Monday, October 09, 2006

I learnt a New Word

It's not all that exciting, it's Indonesian, "pembantu".

Translated it apparently means "nacker", "chav", "Prolle" or "white trash" (-- wow, I now know that word in multiple dialects and languages ;).

I remember there was a wave of websites and people pointing out chavs in England, and now expat's blogs in RI are going on about "pembantu".

I know where it comes from, fair enough, but basically it's bullshit.

Pembantu / chavs / fiddy cents of this world are a million times more interesting than the average Ikea loving, fake Abercrombie and Fitch wearing, Mac computing people that love themselves.

11 comments:

javajive said...

Actually, "pembantu" is simply a maid. Most middle class - upper class households here in Indonesia have at least one maid, possibly more. It's unfortunate that some of the bloggers have correlated them with the perhaps lower class bar girls. Most pembantu are very hard working, village girls who are just earning enough to help their families back home. It's extremely rare to hear of maids becoming involved with the bosses (expat or not).

Hope you don't mind the correction.

johnorford said...

aha... well the derogatory way the word was being used i suppose my mistake was understandable - thx for the correction :)

Anonymous said...

The direct translation of "pembantu" means helper,"bantu" means help. And the word usually used with "rumah tangga" (means family) so it becomes "pembantu rumah tangga" (means family helper or like javajive said it simply means maid). To me it doesn't have negative connotation, since it is used in formal writing. At least when I was there, but maybe nowadays people use it in a bad way. Or maybe those people used the word to put down the job position itself. After all, it is a very humbling position to clean after other's mess like most jobs.

triesti said...

quoting Brandon: It's unfortunate that some of the bloggers have correlated them with the perhaps lower class bar girls. end quote

I dont think Indonesian correlate the maids with the bar girls in the behaviour department. When Indonesian talk about 'bule' and 'pembantu'-like girls, they are talking about the facial features that is very Indonesian, some would say very common amongst those villagers who work as a maid.

treespotter said...

fair enough. What's the mac computing got to do with it? i'm sure brandon there is using a mac for all his photos?

LOL... i don't use mac, and i agree with you there. but nooo, they all have to use mac, don't they?!

ah

johnorford said...

but RI doesn't have Ikea right? -- so technically you're all prob exempt in any case ;)

treespotter said...

actually, i import Ikea from KL. this is in full disclosure spirit you know. but only because my sis has a gallery so we've them for sale, i don't really have that many of them. what does that make me?

johnorford said...

Well as long as you're making a buck off of these brand loving mofos, then you're prob alright.

BTW, is there an Indonesian word for "white trash" / chav?

IndCoup said...

Hi John

is there an Indonesian word for "white trash" / chav?

No single word, but you could use a compound noun.

ie "bule anjing" (foreigner dog)

or perhaps "bule dasar" low class foreigner.

or "bule tai" (white shit)

cheers

äh! said...

This guy is wierd!! there's nothing negative in word "pembantu" and i think he knows that too. I don't see his point to discuss it. Go and get laid, dude!!

johnorford said...

Petit Filous,

This was the point.

I am weird (you aren't???) but this time I really just misunderstood the word.

Why you need to be anonymous?

John.