Jakarta is a “busy, heavily dense city that continually makes you worry” as my friend Lydia Lim describes her city. Having grown up in Jakarta and currently live there, her view of her city has change after living in Sydney and having a family. She moved to Sydney to continue her university studies in Interior Design as well as working after graduating. After 6 years in Sydney she followed her husband back to Jakarta to take over his father’s business.
Lydia is the only person I know who has continually spoken her dislike about living in Jakarta, she states “When you have a kid here you’re constantly worrying about everything that you shouldn’t, like going to the doctors, day care, mall, and banks, you don’t know what their agenda is and that’s scary”. While people may see living in Indonesia can be like royalty with your maids, drivers, and nannies, it is easy to settle in, though it can also show a distinct separation between relationships within the family. The importance of earning money and creating a safety net is what drives the people today, “it is difficult to separate work and family when needed, whereas in Sydney you the weekend is the rest days and you know that work will be put aside on those days” as Lydia explains how her husband’s work constantly interferes with rest days. The culture within Indonesia seem to be changing with current generations, the need to focus on work and business outweigh family and personal relationships. Although the need to provide for families play an important role in many of these situations, with opportunities that allow the wife to be a stay at home also in consideration.
Lydia gave insight to the changing notions within Indonesia’s culture, the aspects of distant relationship in family and safety in the city are what drives her dislike of Jakarta, constantly comparing to Sydney. Whilst there are positives in having her family like her parents and mother in law see her child grow up, there is a continual unsettling feeling living in Jakarta. The endless worry of her child growing up in Indonesia and the somewhat limited possibilities that she is open to, like great education, good doctors, government benefits, the list is never-ending. She said “living with peace of mind is what I want, and I don’t have that here in Jakarta like I did in Sydney”. She hopes to return to Sydney soon.
Lydia L. interviewed by Rachel Hansen on 12th February 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Countries and Their Cultures 2009, Indonesia, viewed on 13th February 2017, <http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Indonesia.html>
Expat Arrivals 2017, Moving to Indonesia, viewed on the 14th February 2017, <http://www.expatarrivals.com/indonesia/moving-to-indonesia>
 Rachel Hansen 2015.