Tag Archives: Indonesian

Cinta (Tidak Harus) Mati – a book by Henry Manampiring

Honestly, I never thought that I would find this book, because I couldn’t find it in my usual bookstore. However, I found it unexpectedly when I was looking for another book. When I read the first chapter, I instantly loved it 😀

The first thing I noticed about the book is how colorful it is! With the shades or red, green, orange, and purple, this book managed to mask its seriousness with fun colors. The first two chapters are the results of the two surveys that @newsplatter did previously on Twitter: Survei Jomblo Nasional and Survei Gebet Nasional. @newsplatter, also known as Om Piring, also gave analysis and comments on the results, which makes the book very fun to read. At first.

When you read the remaining chapters, they are all opinions (or, in his words: “reflections”) about love, life, and self-discoveries, and most of them are already published on his blog. What’s interesting about those chapters, is that it doesn’t only contain his opinions, but also interesting facts and previous research about the issue! For me, it’s like reading a social science journal, only funner 😀

Unfortunately, there are some things that I regret about the book. First, about the “quotes” that started each chapter. For quotes, it’s not memorable enough. They are only bits that started a sentence, and not the best part about the chapter.

And lastly, about the length of each chapter. I like Om Piring’s writing style, and how he can convey his opinions, and add some facts with it. However, some of his chapters are not long enough! In some chapters I feel like he can explore more about the issue, but then he just stopped unexpectedly. I mean, come on 😦

In conclusion, do I think this book is worth buying? Definitely. This book can make you laugh, and make you think about your surroundings. If you want a book that can entertain and educate you at the same time, this is the book for you.

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5cm. (2012)


Let’s just say that everybody’s been waiting for 12th of December 2012 (12-12-12) to come. Some say it’s the apocalypse (Mayans said it’s gonna be on the 21st, but oh well), and some just say it will only occur once in our lifetime, and we’re not gonna get another triple digits until another century-BUT ANYWAY.

I’ve been waiting for this day as well: the movie version of “5cm.”! I was really anxious to find out about how this movie goes. Will it be better than the book? Or will it be just another attempt to make a movie “inspired” by the book, and failed horribly?

First, about the cast. I must say that most of the cast was really spot on. However, I though Riani was supposed to be more of a sweet girl than a hot-girl-that-nobody-can-ever-lay-their-hands-on. Raline Shah was way too hot to be Riani, at least for me. The rest of the cast was good enough, but sometimes their expressions are just….eh. Sure, they made it look believable like they’ve been friends for 10 years, but in some scenes they didn’t act very natural.

Maybe it was the dialogue that made their acting fell short? I’m not really sure. But I really do think that their conversation were way too cliche. Too bad, actually, because I thought the way-too-dramatic-words were replaced to made it more natural on the screens, but apparently, they didn’t. Some people said the dialogue are pretty cool and inspiring, I say it was pretty boring. Not really something I love to watch in a cinema, as much as reading it in words. After all, they say the movie was “inspired by the book” and not “based on the book”.

Let’s just say, for me, it’s neither very good or very bad. I still think the book is better than the movie, since the depth of the story develops better through the book. I can’t really say it failed either, because I still love how Rizal Mantovani shoots the majestic Mahameru. I also really appreciate the fact that each cast didn’t use any doubles and really climbed the highest mountain in Java with their own feet, so bravo!

Still, I expected more out of this movie than just good casts and scenes. I want a great story as well, and I didn’t get it.

Rating? Six out of ten, just because I read the book already.

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English-Speaking Indonesians

For almost 5 months of being “exchanged” here in USM, almost every exchange student say this: “Your English is very good. Do you speak English everyday in Indonesia?”

Usually I would answer with an awkward laugh and say, “Hahahaha… Thank you, but I don’t speak English in everyday life back home.”

The next thought that come to my mind is this: was that a compliment or was that a code for saying “oh, finally, I can speak to an Indonesian.” As a cynical person, I don’t take compliments very well, so I usually go with the latter idea.

Here is the bitter truth that, regrettably, must be revealed: if you travel to Indonesia, and don’t know any local friends, you’ll probably get lost. Almost each part of Indonesia have their own local language, that sometimes, even Indonesians can’t speak to fellow Indonesians cause they can’t speak the local language. English won’t do so good either, even if you’re in a big city. This is quite disappointing, at least for me, because there are so many beautiful views in Indonesia, that can only be reached if you have a local friend there.

So what’s the problem here?

Well, I don’t want to blame the government or the teachers. Me being able to speak and write English is because of my English teachers (and my love for games and books, but that’s another story).

In my own opinion and experience, the problem with most Indonesians is that they don’t have enough courage to practice foreign languages! When we learn a new language, the first thing we do is pick up a pen, write the new vocabularies, and start memorizing for the test next week. Of course, written languages are important, but what’s the point of learning a language if you don’t get to use it to SPEAK to other people from different countries?

Learning a language is not just about being able to write in other language, but also the ability to LISTEN and RESPOND to what they’re saying. If you don’t use it, then what’s the point of learning a new language anyway? It’s not about the grammar mistakes that you make, but it’s about conveying your opinion so that other people understands what you mean. As long as they understand, they won’t care about how many grammar mistakes you made.

The good thing about being an Indonesian is that I don’t have a certain accent that makes it harder for me to learn a new language. Have a listen to Indian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, or Thais when they talk, and they all have different accents. Which is cool and unique, but sometimes can be very hard when it comes to learning a certain language.

So, fellow Indonesians, still afraid to speak in foreign languages?

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