My Second Family

by Amalia

Now I know why Eindhoven seems like home to me. Or why I really like living here. Or why it doesn’t seem to matter if I have to stay here for a long time.

Well, it’s all because of the Indonesian Muslim community that exists here. One family that I’m especially close with is the family of mas Umar. I consider them as my second family. And I’m blessed to be surrounded or be around them, because I see them as an ideal Muslim family which I’ve been dreaming to have once I get married 🙂

Today, I had a long chitchat with them about our small community. And I realized that the Indonesian Muslim community that existed here was very different compared to other Indonesian communities that I encountered in other countries. What made it to special? First of all, it’s a small community (around 10-20 active members) which made us close to each other. Second of all, it’s free of gossips which many Indonesians tend to do (including me, sometimes!). Third of all, these people were very down to earth!

Now, I want to stress the third point here.

Most Indonesians are very materialistic. They live in a world where status is the most important thing in this life. They complain about how little money they have, yet when it comes to new expensive gadgets, they are the first ones to get them. When I was in High School, I was surprised to see my friends kept changing their mobile phones to the newest available ones whilst it took me years to change mine. At that time I was jealous. I wished I could be like them. I wished I could just tell my parents that I wanted to buy one. I wished my parents would grant my wish. But when I came to Australia and saw how unmaterialistic the Aussies were, I was grateful that my parents didn’t grant my wish at that time!

Of course, people want to look good. I want to look good. I buy clothes. I am obsessed with accessories, especially necklaces and hijabs. I love shoes. And bags. But I’d never buy them when other more important needs can’t be fulfilled. It’s not a big deal to wait until I get back home to buy new clothes even though, yes, the ones that I have are already “bulukan” due to too much washing. It’s not a problem for me too to buy second hand clothes as they are much more cheaper! And the same thing goes for my gadgets. It’s perfectly okay to wait until 5 years or more (i.e. til they’re broken and unfixable!) to get the new ones. Calling and texting is all I need, anyway.

That’s just me. And I prefer everyone to just shut their mouth and mind their own business. What’s the problem if I don’t have 2 or 3 mobile phones? What’s the problem if I don’t have a blackberry? What’s the problem if I go around with public transports all the time? What seems to be the freakin problem?? People can’t seem to shut up. They think that… just because I live abroad they expect me to have more?? When I have more, all I think is that they’ll be jealous. What’s the point, really? And I’m also sick of those people who keep talking about being “keren”, trendy, and all that… Oh, come on. There are more things that we need to take care of and think about than just looking good!

I don’t want to be hipocrit. I can’t deny the fact that my own family -sadly- falls into the materialistic category. And I won’t deny that I too was materialistic. But after 6 years of living in the Western society, I have gradually changed. And I’ve been trying so hard to change my family too, though it hasn’t been so successful.

Okay, turns out that there a lot of bla bla blas in this post. But going back to the point I want to make previously is that, the Indonesian community here is very down to earth. Very simple, just like the Dutch people. They value their life and faith more than what they have. They don’t talk about those unimportant stuff and things. No matter how rich they are, they still live a simple life.

And that’s what I like about such a simple community. It makes me feel so homey and cozy. And it makes me even love this place more than my own home.

Something to be grateful about 🙂