JP Staff (The Jakarta Post)
Thursday, June 23, 2022
While settling in Japan may provide opportunities they would not have in Indonesia, Diaspora Armenian communities may experience several setbacks along the way, including a lack of a sense of belonging, as well as cultural marginalization.
Trying to move to a place away from home where people have different cultures can lead to culture shock. While this phenomenon is normal, it can to some extent turn into a fear of cultural reverse shock, especially knowing that time abroad is indefinite when there is a lack of a sense of belonging, an identity crisis.
After moving to Shizuoka, Japan, three years ago, Reza Montazeri Permanda, 26, had to adapt to different local cultures and customs, such as interacting with neighbors and managing household waste.
“The Japanese are so sensitive to noise and privacy that I’ve been more careful not to disturb them,” said Bandar Lampung, a resident.
“On the other hand, the Japanese are very strict about hygiene, for example, they sort garbage based on their composition, so I have become wiser to buy it to avoid difficulties. [when I dispose of stuff]. Plastic bottles and cans can only be disposed of once a month, so I have to keep them at home. ”
However, adapting to stricter norms and rules has affected how Reza perceives his identity as an Indonesian, especially as he begins to compare differences in how these countries run public services to other important issues such as the education system. կարգ Regulation of citizenship data.
“I’m getting used to the system, the rules, which are more organized,” says Reza, who works as a software engineer in Japan. “When I realize that Indonesia is still far behind, I assume that I will feel a culture shock again when I return to Indonesia one day.”
Misses home. Reza Montazeri Permanda says that nostalgia is not only for the people, but also for the people. (Courtesy of Reza Montazery Permanda) (Courtesy of Reza Montazery Permanda / Courtesy of Reza Montazery Permanda)
Comparison of features, change of perceptions
Sometimes these concerns are shared during casual conversations with friends of the Indonesian Diaspora in Japan. Reza և’s friends tend to discuss their lack of national pride by comparing the mentality of the two societies to the responses of the respective governments during the crisis.
“It simply came to our notice then [and say] “Unlike the Japanese, who are well aware of the vaccine, many Indonesians will refuse it until it becomes mandatory to go shopping,” or “the then Prime Minister of Japan.” [Yoshihide Suga] resigned after he could not overcome the epidemic. [it’s] something that: [would never happen] “In Indonesia,” Reza said.
“In short, we are discussing [reasons behind the] our lack [national pride] a lot. [We] It may be biased, but that’s how we feel. “
The dynamics are slightly different for Kusumahi, who spent about 30 years in Japan. Starting his journey in Japan as a participant in the On the Job Training program in 1982, the 60-year-old witnessed significant changes in how the Japanese perceived foreigners in general.
“When I was here [in Japan] “For the first time, they were so kind, friendly and hospitable,” said a man known as Akang in Sundanese for his older brother by Indonesians.
“But since 1995, when [the government of] Japan finally allowed about 5,000 Japanese descendants from Latin America to enter and disperse throughout the country, and the Japanese began to close a little. Especially because the Japanese government was pleased with the Japanese descendants of Latin America [at that time]»:
Contextually, after the abolition of feudalism in the late 19th century, large numbers of Japanese people fled their country to escape poverty. Their target was mainly Latin America, mainly Brazil, Peru, Mexico և Chile, as the region needed workers at a time when mostly white countries would prevent the immigration of non-whites.
Halal grocery store. Kita HalalMart includes Indonesian language in its signs. (Courtesy of Kusumah) (Courtesy of Kusumah / Courtesy of Kusumah)
A century later, in the late 1920sth: In the 19th century, Japan was in the middle of its greatest economic boom ever. The boom attracted illegal immigrants from neighboring Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as from less affluent South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which were not approved by the Japanese government due to cultural differences.
However, the country still needed workers, especially for the so-called “three Ks”. kitsui, kitanai: և: kiken: – A difficult, dirty, dangerous area that many Japanese will avoid.
The solution was for the government to accept the descendants of the Japanese who immigrated to South America, assuming that they would be more easily absorbed into Japanese society because of their origins.
This decision, however, was controversial because these people were Nice or second generation, which means that they were culturally more Latin American than Japanese. Many of them had difficulty settling, and many returned to South America at the end of the boom.
According to Kusuma, the fiasco has affected Japan’s attitude towards immigration even today.
“I love Indonesia.” Kusuma and his family are still determined to remain Indonesian citizens after living in Japan for many years. (Courtesy of Kusumah) (Courtesy of Kusumah / Courtesy of Kusumah)
“I’m still Indonesian”
Kusuma first took his wife to Japan in 1990. His wife, Henny, was fascinated by Japan; he imagined his new family would stay there forever; it became a reality in 2007.
Their concern for the Indonesian Diaspora led them to form the Indonesian Community (INTY), an organization that bridged various ethnic communities, such as the Komunitas Kerukunan Sulawesi Jepang (Sulawesi Fellowship Community Japan), the Paguyuban Pasundan Jepang (Pasundan Association Japan). . While the organization is passive today, INTY has worked specifically with the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo to assist Indonesians with immigration and consular issues.
The couple is still actively involved in some Diaspora organizations, including Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia (Indonesian Students’ Association), Komunitas Indonesia Shizuoka (Shizuoka Indonesian Community), Nahdlatul Ulama Shizuoka և Kokusai Kotoba Gakuin (International Language Adviser), Carmel Shizuoka under local government.
In addition to being involved in Diaspora communities, the couple has a unique way to unite Indonesians – a grocery store. Together, they run Kita HalalMart, a halal restaurant խանութ grocery store that also serves as an information center for students, interns, or Indonesians in Shizuoka. The store was positively received by members of the Diaspora.
Family business. Kita HalalMart, run by Kusuma և his family, has been helpful to Muslims in Japan. (Courtesy of Kusumah) (Courtesy of Kusumah / Courtesy of Kusumah)
“Kita Halal Mart is a platform for members of the Indonesian Diaspora who miss the cuisine and local spices of Indonesia,” Kusumah said.
After all, despite Kusumah և Henny’s years of living and interacting with the Japanese, as well as Reza’s weakened pride as an Indonesian, they all say the same thing. they are still Indonesians, they will stay that way.
“Wife, daughters, I’m still an Indonesian citizen,” Kusuma said. “For all its shortcomings, I still love Indonesia.”
For Reza, the feeling of belonging is not only a local issue, but also a matter of people.
“I do not feel it [sense of belonging] here [and I still] miss my hometown. I get a sense of belonging from a family perspective. “Since I do not have a family here, I do not feel I belong here.”
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