Some of Indonesia’s most outspoken conservatives have long complained about cultural appropriation, particularly in regards to the adoption of certain Western celebrations such as Halloween. But there’s perhaps no Western import so fiercely protested than Valentine’s Day, which many in the Muslim-majority country say leads to behavior that contravenes the mores of Islam.
Yet there has been some fight back against the conservatism, like we saw last October when Indonesian netizens popularized a hashtag that hilariously and sarcastically contained memes of what constituted Indonesia’s culture in response to opposition towards Halloween. And now, one day before Valentine’s Day, another hashtag has emerged.
Today, the hashtag #ValentineBukanBudayaKita (Valentine’s is not our culture) has topped the trending topics of Indonesia’s Twittersphere. As in the Halloween-inspired hashtag before it, Indonesia’s netizens have been posting ironic tweets about what, if not Valentine’s Day, Indonesian culture really is, resulting in some amusing and sometimes brutally honest posts like these:
Budaya kita tu suka melanggar aturan & ketika di tilang marah marah banting motor #valentinebukanbudayakita
— Rei Ramadhan (@ReiRamadhan2) February 13, 2019
Our culture is we like to break the law but when we’re ticketed we get angry and smash our motorcycles.
Pengen barang branded tapi terlalu missqueen. Beli kw deh. Hehe #valentinebukanbudayakita
— Novi Carolina Manurung (@NoviCarolina) February 13, 2019
We want branded designer goods but we’re too missqueen (a slang word for miskin, meaning poor). So we buy knockoffs. Hehe.
#valentinebukanbudayakita budaya kita mah belum disebut makan kalo gak makan nasi
— sinta sz (@SintaSz) February 13, 2019
Our culture is we haven’t eaten unless we ate rice.
As per the occasion, some tweets touched on the topic of love and relationship.
Budaya kita adalah chatt tiap hari, tiba tiba dia udah jadian aja sama temen kita
— Nur Laeli Afdilah (@aafdil_) February 13, 2019
Our culture is we chat with him every single day, but all of a sudden he’s going out with our friend.
While some have chocolate on their mind:
#valentinebukanbudayakita meanwhile i'm here thinking what chocolate promo should i buy for my colleagues
— ehe ehe dan 15 weton lainnya (@an_alyticum) February 13, 2019
Well, at least people don’t seem as worked up about Valentine’s Day this year as they did last year, when we were able to compile a decently long list of places where the international celebration of love was actually banned.