Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bule and Syariah Law

Few friends told me that one Acehnese guy wrote something about Bule in Aceh.[1] I am a bit curious as they said it was an awful writing. I googled it and found the article. The article mainly talked about how important bule is in representing Aceh into a wider world. Disastrous wave on the Boxing Day that washed out some part of regions and took hundred thousands lives could attract the wider world to help people out. Tsunami was unexpectedly a success in forcing the military to loosen up their control and a signal of unofficial ending of Martial Law. Aceh was then open for anyone who liked to help.

Generalisation is the crucial aspect which made analysis flawed. He put the relationship of Acehnese and Westerner in a dichotomic fashion, depicting Acehnese as innocence and bule as corrupted and full of self-interest. The arrival of Bule in Aceh is related to their attempts of satisfying their self-interests as if genuine and benevolent attitude can never be found in their works.

Most bule in Aceh perhaps work for INGO, few of them are backpackers, and the rest are for business matter. Even though, some INGO appeared to be a bit dodgy in their works, but its unfair to generalise all foreigners in Aceh representing the people and their life in very subjugating way.

[1]. This term is commonly used by Indonesians in refer to foreigners with white skin. This word originally carries meaning of pale and fair colour which can be found in foreigners. However, it is not strictly used for Anglo-Saxon background but also for hispanic background.