Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Did They Know That I am Javanese?

It's been some time I don't speak Javanese since I live in Bogor. I communicate in Bahasa with my husband and son at home. Sometimes, I speak using a lot of Betawi/Jakartans expression and accent. It's quite common here because it's still the suburb of Jakarta although on the map it's West Java. Thus, I conclude that I don't have that strong Javanese accent (a.k.a medok) anymore. At least, it's lessen..

...or it's not. There were times where I bought something and I asked the seller in Bahasa, "How much is it, Bang?" and he answered "Limang ewu" which means Rp 5000 in Javanese. I usually got surprised but I kept quiet. I didn't want to ask how they knew I spoke their language (mmm..our language actually). If things like that happen, I definitely will say thank you in Javanese also. So, they felt they found their family here, far away from their hometown.

One day, I asked my husband, "Yah, why did they know I am Javanese although I felt that I said a really short sentence?"

He answered, "I think they recognized your accent."

Then, I denied that what I said to them was really accent-less.

Knowing that whatever he said would end in denial, he said in a really flat tone and expression, "Maybe your face." and he quit the room. Okay, I accept the fact that it's my face so I started to get used to it.

Last week, it happened again. I went to a fruit stall and bought a papaya. I said, " This one, Bang" while handed him a papaya to be weighed. He answered, "Njih" which means sure/yes/okay in Javanese. I got confused again for sure, but I kinda enjoy that now haha..

I still remember a lot of my friends who are not Javanese said that I was "Jawa banget" but I didn't ask which part of me that makes me "So Javanese". It's fine, and I'm quite happy they said so.

From this experience I can conclude that you might find your identity if you're out of your hometown. Do you agree?

P.S: I wrote this as a part of BEC English Friday Challenge. If you are creative enough to use "quit-quite-quiet" and "sometimes-sometime-some time" is one story, join this challenge. Good luck!



  1. I know exactly what you feel mbak since Im surabayan (surabaya accent is way medok than jawa tengah accent) and now live in Jakarta lol

    1. ah ya, I think so..I can tell if someone speaks Suroboyoan hehe