When Indonesian Gets Appreciation

When Indonesian Gets Appreciation

Everybody needs appreciation and acknowledgment for what one has done or is doing. But Indonesians is not known for their straightforwardness. Most Indonesians, especially Javanese, are sort of reticent people. So, when a javanese girl, for example, is praised for her good looking, they’re not used to say “Thank you” like westerners do. Instead, they’d prefer to say “Ah, jangan begitu. Saya biasa saja kok.” (Don’t say that. I’m just an ordinary girl).

If you’re a westerner who just come to Indonesia, dont get surprised with that kind of response. That’s another way to say “thank you.”

But I see some changing attitude among Indonesians middle class. They tend to respond more straightforward towards any appreciation given to them. To me that’s good. Frankness and straightforward are more likeable and more ‘universal’. In globalized world, we need more ‘unified’ body language to avoid unnecesary misunderstanding.

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