The Art of Knowing Oneself

~ It was then ~ ©Thesunsetgirl.Com
How much do you know yourself? If you are like me, having more than one ancestries and living in a diverse country, that might not be an easy question to tackle. Moreover, having seen how much the young generation in my country is so into everything West, chances are a lot of them not even care about Indonesia. I have to admit that at some points in the past, I was there too. I did not want to stay that way though. As I shared on this post about Home Sweet Home, one needs to know where s/he is from in order to know where s/he is going. So I started the journey of getting to know myself.

One simple step led to a lot of adventures!

First, in the real life. I have been joining an NGO with learning and preserving Indonesian cultures as the main purpose of the organization for over a year. So far, I have shared two stories of my journeys with the groups; about my other vice and a cultural “shock”. Most of the members are expats and they give a whole new meaning to learning about myself and my own country.

I never thought that I would be addicted to it!

What followed were some eye-openers experiences that changed the way I see things when I visit places in my own country by myself. It is like having a new point of view which I love so much!!! The never ending tales of the people I met and how they live their lives in ways that are so different with mine really taught me to be grateful and never underestimate anything that life brings me.

I hope I can keep on writing what I learn here.

Second, what I encountered on-line. I love exploring new pages on the net. So one day, I bumped into a group of people with the same interest as mine. It is an on-line group where Dutch-Indonesian people sharing stories of their lives on Facebook. Imagine reading blogs from people who came from far away lands and went to the places I’ve been around here?

It is the best way to walk down the memory lane to me.

I later found two more Facebook pages where not only people with Dutch ancestry but also Indo people in general share their life stories. The way people on these two pages connect with one another open another door for me. A door with a familiar sense of my own childhood. Don’t ask how many times I had to embrace myself after reading the stories shared there.

I found myself dwelling in the memories of one generation to another.

Having said all that, how much do I know myself then? Not that much, apparently, because there are still so many things to learn about my country and my past. I’m grateful for the chances to do so. Thus, I can pass what I managed to learn to the next generations. That life sometimes just happens and we don’t have to understand everything. What we need to do is to accept ourselves, life and everything in it.

Each of us only got one shot anyway.



  1. Vallya says

    Everything happen for a reason, right sist? ^____^ No, no need to understand all. U r right… just accept n be grateful…

    • A.C. says

      I agree! Not many people have the chance to learn like these. Then again, most people watch too much TV daily. Thanks for this. I enjoy it. :-)

    • says

      Yes! It would be nice to have cultural programs on TV that won’t bore us to death or make us sleep! Thanks for being here!

    • says

      I have joined some explorer tours and have posted only two because of so many things I had to do lately. I will try my best to share them asap. :-)

    • Vallya says

      I’ll be waiting for more stories from the IHS tours u already join sist…. ^____^ HUGS!!!

  2. Jenny2an says

    nice article Lus. You’ve covered alot there. I don’t know exactly what to write or how to begin to write. Well, about how people in Indonesia want to be westernized, it’s not uncommon, right?? I think it’s that way because of the media. People tend to copy what they see on TV. I even see that on my own kid.
    About learning other cultures by travelling around Indonesia, that must be very interesting huh Lus. Indonesia is a land full with lots of different cultures. So have fun learning them.

    And at the end, that’s good that we don’t know everything life would bring us, otherwise there’s nothing more excited to discover, right??

    • says

      I understand. That’s why we need a breakthrough in the media here. Somebody with a lot of money should invest in educational media. Alas, we have entertainment mumbo-jumbo instead. I really like your point, Jane. That it’s also good to discover some surprises in life. Thanks so much for being here! Hugs!!!

  3. says

    It’s not easy to learn about our past. Some people just want to forget it and when they realized how important it is, everything is too late. No, nobody can completely explain what happened back then but everything has a lesson to learn in it so keep learning!

    • says

      Some people just want to forget it and when they realized how important it is, everything is too late.

      True that! I know some people with a forgotten past and I feel sorry for them. Some are the results of the wars and so on and so forth. *sigh*
      Indeed. We have to keep on learning!

  4. says

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana. Great post Lusy. Live and learn! I will keep coming back to see what you’ve learned.

    • says

      Hi, Tom! Thanks for sharing that quote. It’s one of the thing I always remind myself about learning from the past. Sorry for the late reply. I joined WordCamp Indonesia last weekend. I’m sending you an e-mail asap. Again, thank you!

  5. Lulu says

    It doesn’t seem easy
    Some people tend to hide their negative sides for the sake of being appreciated more,but I guess this is not something wise to do.
    It’s good to know that you have joined such an organization of NGO.
    We, the Indonesians, need to learn more about our own country.

    • says

      Ummm… this blog is about learning about our country and the family histories – my heritage, in this case – shared on those two Facebook pages linked here. So I honestly don’t get the point about sharing ‘negative sides’. If you ask me, I think it’s okay to share anything we want – be it positive or negative experiences of life. The main principle to me is not whether we should share but “HOW” we are doing it. As for sharing to be appreciated. Well, that’s not why I’m here either. I’m here to learn by sharing. Whether or not what I share is appreciated by others, it depends.

  6. says

    wow…it’s really touching the way you share your experience and stories.

    your first paragraph reminds me when I was coming to UK and all of my friends and some members of my family expected me to marry with a Western guy. However I am not so keen though. For me it’s not about marry with western or eastern guy but personality.

    There is one good thing (at least) to come from a family that has different background such as country, ethnic, religion and so on, that is we can learn lot of things from many aspects of life.

    I remember a quote from St. Augustine: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

    So blessed you! hugs

    • says

      I agree with ‘personality’ as well as different aspects of life to learn in a family with parents from different cultures. Thanks for sharing them here, Inge. As for the quote, I agree to an extent because to me, it depends on why we travel. :-) Hugs back!

Any thoughts?