The First Culture Shock

Season 3 Episode A3

Level of Indonesian and English fluency: Beginner to Intermediate

Indonesian Version

Satu malam, saat awal kuliah di Amerika, saya diundang ke pesta teman yang tinggal di satu gedung asrama. 

Mulai pestanya jam 8.

Saat saya datang, sudah mulai ramai dan semua orang memegang gelas minum plastik berwarna merah. 

Yang saya kaget, tidak ada makanan sama sekali. 

Ada satu mangkok isinya kacang. 

Satu mangkok lagi isinya keripik kentang yang hampir habis. 

Saya lupa kalau pesta di Amerika itu tidak sama dengan di Indonesia. 

Di Indonesia, acara pesta besar dan kecil, acara rapat, bahkan acara kematian, 

makanan pasti akan tersedia.

Dan menunya bisa lengkap. 

Kadang bisa bawa pulang makanan sisa. 

Makanan utama seperti bubur ayam, bakmi ayam, nasi goreng dan lain-lain. 

Saya senang sekali bertemu teman baru di pesta teman asrama saya. 

Walaupun, baru kali ini, saya pulang pesta kelaparan. 

Akhirnya saya bikin (mi) mie instan dan telur jam 1 malam. 

English Version (2:20)

One night, during my early university days in America, I was invited to a friend’s party who also lived in the same dormitory.

The party started at 8 PM.

When I arrived, it was already crowded and many people were holding a red plastic cup.

What surprised me was that there was no food at all.

There was a bowl of peanuts.

Another bowl had  potato chips that were almost finished.

I forgot that in America, parties are not the same as those in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, whether it is a big or small party, a meeting or even a wake, there will always be food available.

And it can consist of a complete menu.

Sometimes, you can even doggy bag the leftovers.

Main dishes such as chicken porridge, chicken noodles, fried rice and many others.

I was very happy meeting new friends at the party of my dorm friend.

Even though that was the first time, I came home hungry from a party.

In the end, I cooked instant noodles and eggs at 1 AM.

These are our stories, what is yours?


Awal: beginning

Kuliah: college / university

Pesta: party

Gedung: building

Asrama: dorm

Tersedia: provided

Makanan sisa: leftover 

Kadang: sometimes

Walaupun: although

Baru kali ini: only this time

Kelaparan: hungry

Akhirnya: in the end

In general, since the majority of the population is moslem, the definition of a celebration or a party is more to having a lot of food instead of booze. Usually people serve (non) alcoholic drinks and some snacks when they have guests coming by their houses or offices. Providing good and abundant meals during important occasions, like weddings, birthdays, and wakes could be a social pressure. People believe that you could lose face if the guests leave the premises hungry or were served bad quality food.

Indonesian doesn’t really have the exact translation of culture shock. We usually just say, we are surprised/shocked/confused/not knowing (kaget/syok/bingung/tidak tahu ) when we face a culture shock situation. The situation of the culture shock can be translated as ‘beda budaya’ (culture differences)

Indonesian language used here is in the daily-conversation format, that has influences from the local culture and custom. Should you have questions on the more formal version, please consult with your guru Bahasa Indonesia.

Level of Indonesian and English fluency: Beginner to Intermediate