Perspective from an expat – missing home for 15 years

People tend to complain a lot, especially when it comes to where they live. I have people telling me “oh you’re so lucky to be living in Singapore”. But look at it this way, i was raised overseas with my brothers by my parents since young. Other then each other, all our other family members are in Indonesia. We get a lot of discrimination from Singaporeans since we are not “local”, although Singapore is advertise as an multi cultural country. After many experience, only white people and the rich get attention and other foreigners get discriminated, Singapore complains about the Filipino, coming to singapore to be maids although not all Filipino are maids.The Chinese are considered rude and loud, although Singaporean Chinese have ancestors from China. Indians are complained to be smelly, yet there are many Singaporean Indians who has Indian ancestries. And us, the Indonesian, are complained to always come to singapore for medical purposes and shopping, but hey, all of us foreigners provide your income, with the sacrifice of leaving our family behind.


Only my uncle’s family is here, and we barely meet. We barely go back to jakarta since we are always so occupied with school. 1 month holidays are not enough time,  since out of 12 months in a year, we spend 1 back home. Most of the time, less then 2 weeks. Being raised in a foreign land since a young age, we can barely speak the language of our home land, we are not able to understand the culture, we are not able to sing the national anthem. Most of my peers would understand me since I went to an international school, and there are some who, like me, are raised in Singapore without the support of extended family. Living in a different city then your parents i know, isn’t easy. But having spent so much time with extended family and family since young in your comfort zone, not needing to adjust is a luxury I do not get to feel. I will be starting my higher education in Switzerland July 2013, and i’ll be staying there for 4 years. My term breaks are 2 weeks each, there really isnt a point for me to come back so often since the air ticket fee is expensive. So i’ll be only returning in 2017 July. I would be overseas for almost 20 years. That means i can never experience my my youth in Indonesia.


There are some family who say im lucky to be overseas, but never think on behalf of what i feel. Do i miss my family? What do i miss from Indonesia? I didn’t move to Singapore from my own choice, but people say i’m lucky. My maid says that she misses home although she’s been in singapore for only 5 years, and with that working with an indonesian family, but why doesnt anyone here think about what we will feel? My brothers and I were raised practically in a Singaporean community since indonesians our age are also raised in Singapore, therefor we act like singaporean. We can barely speak Indonesian and understand our country. We have never experience things other kids get to.


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