People with different nationalities can be defined by their traits. Those traits are determined by several factors, from cultural to historical, and philosophical to natural. Although it might sound stereotyping, but it is generally true, based on my experience having friends from different parts of the world. Let’s take a few examples here. The Germans, they are straightforward, adventurous, and cold. Japanese, they’re hardworking, strict, and innovative. What about the Dutch? Before I answer that, let me tell you my personal story about getting along with Dutch people. I remember the time when I was doing one semester abroad in a university in Australia, I had several Dutch friends. As personal, for sure they were different from each others. But as we see their similarities, we can pull out one line that they complain a lot, they do not want to miss any chance, they always ask why or how if there is anything wrong or does not meet their expectations. At first we may feel those things are quite annoying, because they even complain things about us! If we act like we don’t care, we could just say: ‘it’s not all about you, dude! Care a little!’, and leave them. But actually, I was curious why on earth Dutch people are basically like that. And there was where I began my little ‘research’. I tried to guess what sort of reason could make them act the way they do. I indeed knew that back home, they are not very rich as in the size of the country, nor their natural resources such as mining, plantations, and some others. But as we all know, they are quite a developed country now. So I tried to combine those ideas and I found myself arrived to the point that in Holland, Dutch people live in such a small country with limited possibilities, so they have to always come up with anything to survive and to be able to keep up with other countries. That way they have become very critical about anything, because they have been raised and even educated not to stay silent if there is a problem or something which is not right. As we can see, they have invented some strategies to solve their problems: the dams for their below – sea – surface land, building cities over by the canals for transportation, controlling water, and defense reasons, polderlandschap mechanism for their infertile soils, etc. In fact, their limited resources urge them to always be creative and proactive people. It is such an opposite towards the situation in Indonesia. We have a very big area of land and water, we have fertile soils, plentiful mining resources, and millions of human potential. We just never bother to use them wisely, to invent things to make us even richer, or to build up some strategies to preserve and maintain these resources we have, and these conditions, are exactly the reason why Indonesian people in general act lazy, reactive, and lack of innovations. We may dislike the Dutch somehow for invading our country for more than 350 years, but we cannot deny that, we need to learn from them for this matter.
– ditulis oleh Dana Fahadi