Indonesia vs America – Culture shock!

by : PakdheBudi Kayamara. Posted in : Post

One of my coworkers asked me what are the main differences between Indonesia and America.

That is a very intriguing question, I know there are many differences between the two, but somehow I can’t think of them right away.

Well, since he brought up an interesting question, I think I’d better start writing them so that I can always have a reference in the future!


Indonesians : Do we realize that we’re most likely one of few cultures who openly ‘publicize’ funeral-related event of our community?

We take picture of ourselves visiting graves of our relatives on social media, we take picture of the dead in the casket / bed, we take picture of all the odds and ends before, during and after the time of funeral taken place.

Don’t get me wrong, when my dad passed away, I m glad I have my best friend, my families, my dad’s friends posted all the funeral procession picture, including pic of my beloved dad wrapped in white cloth.  Because those pictures are the only things  I can ‘be’ there with my dad.


Also we know in Bali, and Toraja, the funeral procession is considered a big event, we want to show our last respect as much as possible.

Well, we don’t do that here in America.

Those funeral procession you see in Hollywood movies is only happens Hollywood movies (and in real life, it maybe limited to some celebrities to give public a chance to watch their ‘hero’ for the last time).

There were no cameras, no recording whatsoever in most funeral of regular people here in America.

I attended three funerals, the first time was for my brother in-law, and I was pretty sure I was considered ‘crazy’ then because I had some pictures taken & badly wanting to record the bag-piper but could not do it and also wanting to take picture of the deceased in casket. (which I did not do, because my husband told me not to do it – which then I did not understand why?)

The 3rd funeral, I sort of finally got the cultural differences, so I made sure I did not bring any camera or even thinking of recording any sort of picture of moment.

Like I suspected, nobody taken any pictures.

Not even when the families gathered in the house of the grieving family member.

I guess it’s somehow considered ‘taboo’?

Not sure, but I know it’s surely not what Indonesians do.








Being Odd on Foreign Land

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