By Annie Su
Have you ever been to a country and think to yourself like it’s a whole new world? The way that locals eat, live and behave is just so different to those of your own. When traveling to whole new country where everything is different, most of us experience culture shock. We find many things strange and are curious to find out more and learn. During our trip to Jogja, we experienced many exciting things and events. Even before my trip, I was warned and given advises. I don’t think I’ll be able to pinpoint just one to two, so here are a few culture shocks that I’ve experienced and maybe you have too.
First of all was Jam Karet, in English meaning rubber time. Indonesians are very flexible and relaxed in time. Events could end up being cancelled or people being late and you wouldn’t even be notified until the time has come. We had to work our way around this, as timing and planning could all be different and changed along the day. Everything that we know back at home may be entirely different here, so we had to work with our new environment and learn.
The next was alcohol in Indonesia. Drug laws are very strict in Indonesia and there are severe penalties to those who do not obey. Alcohol was not easily accessed, as most people did not consume any alcohol, where as on the other hand, smoking is almost considered a norm in Indonesia. The smoking culture is similar the the drinking culture back in Sydney. A beer or two a day for us is no big deal and same goes for them for smoking cigarettes. Most restaurants only offered a small range of beer selections if one wanted to consume alcohol.
Dress-code in Indonesia is quite reserved and modest, especially to women. Women avoid wearing short skirts, shorts, anything too tight and anything that shoes too much chest or shoulders. Since coming from a very heavy Muslim background, women are mostly covered with hijabs. To be respectful of that, we dressed accordingly and appropriately.
There are much more other events that we came across that was a culture shock to us. From the undrinkable water to the local and citizen prices. But these are just a few that most of us have experienced. It was an amazing experience, as we learnt how the locals are and immersed ourselves in their culture and society.
Expat Arrivals 2017, Culture Shock in Indonesia, viewed 16 February 2017, <http://www.expatarrivals.com/indonesia/culture-shock-in-indonesia>
Lonely Planet 2017, Female Dress Code in Indonesia?, viewed 16 February 2017, <https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-south-east-asia-islands-peninsula/indonesia/female-dress-code-in-indonesia>
Countries and their Culture 2017, Culture of Indonesia, viewed 16 February 2017, <http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Indonesia.html>