Hi! I am Michael. I was born in a little town called Boxtel that is located in the south of the Netherlands. I grew up, however, with my younger sisters and brother in the City of Oss, which is a little further north. Both cities are in the beautiful Provence of North Brabant. For those that are not too familiar with the Provence, it primarily has a medium agricultuur presence including other industries such as Philips Electronics in Eindhoven, DAF Truck Industries, and a number of large military bases.
At home, we primarily spoke and eat Dutch with a flair of Indonesian culture. I think it was primarily done to integrate as best as possible into the Dutch community. Although, many of our friends, including some family members, spoke the Brabant’s dialect, we kept it to “Algemeen Nederlands” which the standard Dutch language. And, once in a while, we did spoke the dialect mixed with some Malaysian words. But primarily when we were having a great time with friends and family.
If it came down to our Indonesian roots in the Netherlands, especially the food. The gatherings on my mom’s side of the family such as birthday parties were notorious in the neighborhood. From a far distance you could see the bright tarps covering the backyard against possible rain, where the immense size family BBQ laid a blanket of smoke throughout the neighboring streets, and when entering the city limits you would be hit by a wall of aroma of some good Indonesian food. During summertime our family did not shy away to repeat these rituals on Spanish soil where we occupied almost an entire block on a camping ground, which was about one hour south of Barcelona. These were the days, were I as a teen and my cousins had some great family time!
Most of my cousins were older so we were pranking each other usually often hardcore. So, there was a lot of noise happening, but as soon as we hear our mother’s scream for “ETEN!” (which means dinner) it was back to business to what being indo was al about. Grabbing a plate, going to your aunties who each were standing at a food station, and finally to your uncles at the BBQ where all the meat was. Then sit wherever you could find a spot – most often on the floor surrounded by your cousins.
Was I embarrassed at times of my family rituals during parties? Oh yeah, I surely was. But, I am a very proud of our family Indo rituals and love every bit of it!
I moved to San Diego in 2001 where I met and married my beautiful Mexican wife – not knowing that many Indo’s before me had done the same 🙂
In love and light!