Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates

Check out What's New on the Expat Web Site
Information for foreigners moving to Indonesia

Home » Practical Information » Expat Stories

Smart, Single and Wealthy

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Translate this Page

Bookmark and Share
Links to hundreds of articles giving practical information for expats moving to Indonesia
Post your questions or communicate with other expats in Indonesia on the Expat Forum
Looking for a place to stay in Indonesia - check out the Housing Forum
Looking for a weekend or holiday getaway ... visit some of Indonesia's Great Escapes
Advice and resources for conducting business in Indonesia
Info on expatriate community organizations in Indonesia
Shops, Products and Services
Links to other useful Indonesian or expat-related web sites
Expat Humor - spread the joys of Living in Indonesia through e-postcards
Site Map
Return to the Home Page
expatriate information for Indonesia

Dewi is smart, single, independent and wealthy. Her parents are extremely worried about her, so much so that Dewi frequently avoids visiting them. So what has Dewi done to upset her family so much?

She is unmarried, in a culture that still considers marriage the main duty of their children. In Indonesia, Dewi is in trouble; she is getting older in a country were the majority of the population are younger females and most Indonesian men are afraid of her.

Dewi is seen as being too independent by most men she meets and her attitude is extremely Americanized, even by modern Indonesian standards. As her grandparents fret and nag her about finding a man, her parents feel ashamed because she still is single.

Her wealth and success they invested in by sacrificing for a better education seems wasted, as neighbors gossip and relatives discuss Dewi’s marital status at family meetings. Meetings Dewi now shies away from, because of the obvious pressure to find someone to marry.

There are thousands of women like Dewi in modern Indonesia, and no easy answer to the predicament of marriage. Dewi cannot just marry anyone; she is a Christian, so she will need to find a Christian partner. Religion, in Indonesia, often means few people ‘mix’ beyond religious and sometimes ethnic boundaries.

One answer is to find an expatriate, but most expatriates in Indonesia are turned off by women like Dewi. Many expatriates grow to like Indonesian girls who are less westernized and demanding like Dewi. And Indonesian men know they have more choices of finding a partner and can be more demanding of their own partner. I suggested to Dewi, she should move to the “Other World”, but she looked me seriously in my eyes, and said, “Why should I sacrifice a great career here, just to get married?” looking frustrated.

Dewi is living in a state of paradox, trapped between two worlds that do not really have an interest in her privately, but respect her in a businesslike way. So she spends her free time on, looking for an American or British guy who would accept her.

Then I realized one incredible difference, between Indonesian and Western thinking. The importance of marriage which, after all, has becoming a dying ideal in many developed countries. Even if Indonesians outwardly are westernized in many of their tastes, traditions can often override these tastes.

As I drive through the darkening, Jakarta streets after meeting Dewi for a coffee and briefing in an upscale mall at Starbucks, I look at the lights on in the many apartment blocks we pass and wonder how many women like Dewi, are now sitting alone surrounded by wealth, desperately surfing

by Mark W Medley

Copyright © 2008, Mark W Medley, City of Dreams: An extraordinary journey, inside the heart of Indonesia's capital - Jakartabooks about indonesia

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

Practical Information |  Expat Forum |  Site Map  |  Search |  Home Page |  Contact

Return to top

Copyright © 1997-2018, Expat Web Site Association Jakarta, Indonesia All rights reserved. The information on Living in Indonesia, A Site for Expatriates may not be retransmitted or reproduced in any form without permission. This information has been compiled from sources which we, the Expat Web Site Association and volunteers related to this site, believe to be reliable. While reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the facts are accurate and up-to-date, opinions and commentary are fair and reasonable, we accept no responsibility for them. The information contained does not make any recommendation upon which you can rely without further personal consideration and is not an offer or a solicitation to buy any products or services from us. Opinions and statements constitute the judgment of the contributors to this web site at the time the information was written and may change without notice.