There are currently 5 recognized religious categories in Indonesia. Muslim, Catholic, Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu. I have had people between the ages of 5 and 65 years old ask me, “What is your religion?” or “What is your faith?” For an American that can be seen as an odd question to ask someone you just met 5 minutes before that. The most interesting question structure was, “Hi miss, what is your name and religion?” Like what? Who asks that? Well, here in Indonesia religion is huge, having faith is huge, not believing in a higher power is frowned upon. As you come into a country you must declare a religion, even when you go to the dentist you have to write down your religion, odd right? I am 4 months in now, and have learned that although I am in a primarily Muslim country, as long as I believe in something, its cool. That being said, some people answer that question as, “That is private.” I on the other hand simply answer,, “I am Catholic.”
Well, 100th person that has asked me in the past 2 months, no I am not Middle Eastern, I am not Asian. I am an American. Yes my skin is not white my eyes are not blue my hair is not blonde. But to be honest I only know about 30 people personally that can fit into that category of an American.
The first time I was asked why I was not white I found it funny. I just smiled and said, “yes I’m an American.” Then the response was,
Tomorrow is my LPI. Guru Pak Gun says we are all going to do great. But I think…well we shall see. I should probably be studying, but really I mean come on I have to start learning a second language next week!
Studying for the LPI (Language Proficiency Interview) like…
It’s Sunday, usually I get to sleep in until 9am on Sundays, of course that was my plan. 7:45am knock on my door. Time for breakfast. As I brush my teeth my host mother is attempting to talk to me telling me to get ready for the wedding. Wedding? What are you talking about, well apparently at 9:30am there is a wedding for her niece. Okay awesome, but I still need to shower and I have no clean comfortable clothes. Oh no problem, I shall figure it out.