#14 Javanese (or not)

In the column of ethnicity, if there is any, I will choose Javanese. Javanese resides mostly in Central Java and East Java of Java island in Indonesia, but some have relocated even as far as Suriname in South America. I was born in Salatiga, a town in Central Java, about 40 km away south of Semarang and north of Surakarta.

Of being Javanese, some of the distinctive characteristics are soft-spoken, smiling in any kinds of situation, polite, and seeking for harmony by all means. As a Javanese, I should have those characteristics, but obviously, my maternal grandmother who was herself from Javanese royal family said that I was no longer Javanese. Sure, I’m no way soft-spoken. Being a lecturer requires me of having a loud voice that can reach the very back seats of the classroom (or so my excuse). My ex-hubby told me that my facial expression is like an open book; you can easily spot if I like something or detest something from my face. Being polite? Yeah, sure. Like I asked my students in Sociolinguistics class to swear, and when I found their lacking of profanity, I eloquently delivered at least 10 swear words in 3 languages, all which I used in regular basis. I also found it difficult to be avoid arguments. I love to argue, just to flex my brain muscles.

But, I have to admit I hate conflicts with those who are dear to my heart. In those cases, I will simply be quiet, no matter how loud my heart antagonises the others’ opinions. I will endure whatever just to please those whom I love, even to the level that I simply burn my identity to ashes. And this is where I am vulnerable: in love.


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