Blogger Indonesia of the Week (45): Rieke

The Cosmo Mama and the Sexy ChefWorld can sometimes share values on big issues like the need of human rights, freedom, happiness, justice and prosperity. And therefore the abovementioned virtues are called universal values. Having said that, the nitty-gritty implementation could differ because of some differences in time, place, level of education, upbringing, culture, etc. The West and the East, to make it simple, could be used as a parameter that differences are there in looking at many things.

To me as far as the intention is good, no one should despise or degrade others as “backward” while praise ownself values as “advanced.” Instead, the differences should be regarded as blessing and therefore, should be respected as far as it comes up from a free will of a particular community or a person. And that’s the concept of how-to-live-in-harmony-with-your-neighbours is all about.
So, does somebody outthere feel surprised when a woman who holds a degree of architecture from Universitas Indonesia, one of the most prominent university in the country, said loudly that she “proudly announce ‘I’m a mother?'” Do you feel dumbfounded to see an should-be-an-independent-woman-with-good-future-career said that she loves her mom a lot and regretted her teenage past because of too much arguing with her mom and was just aware of the fact on how her mom loves her?

Rieke’s blog, entitled Cosmo Mama, is a nice blog to read not only for her thoughtful content but also is representing a voice of an Indonesian educated and cosmopolit housewive who enjoys being what she is doing: as a mother of two kids and an equal partner of her husband and that’s a major reason for her to be anti-polygamy and support strongly the monogamy life.

On romanticism, she doesn’t believe that the so-called romanticism should be verbally expressed, it might be contrary to what being perceived in the West. Here’s what she has to say about being romantic:

If romanticism is “saying I love you every time” or “calling honey/love/darling to spouse” or “candle light dinner”, no we never did that, but if twenty one years of living together legally without any scratch, bruise, is romanticism, yes we are. Why every time we try to call our spouse with “honey” or “darling”, we always make a joke on it, “honey? hanibal?” or “darling? dadar guling” , we just calling each other by our name itself, so no wonder when our youngest son began to talk, he called his father “Hendro” instead of bapak, but still call me “ibu” not Rieke.

Is being a housewive not a kind of “oppression” of men against women? If so, how can a woman attain happiness?

Happiness is in our heart, nobody could make you happy unless you make yourself happy, how could you feel happy if you just keep saying “I’m not happy”.. and blame it on others. Complaining would not solve your problem, feel grateful for what you already have now . Everyone should envy for you, but look at you now, just blame on someone else or looking for something to justify your unhappiness.

Being a house wife is a duty not a burden, we have to manage our home, and I’m proud if I could make my family happy, no matter how high your career is, still you have to manage your own home.. And I’m happy now because what I did could help others, at least I have something that I can proud of.

Apart from that as peculiar to those of educated and good upribinging personalities, she’s also has a deep concern on her surroundings.

On environmental issues, for example she wrote:

Indonesia is no 3 for the most polluted country in the world, although it’s only a small act, but maybe with bike we can reduce the pollution. Don’t forget about the price of gasoline, it’s getting higher and higher. Not to mention about the gasoline itself which is going less and less..

She also put a banner of a dynamic earthquake news in her blog sidebar and wrote a brief note on the quake. And if you understand Bahasa Indonesia and like Indonesian cuisine you can also visit her complete recipe blog.

For the feminist fanatics, what she’s doing i.e. being a housewive and raising children are too big a price to pay. For her and for many Indonesian women like her the ultimate goal of life i.e. happiness is to do what you enjoy doing and how far it can benefit not only you, as individual, but also your equal partner (husband), family and your surroundings. And certainly all are worth sacrificing, if it at all worth called sacrifice which is not the case as far eastern culture goes.
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