Indonesia is one of the biggest population in the world that most of them hold the principle of communality. The principle of communality makes Indonesians accustomed to care on each other, which is good but sometimes it’s just too much till it’s crossed the line. As simple as asking: “how old are you?”, “when will you get married?”, or “when will you have babies?” and so on, seem normal for Indonesians. What’s bugging me is, how they deny that questions as a mere sign of concern? Every time they just wanna do the courtesy they ask such questions to start the conversation, which for me is pretty disturbing.
Being communal is nice, but it doesn’t mean that you have to share your privacy in your community as well as letting the community giving their concern on your privacy.
With the spirit of communality within the Indonesians, they tend to enjoy communal activity such as “silaturahmi”. Silaturahmi is derived from Arabic of shilah and arrahim which means maintaining the kinship. It’s nice that your neighbors care about you, keen to visit you, and help you too based on the purpose of silaturahmi. But sadly some people are just over-reacting when it comes to not being invited to some silaturahmi events such as: wedding party. Some who are not being invited think that they are not being respected, moreover if they believe that they are quite close to the inviter (while the inviter thinks otherwise).
Indonesians expect a big wedding party, some of the tribes may hold a wedding feast for several nights with an abundance of meals. It’s pretty uncommon for Indonesians throwing a small/private wedding party, if so, some of them may concern on how people who aren’t being invited may react to their decision for not inviting. But the era has changed, the feast nowadays will cost more than ten or twenty years ago. Choosing who’s getting the invitation and who’s not getting the invitation is a hell of a job for the inviter since it’s going to be awkward for sure if the people they know in the daily basis (like the co-workers) have to be eliminated from the invitation list for the sake of efficiency (and somehow for the sake of self ease too, it’s totally tiresome to greet thousand guests in a wedding day, less guests will make us enjoy the party more).
I’m an Indonesian, I know the principle of communality is good to be applied in our modern-ignorant society but one thing for certain, always respect the boundary. Concerning people’s life is good but it depends on what the matter is: age, status, life decision aren’t meant to be a topic to start a conversation moreover if you talk with a mere acquaintance. I personally believe silaturahmi is good, but don’t judge a decision to invite or not to invite as something that impair the silaturahmi which resulting in consider the inviter unfavorably. Silaturahmi can be formed in many ways, helping people around, even giving a smile is including in silaturahmi. It’s not limited to a party or gathering, it’s for everything as long as the purpose is to maintain the kinship.