As I mentioned in a previous post, Indonesians aren’t too keen on sharing their personal business. It doesn’t mean they won’t but it takes time, they have to get to know you, and they will reveal bits and pieces over a long period of time and not all at once. During my month on Gili Meno, time was on my side and while we hung out in a group a lot, I also spent a lot of one on one time with my friends. The more time we spent together the more they would reveal. Everytime they shared something with me it was like my own personal victory because I knew that they considered me a true friend or as the would say a “sister”.
Everyone in Indonesia is a “sister” or a “brother” no one is called a friend. There is something comforting when someone calls you their sister, it’s like you are part of their family and they would do anything for you. The word for an older brother or sister is “kakak” while the name for a younger brother or sister is “Ari”. In the end everyone was calling me “kakak”. Sometimes they would call me “ina” and start laughing. What is “ina” I kept asking? They said that “ina” means “mom” and sometimes you act like our mom…..hahaha”. This is not the first time I’ve heard this, my brother’s friends in the States have also called me this in the past so I guess there is no avoiding it.