When I was a child in a city called Malang, East Java, I have a very colourful neighbours including chinese and arabs origin. we live in a normal condition you can expect from any environment where humanity, not politics, prevails.
if my chinese neighbours invite us for lunch or dinner, they cook specifically for us, i.e. no pork and anything to do with unlawful food according to Islam. as a traditional and devout muslim, who strictly observe religious duties and obligations, i and my family never eat pork and any unlawful foods nor do we drink any alcoholic drinks. but the differences among us – my family and the chinese family- end there. we share a lot more in common: we talk the same language i.e. javanese; we were neighbours; we help each other in building and maintaining the neighborhood; we like the same east-javanese culture like Ludruk or ketoprak (it’s a musical comedy cum drama presented in javanese language), etc.
so, when there’s riot against the chinese origins in Jakarta and then in Medan, north sumatra, i was very shocked for more than one reason. what the hell was happening? why the so-called pribumi (literally means indigenous people) attacked the innocent chinese, robbed their properties and even, according to some reports raped the chinese girls/women? what motivations behind that atrocities? was there any motivations other than a pure crimes done by normal criminals or it was orchestrated by any organisations? i again remembered the sweet memories in my childhood between me, my family and my chinese neighbourhood.
at that time, i was already in India so i couldnt figure out the exact answers first hand. but my stay in india during that black-day in the history of Indonesia also gave me blessing in disguise. it gave me an opportunity to know people from all over indonesia who study in India like me. i meet all people who come from aceh and irian jaya. and from them i heard a different story concerning chinese-Indonesian.
From Medan guys, i heard that chinese-indonesian in medan are very exclusive community. they dont want to talk in indonesia among themselves. they speak chinese only. so, my friend says,”if you come to medan, you will find it hard to differentiate between medan and hongkong!” he further says that chinese in medan never mingle with pribumi (indeginous). the parents even prohibits their children to mingle with pribumi kids,not to say dating with them. it’s a bit different with the way the Arabs or the Indian origin who live more flexible life with all pribumi people.
but above all that, i think it’s the jealousy of economic prosperity who prompt the pribumis or the criminal pribumis to do such attrocities against the chinese in Jakarta and Medan few years back.
chinese-indonesian constitutes only around 5 per cent of indonesian population. yet they dominate almost 60 percent of the country economy. on this regard, the blame for most part should be pointed to the pribumi themselves who are very lethargic and coolie-mentality kind of behavior. it’s a common practice everywhere in the world that a lazy person or a lazy community tends to be easily jealous towards those who are more successful than them; at the same time the former will never make any self-criticism to uplift their spirit and to chase after their backwardness. it’s what happen with the majority of the pribumis people in indonesia.
when the jealousy reaches its peak, even the smallest mistake done by the ones who make them jealous will trigger the social riot and will be made as an opportunity to do their brutal basic instict in the name of “revenge” (of what?)
now, let bygone be bygone. time to move forward. for the pribumis, it’s time for you to make self-criticism, wake up from your deep slumber; be a hard-working people in order to be respected.
on the part of chinese-Indonesian, your hard-working culture is your biggest contribution to the nation of Indonesia, keep it up. your exclusiveness who become the “justification” of the criminals should be reviewed. we are all indonesian. no pribumis nor non-pribumis again in the future.