Indonesian Stereotypes

Some people use to say that Indonesians smile all the time, even at sleep. We can judge by this picture.

Obama's freaky Indonesian lookalike
Obama’s freaky Indonesian lookalike

Here’s a list of Indonesian stereotypes

  1. fearful
  2. neurotic
  3. extroverted
  4. conscientious
  5. warm and friendly people
  6. lazy
  7. live for today – who cares about tomorrow;
  8. no planners;
  9. religious;
  10. family-oriented;
  11. supportive;
  12. invented the rubber-time/rarely on time;
  13. corrupt;
  14. superstitious;
  15. slow;
  16. inferior;
  17. polite;
  18. lacking discipline;
  19. use feeling not logic;
  20. do not follow rules;
  21. hypocritical;
  22. resistant to change;
  23. tolerant;
  24. low profile;
  25. unwilling to confront or give ‘bad news’;
  26. silent in meetings;
  27. can’t swim

Some good reasons to live in Indonesia…

  1. The people in Indonesia are some of the friendliest, most pleasant people you’ll ever encounter.
  2. Jakarta has the best Hard Rock Cafe in the world.
  3. If you gain the trust of Indonesian people, they may be willing to open doors for you that you never imagined could exist.
  4. Indonesia has more pretty girls per square meter than anywhere else, with smiles that will melt your heart (if you’re more interested in guys, you’ll have to judge for yourself).
  5. The language is fairly easy to learn, and there are about 200 million capable teachers eager to help you.
  6. Nobody minds if you want to smoke in public.
  7. Religious or racial intolerance are concepts that are not understood here. Most people (86%) are Moslem, the remaining 14% are Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist and Hindu. Whichever of these religions you practice, you’ll find that you’re accepted and respected by everyone else. People will often refer to you by the colour of your skin (the black guy, that pink girl, etc.), which seems odd at first but usually carries no derogatory intentions. The acceptance and respect afforded to anyone of different religion or race is something the rest of the world needs to learn from Indonesia.
  8. You can forget how a washing machine or an iron works. Your household staff does all that stuff for you.
  9. You’ll never need to put on an extra sweater, unless your visiting the mountains.
  10. You can buy 30 packs of cigarettes for the same price as 1 pack in England, and 22 litres of gasoline for the price of 1 litre (but you need a truck-load of money to pay for anything).
Some good reasons to live in Indonesia...
Some good reasons to live in Indonesia…

Some reasons why you might not like living in Indonesia…

  1. If you’re loud and aggressive, you’ll suddenly find you’re invisible (which is fine by me).
  2. Jakartans in particular don’t seem to notice rubbish in the streets, and there’s lots of it.
  3. If you’re western, everyone assumes you’re very rich, and tries to charge you accordingly. Always go shopping with an Indonesian friend to get the right prices!
  4. The police may try to find any excuse to get you to give them money.
  5. The traffic in Jakarta is terrible and the air is very polluted in the dry season.


Activists carry an Indonesian flag in Jakarta (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)
Activists carry an Indonesian flag in Jakarta (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

do you agree?

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