Ask Again About Shame Culture of Indonesia

In this globalization era which has removed the walls of a country’s boundary, many changes happen in all of countries in the world, include the west nation or east nation. In west tradition, the terms of morality, virtue, and ethical value systems from individual, give separate meaning and there is no shame culture in the West Nation’s life dictionary.

This is different from the understanding of Eastern Nations such as Japan, China, Korea and  Association of Southeast  Nations (ASEAN), including Indonesia, which for centuries out that shame culture is a fundamental cultural in there. Shame culture is born of good morals and interaction, noble ethics and a polite word, that will eventually form a harmonious community.

A month ago, we have been surprised that the news could be a lesson for all nations in the world about the meaning of shame culture. Toyota has recently pulled back, more than 4 million cars of their products because of their technical error. No half-hearted, they should swallow a cost amount of unpredictable until billion dollars. Maybe, that is form of shame cultural and discipline manifestation of their nation. The soul of a warrior and uphold the honor.

There is another story in South Korea which still fresh in our mind. One year ago, Prime Minister and South Korean Cabinet Members submit resignation to President Lee Myung-Bak. This event was done as response of following popular protests against the government’s plan to import beef from the United States. Ministers who resigned were the foreign minister, agriculture minister, and trade ministers. They backed off, because they felt failed in negotiations with the U.S. and it has caused a political crisis.

Actually, there are many exemplary stories of shame culture has been practiced by Asian countries. But the interesting question is, what about the shame culture in Indonesia alone? It is not too difficult to answer that question, when we see reality and problems occurred in our country today.

It’s hard to say that shame culture this country is still there or not. But definitely, field indications have direct that culture is increasing to setback in this country. What’s the problem? We have see together through at existing media, it seems almost all parties in sectors of Indonesia has lost its identity as owner of shame culture.

Amid across of rampant cases of corruption, collusion, and nepotism today, we already have a lot of effort to do education and systems improvement by government and community, to make all perpetrators feel shame and learned their lesson. It has countless, how many perpetrators have been investigated and prosecuted in the court, and then end with punishment. Does it make them ashamed and repentance with punishment imposed on him?

Not a bit suspect, dependant, convict, who still can smile while court process as there is nothing wrong. We can stroke our chest because they are not shame or at least uncomfortable. Although they acknowledged that they are wrong, they look no implied guilt on his face.

Efforts to shame the convict not end up in court alone. The mass media also help to expose the perpetrators of crime. However, now the media is not limited mention initials only, even it reveals the original identity of the perpetrator. But they still not learn his lesson and shame on all social justice efforts. Far from retired, they still pretend not guilty.

It is not wrong if Mochtar Lubis say in his book “Manusia Indonesia” that this nation has a hypocritical soul, shy and reluctant to be responsible for his actions. Possibly, it is the root causes of the question: what happening with shame culture of Indonesia? If we want cut this problem, and then we have to cut it down the roots.

No wonder for us all to ask again about shame culture of Indonesia as reflection, is there “shame culture” in our nation’s heart? Apart from quantity, we should be grateful because this country still has a few people who have culture of shame in their life. These people were scattered both in the field of politics, business, and social sector.

A confession of a former politician of PDI-P, Agus Condro for the case of election’s bribery of Senior Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia, Miranda Gultom, seems being a bright spot evidence of Indonesian that still has a culture of shame. There is other stories again, a confession of the politician of PKS, Zulhamli Alhamdi, that caught in a massage parlor. After that event, he immediately decided to resign from nomination of legislative members, also seems can be a story about shame culture model for this nation. These are two of the few examples of the stories of Indonesian politicians who still have a culture of shame and warrior spirit for admit his guilt.

Let us break the chains of shameless Indonesian who still scattered in this country. Now is the time for a culture of shame that must always be kept and maintained, either by individuals, groups, especially by the nation. We realize calamity and disaster which struck this country may be caused by the loss of shame culture.

Officials feel ashamed if abuse of his power related by his profession. Position is trust that must be carried by him. He acting not because of his prowess but trust her constituents. A businessman was ashamed too when he late to give salary to employees. Business success is thanks to the hard work of employees. He means nothing without the help of employees.

Finally, let us not be ashamed of our own nation, such as exactly what was submitted Taufiq Ismail in his poem entitled ” I’m so ashamed to be Indonesian”: In between the audience, I seek refuge behind dark glasses, and I buried my beret on my head, I’m so ashamed to be Indonesian.

3 thoughts on “Ask Again About Shame Culture of Indonesia

  1. Kebanyakan yang sering terlihat pada orang-orang adalah antara terlalu malu atau gak punya malu sama sekali.. Terlalu malu misalnya disuruh tampil ke depan malu, mau mengutarakan pendapat malu, dan lain sebagainya.. Dan gak punya malu, ya seperti yang kamu contohkan dalam tulisanmu… Jarang ada orang dengan taraf malu yang proporsional.. Rasa malu yang dicontohkan oleh Rosululloh sholallohu’alaihi wasallam dan para shahabatnya..

  2. Sebelum yang kabinet itu, ada juga (mantan) presiden di korea yang bahkan bunuh diri (lompat dari jurang) setelah mengundurkan diri karena malu terlibat kasus. Padahal menurut orang2, kasus korupsi itu tidak melibatkan Roh Moo hyun secara langsung, tapi kelakuan keluarganya..

    bukan masalah bunuh dirinya, tapi rasa malunya.. Di Indonesia, pejabat seperti tanpa cela, mengakui kesalahan kepada publik (atau setidaknya resign) belum menjadi budaya..

  3. Nice post, but I don’t think that shame is gone, it’s perhaps only acknowledged by those who struggle and live a more traditional kind of life. It seems to be that shame is used more to keep “lower” people (young, less educated or less affluent, etc.) down so that the ones on top can continue to exploit them. In other words, the ones most affected by the shame mentality are the ones who have it forced onto them by their superiors; work bosses or higher level community leaders…I’ve noticed this also in the concept of arrogance…I see lots of Javanese people with BIG fancy houses that all but scream at the street “look at me!!!” but their pembantu are the first to talk about humility and shame…for themselves! Arrogance, too, Yes, shame is not a cultural identifier, it’s a method of control 😦

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