Something tickled in my head as I was reading my friend’s Facebook status this morning. Apparently the first lady of my home country is not well and has to undergo a surgery in US. The status spotted that news and soon a discussion drawn on the comment fields which one of that a saying that we should not elect for them again for the next presidential election because the first lady is not being a nationalist. The reason behind the decision to have medication in foreign country instead of in her own home country is questionable and whether it is necessary at all. It appeared to some people that she doesn’t trust her own country’s capability in medication and such, hence she is not a nationalist.
This is not the first time I come across someone suggested the other one for not being a nationalist for one or two action. For example, a friend of mine said that I wasn’t a nationalist because I keep talking in English or updating my status in English. I am sure I will be 200% not a nationalist if he knows that I speak in English with my boys. He never thought that I have been so used to English since I was a little girl. I speak in English mixed with Indonesian language when I talk with my cousins, I have friends who are not Indonesian to whom I communicate with in English, my former job involved lots of interaction with foreigners and right now I am staying in a foreign country where I have to use English to be able to communicate properly. All that have made me more comfortable in speaking and writing in English. But do all that make me not a nationalist? How about those people who are married with foreigners, are they being not a nationalist? When we buy clothes from foreign designer are we not a nationalist? When our TV at home is Japanese production, car is German production and our shampoo is from a company belong to American, are we being not a nationalist? What on earth a nationalist means?!
So I googled the word Nationalist. Here are my findings:
www.dictionary.reference.com explains the meaning of Nationalist:
1. A person devoted to nationalism
2. A member of political group advocating or fighting for national independence, a strong national government, etc.
1. Also nationalistic of, pertaining to, or promoting nationalism, the beginning of a nationalist movement.
2. of, pertaining to, or noting a political group advocating or fighting for national independence, a strong national government, etc
According to World English Dictionary, Nationalism is:
1. a sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population and often produces a policy of national independence or separatism
2. loyalty or devotion to one’s country; patriotism
3. See also chauvinism exaggerated, passionate, or fanatical devotion to a national community
After looking into these references, I think I am not a nationalist after all. I mean I am certainly not in an effort to start a nationalist movement or fighting for national independence or trying to start a separatism in my own country. I am just an ordinary girl.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my country. I think it is the most beautiful country on earth. We have oceans, we have hills, we have mountains, we have sea gardens, we have rains, we have sun, the weather is perfect, not too cold not too hot, we have forests, we have lands, we have it all. But I don’t run around to people and pinpoint them: “hey you are not a nationalist!” just because they are wearing Gucci or marrying an English man or staying overseas (like me).
I think it’s just a matter of perspective. But it is always better to act rather than talk a lot. The fact that I am trying my best in raising my boys, the future generation of my country if not the world, is one way to show that I do care. There should be a lot more that I can do and I sure will do. But hey, one step at a time.
So, are you a nationalist?