Sayang may very well be the most flexible and useful words in the Indonesian Language. It can be used to refer to someone that you love â€“ a lover, perhaps, or a motherâ€™s small child. You can use it to express your love for someone. Sayang can also mean pity, or regret. The feeling after a very regrettable event. It can be conjugated to be a noun, a verb, adjective, an expression, even its own sentence.
In this case, it helps us express the negative effects of an otherwise very pleasurable situation. Kesayangan, gado-gado enak sekali, aku dapat makan setiap hari, tetapi pedas banget. Tapi tak bisa berhenti, aku makan terus sampai menbuat perut aku sakit! Kesayangan, gado-gado is so delicious, I can eat it every day, but itâ€™s really spicy. But I canâ€™t stop, I keep eating it until I make my tummy hurt!
A few weeks ago, an elementary boy wound up killing a classmate because they were playing â€œWWF Smackdown.â€ Now, the professional wrestling program from the United States has been pulled off the air in Indonesia. Not that I have an opinion, but I have always considered this kind of â€œentertainmentâ€ one of the worst manifestations of American culture. The first time I arrived in South East Asia, in Asia, I was quite surprised to see WWF professional wrestling on the television in the homes of families, in the city and in the village, the angry voices of the inflated wrestlers comically dubbed over in Bahasa Malaysia/ Indonesia. Perhaps it plays to some universal lowest common denominator â€“ I am not comforted by the thought that the act of violence seems to translate so easily across culturesâ€¦
This banner, saying “the citizens of Bogor love peace,” was hung in Bogor, the site of President Bush’s visit last month. It was also the sight of massive demonstrations and a massive police and military presence, and has served as fuel for a debate about international relations that has been going on since.
While the relationship between Indonesia and the United States may not be point of hot debate around American tables and on radio talk shows, but that is certainly not the case here in Indonesia. The pole in todayâ€™s Kompas newspaper (largest in Indonesia, on its website, www.kompas.com) asks whether the reader thinks President Bushâ€™s recent visit to Indonesia is more beneficial or more detrimental to Indonesia. Another headline in the paper says that people should not expect Americaâ€™s foreign policy to change until the presidential elections in 2008, even though the Democrats won power of Congress. The article says that Congress is scared to challenge policies, even though they know the policies are wrong. This is an important statement here, because parts of Americaâ€™s foreign policy, such as what many see as American exceptionalism, that it is not bound by international law but holds others to it, as well as the unfair treatment of Muslims around the world, are pointed to as some of the root causes of anti-Americanism and even global terrorism.
Also, just to assure you all that life continues as normal here in Indonesia â€“ with all the ambiguities and insecurities you could ask for â€“ hereâ€™s part of the latest friendly message from your good American Embassy
How to Prepare for "Sheltering-In-Place"
Health professionals are concerned that the continued spread of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) virus among animals in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe has the potential to significantly threaten human health.Â If a virus such as H5N1 mutates and spreads easily from one person to another, avian influenza may break out globally.Â While there are no reports of sustained human-to-human transmission of avian influenza, the U.S. government and international health agencies are preparing for a possible pandemic.
Depending on the severity of a pandemic, commercial airlines might
drastically curtail or even cease operations.Â Travel restrictions could also impede people from returning to the United States or fleeing to other countries.Â For these reasons, it may make more sense to
"shelter-in-place" (i.e., stay home and practice "social distancing" to
avoid contagion) for an appropriate period of time.