Changes… Part 13

Part 13 

One major thing that needs to be said about Indonesians is that they are proud. No matter how small the salary, no matter how tough their circumstances, they all smile and seem happy. 

 No matter how poor the staff was or could have been they dressed nice and were always very hygienic.  They all have such great pride in being Indonesian and I loved this. They are not as gung-ho as Americans and their pride comes from within regardless of how the governments treat them. Their pride is not worn on the outside with banners, guns and trash-talking.  


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Often, I get asked as to why I love life in Indonesia versus Canada for example. The answer is simple. The people here seem more genuine, they appear to be happy even though many have very little. Yes, nowadays most people’s heads are buried in their phones and devices. But when you see a group of Indonesian men smoking, just chatting and laughing it all makes sense. Another big question asked of me is… 
 
“How is it, living in a Muslim country?” 
 
The simple answer is, I do not know what you mean. Because it seamlessly falls into daily life and goes unnoticed. Once you learn the time of prayers and acknowledge the location of a Musollah, it gets worked into daily life. 
 
“Ok, we will get to it after the prayers…”  Is a common answer.
 
Personally, I never had a problem with any Muslim person whatsoever. If they had a problem with me, I was never aware of it. Many years ago, I had a driver named Bagyo. Bagyo was a very nice family man with a bit of a gambling problem. What are drivers to do when I enter a meeting and stay for 4-5 hours? Some smoke, gamble and pray. Maybe not in that order. Now gambling is illegal and goes against religion as well. But it happens and it happened to Bagyo.  

One time he asked for his salary in advance and told us why. When we confronted him, he promised us he would stop. When we asked him one day about his prayers and such, he said he prayed when he could because he felt that he was given a job by “God or Allah” to provide for his family and that came first.  
That was his perspective and while other Muslims are very strict, they will not even enter a restaurant that has pork on the menu… it is their choice. The one big surprise I had about the Muslim women and the women wearing a hijab or a burka was they are people too.   

That sounds terrible and does not mean I didn’t think of them as people before. What I mean is that I assumed them to be quiet, religious and timid. But I was very wrong. Under the head covers, they were just the same as any other woman.  
This may come as a shock and to some, it was not a shock, it made me understand that the hijab didn’t prevent them from being fun, funny and dare I say “normal” Once more I put my foot in my mouth, but these were things I didn’t know. These were things I was never aware of even though I worked with so many different races and so many people of different religions in Canada. This is why it is so important to keep an open mind and to be accepting of others.

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Published by Zsolt Zsemba

Zsolt Zsemba has worn many different hats. He has been an entrepreneur, businessman for over 30 years. Living abroad has given him many amazing experiences in life and also sparked his imagination for writing. After moving to Canada from Hungary at the age of 10 and working in a family business for a large part of his life. The switch from manufacturing to writing came surprisingly easily for him. His passion for writing began at age 12, mostly writing poetry and short stories. In 1999, the chance came to write scripts. Zsolt took some time off from his family business to write in Jakarta Indonesia for MD Entertainment. Having written dozens of soap operas and made for TV movies, in 2003 Zsolt returned to the family business once more. In 2018, he had the chance to head back to Asia once again. He took on the challenge to be the COO for MD Pictures and get back into the entertainment business. The entertainment business opened up the desire to write once more and the words began to flow onto the pages again. He decided to rewrite a book he began years ago. Organ House was reborn and is a fiction suspense novel while Scars is a young adult drama focused on life’s challenges. After the first two books, his desire to write not only became more challenging but enjoyable as well. After having several books completed he was convinced to publish them for your enjoyment. Zsolt does not tend to stay in one specific genre but tends to lean towards strong female leads and horror. Though he also has a few human interest books, he tends to write about whatever brews in his brain for a while.

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