t know if anyone is perfectly good or bad, but ok.

    And yet, people still hate him. People still managed to point out his flaws and have this much hatred for him. People are brave enough to go on streets and screams bad words about him, death threads, and even insult his ethnicity.
    Why?

    If this topic is interesting to you then I encourage you to study in the social sciences. Studies in politics, economics and public policy will give you some, but not all, answers to this.

    After everything that happens, I felt broken. Because no matter how hard I try, maybe I will never get recognized. Because I am just a minority. Because I am Chinese, instead of Indonesian. Even though I actually never even went to China before. I have been living in Indonesia for all my life.

    I don’t really know how to reply to you here. Your feelings are valid. All I can point to is the historical record in Indonesia and/or other multi-cultural and multi-racial countries, and highlight that these circumstances are dynamic. Five years into the future may seem like a lifetime to you now, but it will be different and will constantly change.

    And yet, for some people, I am still someone that is bad. Someone that should never be allowed to live here. Even though Indonesian is my mother-tounge. Is being an Chinese-Indonesian a curse?

    I suspect there is an element of communal insecurity and jealousy underpinning the feelings directed to you. That’s not your fault.

    Well, I guess it was never my fault. I never chose to be born this way. And I don’t think we should ever hate on others just because we have different beliefs or culture. Instead of trying to unite the difference, we need to learn how to celebrate it.

    That is an interesting point.This is one of the great dilemmas in the study of International Relations, which (if you consider Indonesia a world of differen ethnic and religious groups) is actually true of Indonesia itself. I will send you some reading if you want, but it may be a bit challenging for you at this point in your life.

    We don’t get stronger by being the same. We don’t get better by only sharing and being with those who have the same opinion as ours. But we grow when we unite, when we learn to tolerate others. We grow smarter by learning from others and sharing with others with different thoughts than us.

    Sadly, some people still don’t realize that.

    I agree it is sad, but that is largely because we share the same values. There is a reason why countries that don’t share those values are almost always characterised by lower standards of living and/or quality of life indicators. But again the “we” complicates it. Furthermore the “tolerate” is at the heart of my point in the paragraph above. Why should you tolerate their views? But if you don’t need to tolerate their views, why should they tolerate yours? That is where issues of politics and national identity become awfully messy 😦

    After this, there will only be two choices. To be sad because of it, and then be afraid, or to finally stand up and fight for what we think is right.

    Yes, I think so.

    My dream is to help and support more people like Ahok, because maybe the last time, he didn’t get enough of it. We let him fight the battle alone.
    But after Ahok, we realize that we need to be together! We need to fight and support the right and clean goverment, and also criticize them when they did something wrong. That is how things work.

    What you are really fighting for is democracy, and oh goodness, Indonesia may yet need that support. If it offers you comfort though, Indonesian democracy just keeps pulling through…just, but you can’t always just hope for the best without, as you said, offering it support.

    Because at the end of everything, this is still our country. Our city. The future is in our hands, and if we don’t stand up for our opinions. Instead of being afraid and shutting ourselves down, we need to finally stand up and contribute to this country.

    Very proud of you.

    I believe that after all, Indonesia is better than all of this.

    I do too.

    And yes, maybe for now, this love I have for this country is going to be a one sided love.

    Yes, because although you don’t necessarily see it this way the problem isn’t a fight with you, it is actually a fight within Islam (and political Islam in Indonesia) where the casualty is you/other minorities. These problems won’t last forever.

    And for once, it’s okay.
    Real and undefined love never need to be requited anyway.

    Very interesting perspective. If you are interested there is a lot of writing available about what a nation state really is. One view is that it is an imagined community (an artificial construct that can never love you back any more than an idea can). Another perspective is that as a true democracy Indonesia is still less than 20 years old, and it still has a bit of growing up and settling down to do before it becomes fully functional.

    Anyway, sorry if I was boring to you. I just thought I would share some of my thoughts as I read your marvellous piece of writing.

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey David! Actually, I am very happy to see this kind of responses from people. It actually took sometime for me to brave myself and post this entry because politic, as a lot of people say, is indeed something very private and it can start wars and trigger people. I mean, politics are tricky.
      But I’ve always have thoughts about it, you know, because I somehow have quiet an interest in it. There are a lot that I still need to learn, and maybe years from now I will re-read this post and think that this is a very shitty one.
      But like, right now, as 15 years old who really doesn’t know that much about politics and laws, what I am trying to point out (from my 15 years of perspective, as an outsider), is that, sadly, this is the reality we are having. The real thing happening in my country. This much hate, this much pain.
      Growing up, we learn that if you become a good and genuine person, people will like you. Truth is, life is not as simple as that. Life is way more wicked and complicated.
      In this post, I tried not to mention too much about the laws, because I know I am inadequate to write anything about it. But this is how I feel regarding everything that has been happening in this country. It affects some people, and through this post, I want to let people now that this is how the event affect me.
      About the part that being a woman makes me a minority, I think it does, because as we all know Indonesia is a patriarchy country, just like most of others. In some cases, woman are treated differently, like rape cases, for example.
      Most of the history I learned came from my school books (which, as we all know, are written by the ‘winners’), and stories my parents told me, that was not written in medias and maybe not much parents even talked about. One of my bucket list is to learn more about my country and start to learn how to love and accept it the way it is, right now. And, oh yeah, soon, learn how to change it for the better.
      Thanks, David!

      Like

      1. Thank you.

        I’m under time pressure, so very briefly..

        Hey David! Actually, I am very happy to see this kind of responses from people.

        You’re welcome:)

        It actually took sometime for me to brave myself and post this entry because politic, as a lot of people say, is indeed something very private and it can start wars and trigger people. I mean, politics are tricky. Yes, but you must be in it to win it. A lot of people will discourage you by saying you are too young or you don’t know enough. That’s rubbish, because they know the easiest way to win is if others lose interest.

        But I’ve always have thoughts about it, you know, because I somehow have quiet an interest in it. There are a lot that I still need to learn, and maybe years from now I will re-read this post and think that this is a very shitty one.

        I doubt you will think that. Actually I copied your response to Indonesian friends I studied with, UGM graduates who have also studied at Harvard etc. They were very impressed, saying that at your age they barely knew the name of the President

        But like, right now, as 15 years old who really doesn’t know that much about politics and laws, what I am trying to point out (from my 15 years of perspective, as an outsider), is that, sadly, this is the reality we are having. The real thing happening in my country. This much hate, this much pain.
        Growing up, we learn that if you become a good and genuine person, people will like you. Truth is, life is not as simple as that. Life is way more wicked and complicated.

        In this post, I tried not to mention too much about the laws, because I know I am inadequate to write anything about it.

        Again, that isn’t true. Agreed you don’t have the skills of a legal graduate, but anyone who says you aren’t good enough to offer comment just wants you out of the way. Don’t let them win so easily!

        But this is how I feel regarding everything that has been happening in this country. It affects some people, and through this post, I want to let people now that this is how the event affect me.
        About the part that being a woman makes me a minority, I think it does, because as we all know Indonesia is a patriarchy country, just like most of others. In some cases, woman are treated differently, like rape cases, for example.

        Ok, sorry. I took your minority comment in a strictly numerical sense, but you are probably right in speaking of unequal social/legal rights.

        Most of the history I learned came from my school books (which, as we all know, are written by the ‘winners’), and stories my parents told me, that was not written in medias and maybe not much parents even talked about. One of my bucket list is to learn more about my country and start to learn how to love and accept it the way it is, right now. And, oh yeah, soon, learn how to change it for the better.

        If you give me some more precise ideas of what you are interested in I can recommend some reading (although it will be complex).

        In the meantime, one of the great advantages of the internet is that you can draw on a world of different perspectives without leaving home. For example, the link at http://www.newmandala.org/ahok-not-jokowi/ may give you some hope that all is not lost for Jokowi.

        Thanks, David! Talk soon.

        Liked by 1 person

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