Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It adds up

You don't by any chance know the Idup family, do you? Well, we don't either. We just read about them in It is mentioned there that Idup, Selih and their 4 children are so poor they can only eat once every other day. After the fuel price hike they cannot even afford to boil water to drink [1]. (for those who don't know, water in the most part of Indonesia is not potable).

So? whatelse is new, you might ask.

Let us tell you some more: There are 597 families in Ciamis that can only afford to eat once a day [2]. Same case in Maros. 5342 people eat only once a day [3].
These men, women and children go to bed hungry literally everyday.

Ok. So?

After reading that article, we had to go to our colleague's wedding. Nice wedding reception, 500 or so guests, held at a nice building somewhere in south Jakarta.

What's a wedding got to do with the Idup family?

If you are in the mood for some irony, go to the back where the caterer clears all the plates. Food. Lots of food. Thrown away just like that. Plates and plates of food half finished. Plates of food slightly touched. Go to the bin. Food that otherwise will be enough to help Idup family to get by for a few days.

Why are we so wasteful? Can't we just take a reasonable amount at the buffet, the amount that we know we can finish? If we are not sure wether the food is good or not, why not just take a little bit? If we like it, we can take some more. If we don't, well, then maybe someone else can enjoy it. After all, wedding is not a food-tasting event. We are not Michelin or Zagat. We are not there to rate the food and give some stars.

Some of us would say: "Well, the food is paid for by the family who had the wedding. Might as well have them. Or else the caterer will take it back and make even more profit."
Yes. Might as well HAVE them. Not WASTE them.
The caterer will profit from it? So what? Still better than wasting food. When we waste food, nobody wins.

"Well, it's just a little bit of food left over.."
Yes of course. That's understandable. But unfortunately it adds up. If you don't believe us, go to the back and see how our 'just a little bit' adds up into a big mountain of wasted food.

The fact that we condone such wasteful act is just so absurd, isn't it? We cannot afford wasting food. Not with thousands of people going to bed hungry everyday.

Maybe this is the right time for some reflection. Now that we are approaching a new year and all.
Maybe we need to revisit our custom of doing things. Maybe we don't need to take so much food in one go. Maybe we should remind our colleagues, our friends, our family, not to waste food. Maybe we need to think of better ways of serving food at weddings.
Yes, life is unfair and there is a big gap between rich and poor and most of the time it is beyond our control. Yes. We agree. But we can still do our part. No matter how small it is.
And if we all do our part, it will all add up.

Just something to consider.
We owe it to Idup family to at least think about it.

[1] Kompas - Makan Dua Hari Sekali
[2] Pikiran Rakyat - 597 Keluarga di Ciamis Hanya Makan Sekali Sehari
[3] BKKBN - BKKBN Maros: 5.342 Warga Hanya Makan Sehari Sekali


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post ties in with what I was discussing on my blog recently. If you have any ideas or would like to collaborate on any way to start 'giving back' please let me know.

Great blog by the way - it's refreshing to see some new perspectives through your writing (which is very well written by the way).

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, javajive.
Glad you enjoy our blog.

We have read your blog. We will contact you through email to talk about it further.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

Hi, good to know that you've started this blog recently. Welcome to the blogsphere, and I want to say that I enjoy reading your critical but philosophical and solution-focused writings. I have found you through links of links of Indonesian Bloggers. I'm proud to read more of these kinds of critical thinking. I'm a tough critic of my own country, Indonesia, too. I've been living abroad for the last 11 yrs.

Would like to know what are you going to do about all the social issues in Indonesia? I'm glad that you're about to work together with Javajive to start 'giving back.' I'd like to support you as much as I can from afar. I'm researching more on the topics of Fair Trade International and Indonesia in particular. If you have any information about it, please let me know some links. Thank you in advance.

Good job on your blog, and I hope you continue on to do big things in Indonesia. We need a group of citizen like you to make some changes for the future generation. Best of luck...Keep in touch.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

Thank you Maya. That is very kind.

What we are going to do about the social issues in Indonesia?
The same as what you and other Indonesians will do: start small.
If we all do it together in our respective communities, then it will add up, right?

We have read your blog about you and your new business.

We wish you all the best.
Some of us here take a huge interest on what you are doing, and we may contact you by email if we have anything that may be useful for you.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Admin said... good to hear from you. Thanks for the support already..I'd need it big time :-) We'll help each other for sure, at least I'd like to.

Thanks also for your wishes. Please do not hesitate to email me whenever you feel like it. I will do the same here at your blog...You're right about doing small things that will add up at the end. That's all we can do as individuals anyways..the world is too big for us to handle and there are tons of issues everywhere around the world. We don't live in a perfect world but it is our responsibility to do the best we can to make it a better place for sure :-)

Keep up the good work and see you again soon...

6:32 PM  

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