Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Indonesian national sport is not a badminton;)

Indonesian national sport is not a badminton, as you may hear from media, but in my opinion and maybe in the opinion of many other traveller, is an activity named hunting Bule. Who is this Bule?

I found 2 interesting links about this topic. On wikipedia, there is an explanation of the word term and on second link, there is more opinion from foreigner themselves {from Bule:D] and it is put to the contextual situation.

There is a fine explanation of bule word meaning on wikipedia. "Bule is usually used for foreigners with white "albino" skin, so there can be Bule Arab, Bule Afrika, but commonly used is just the word bule. Nowadays also the word Mister is used, consider to be more polite by foreigner. Conversation start like this:
Look! A bule." Read more here:

Don't Call Me bule!  There is also a forum about how foreigner people feel about this word.

In my opinion or feeling to point somebody Bule every day, and yes it happends every day, just make division between them and us, it points out on this difference. Secondly, many foreigner and I am one of them do not feel comfortable with this "nickname", of course it depends on who says that and in which situation, and of course how often per day you may hear it.. That`s why I wrote in the introduction about new national sport named hunting Bule. This sport depends a lot on the location, as in Indonesia there is many differencies and on some islands, in some provinces there are more skillful hunters than in other location :D Especially Minangkabau culture where I used to live 3 months with its centre in Padang, this hunting game is strongly developed ;) Surely it depends with strong Minangkabau culture connected with Islamic tradition from Middle-East, coming to West Sumatra by sea through Palembang. This culture is extremely closed to any influence from outside and stubbornly conservative in its tradition coming from islam tradition, which enter to West Sumatra province from the port in Palembang. Minangkabau people in history sell the products of their land to other nations by the sea, that`s how the islam from Middle-East found its way to root itself among Minangkabau people who absorb islam into their already settled minangkabau tradition. That`s way there are 2 strong social organization, first is islam from middle-east and secondly it is the minangkabau tradition. So Minangkabau seems to be like a greenhouse which itself can manage how much of sunlight it will allow to enter to this greenhouse, how much of air it will allow... That`s just an example of how i feel about this culture openness to foreigners. Sometimes foreigners can feel to be some kind of entertainment for local with that their screaming: Look! A bule, following by looking what is Bule person is doing, what is Bule want, if Bule goes to right or left.... Sometimes even happend that children or even teenage girls hunting bule to take photo with them or to practise few english words they know and i can say ok, it is understable, even it is not so pleasant if happend every, every day. But there is another situation which i can hardly understand, why its are adult people who hunt bule to speak to them and to hunt bule to take photo with them or screaming to Bule? Then I would ask, even adult people can not control their curiosity, that`s what it is happening? The best funny example are police men, which seems to not really care about safety sitution but their most work is to scream at Bule: Hello Bule, how are you? Where are you going?? :D

And of course, majority of tourists would get rid of this situation and unwanted social interactions with local people. Who would feel comfortable with somebody screaming on him/her just because of different colour of the skin? Different country of origin? Is this humanity, to be a man to man, to be a human to human beings? This all depends on individual skills to adapt oneself to different culture, to take it easy, to take it as a joke, as a fun, be happy that somebody makes this effort to scream all over, to watch you so intensively for so long... to accept it how is it, accept is as a part of culture, do not take anything personally, do not offense oneself. So then there are foreigner "bule" which leave after few day or few weeks, happy to be back home in their culture they know, then they are foreigner which taste the culture, i like it or not, which sauce is the best and then they are people who stays several years. You can call them winner somehow - people who have already live in Indonesia several years, because they have already get over this very difficult process of getting visa, find a propriate job for them in Indonesia, usually their private business or working for foreigner company and so many of culture obstacles.... But in Indonesia, i think one can never been a "culture winner". Because as a foreigner with different color of skin etc., you can not be never fully accepted and integrated into the indonesian society .Because even the foreigner live on one place already many years {as I know from one foreigner story], let`s say 7 years for example, his neighbours and vendors nearby of his house still after this 7 years of living with them scream at him Bule.....!!!!! ******

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