Sun, 01 Oct 2000

On demeaning attitude

I refer to Mrs. Ardie's letter which appeared in The Jakarta Post on Sept. 28, 2000 titled Demeaning attitude.

Ibu Ardie, you are not by chance a North American, are you? If you are, this will help to explain your non-understanding of Indonesian humor. The Indonesians together with the British have this very annoying habit of making jokes at their own expense. There is even an expression for it "Taking the mickey", there is another, which is probably too distasteful for your sensitive nature, so I will tone it down a bit "Extracting the urine".

This type of humor, which you appear to find distasteful, is really a reflection of a race's ability to laugh at itself. It signifies their friendly disposition and ability in not taking themselves too seriously -- something that the majority of North Americans, in my opinion anyway, are unable to do. North Americans are the world leaders in intenseness and political correctness -- which you're now trying to foist on all the other nations.

Ibu Ardie, I am sure that you are a very nice and well- intentioned lady and an excellent mother to your four children. Your letter makes you appear very pompous. Methinks that you are taking your role as Chairman of the Board -- International Community Activities Centre (note the English spelling) Jakarta a little too seriously. Relax a little ma'am, undo a few hooks on your corsets or something.


Bogor, West Java