When I’ve started to visit Jakarta I decided that my post from this day will have no pictures plus one sentence like „There is nothing in Jakarta”.
Generally speaking, at the end of the day it’s still true. I wouldn’t write anything about Jakarta if didn’t meet the first Polish woman who I met during my trip…
Anka was born in a small polish seaside village. For some time she lives in Barcelona, where she moved with her ex-boyfriend. If she could choose that time she would choose Australia. Life, however, has chosen Spain for her. Anka is a free, strong, independent, well educated, atractive, good looking European woman, in the best possible age – 30plus (I like this age because it is also mine…). She has quite hudge experience in relationships with men. She says that she would never be in polish guy anymore. Why?basiclly, because of the fact that Polish guys are afraid to showing their love, afraid to give love and they don’t give hugs so much. She says that in the relationship she becomes a „mirror” of her partner. She reflects partner’s emotions – positive ones reflects a double, those negative even triple. She knows exactly what is expected from a guy. For now she is in relationship with the Spanish guy. She has met him in internet throught special aplication. The works in marketing, with a specialization in social media. She has a scientific type of mind which she uses in her daily work. In her private life-as she declares- she is chaotic. Anka was at her end part of her 3-week trip through Indonesia. She told me a little about the life of local women. The fact that the Indonesian woman has two faces – the Muslim one (85% of the population are Muslims) and the feminist one. In the internet you can read a lot about the participation of Indonesian women in politics, the separation of the secular field from the political one, about the fact that women in Indonesia focuses a lot on their’s careers, families are multigenerational and that the grandparents take care often about theirs children. Women dress as they want – they are not obliged to wear a headscarf. Those who wear it, wear too tight jeans, tight tops and high heels shoes. You can also see these ladies, showing only their’s eyes, but these are the minority. Women drive cars here, run their own businesses. The first democratically elected president of the country was a woman 🙂 On the western Sumatra, in some places there is even a matriarchy in the culture 🙂 That’s the positive side of Indonesia, which -as some says- is a woman 🙂
While observing Jakarta I also had this feeling that there is more freedom than in other Muslim countries where I was in the past. However, this freedom seems to not to be so full… I have studied the subject of local women more and I came across a very critical voice (of the Polish women living more than twenty years in Arab countries), not only regarding the situation of local women, but in ageneral about the whole Indonesia. For those interested I give the link to the article below (BTW, after reading the whole article I’ve started to feel fear about my plans for travelling in Indonesia…). I put here only a fragment of this article:
„In Indonesia I do not have to wear the abaya (cloak tightly covering the body-ed.), I can wear a ‚normal’ cloths. I dress how I want, I can go to a restaurant and not to the separeted, family part. I can ride a taxi without a male guardian. But I observe that Islam has a growing influence on the Indonesian daily life. There are regions where they are starting to apply Sharia. Some signs can also be seen in Jakarta. One of the most popular kinds of transport are motor-taxis. Recently they’ve found out that women should not sit on the saddle astride because it is not proper, not well seen in the coulture. Woman can ride a motor only sitting as the amazons… Probably in the near future thoose people will say that women can not even use a taxi because taxis are driven by a man who is a stranger, and a Muslim Woman should not be in the company of a stranger.”…
And so, after reading this I am grateful to fate for the fact that I live in a culture in which I have my own rights. Rights that are obvious to me. Rights that are natural for me. Rights and freedoms. Freedom of choice, freedom to be strong, independent, conscious and atractive, good looking woman (which probably can sometimes have a dark side, but I do not discuss about it here). I think that Anka (who is not with me at the moment), would agree with me completely. Not everyone has what me and Anka have. Probably not everyone wants to have what we have. But hopefully this people who are in charge do not tell us (at least untill now…) how to drive a motorbike… And let it be as it is now! Amen.
Below promised link (in polish version):