Many Indonesians only have one name. Deal with it.

I have grown tired of many articles on Indonesia written by foreign journalist which often uses the cliche statement, “xxx, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name“. Two recent examples are WSJ quoting Vice President Boediono and AP on a story about Evie/Turdi, Obama’s transgender nanny. Yes, like many Indonesians they only have one name.

Why are these foreign journalists so amused by Indonesia’s one-name-ness?

On another note, a friend of mine, who only have a single name, had difficulties going for Umrah. Apparently for the visa application, the applicant must have three names. So he had to used his name, his father’s name, and his grandfather’s name (all of them only have one name!) in order to qualify for the visa.

Perhaps this is a measure of soft power. I reckon that at times people outside of East Asia (i.e. China, Korea, Japan) find it difficult to distinguish family names and first names, which are written in the order of family name first followed by their first name. But now it’s not much of a problem anymore.

I am waiting for the day when I won’t find any article written on Indonesia and pointing out the fascination with our single name. Either that or we need to tell Indonesian parents to prepare at least three names for their children.

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On the salary issue: is it about SBY’s or journalists’?

A donation box for the “Coins for the President” movement was put up in the hallway of the DPR building in Jakarta to mock SBY who recently remarked that his salary had not increased for the past seven years.

If I could have my own coin donation box for each time I’ve been appalled by the behaviors of our dear members of representatives – such as this – I’d be rich by now.

Apart from the silliness of the coin movement (as if they got nothing else better to do – like drafting laws, for example), I’d like to take another view on the whole salary issue.

A donation box for theĀ “Coins for the President” movement was put up in the hallway of the DPR building in Jakarta to mock SBY who recently remarked that his salary had not increased for the past seven years.

If I could have my own coin donation box for each time I’ve been appalled by the behaviors of our dear members of representatives – such as this – I’d be rich by now.

Apart from the silliness of the coin movement (as if they got nothing else better to do – like drafting laws, for example), I’d like to take another view on the whole salary issue.

Continue reading “On the salary issue: is it about SBY’s or journalists’?”