Wednesday, July 16, 2014


When I'm back in Indo later this year, I'll be signing a waiver. My brother has contacted a lawyer concerning this. When my mother dies, I'm not sure if I can go to Indo ASAP and to make things easier for my brother, it'll be more practical if I do this now when my mom's still alive. Besides, my brother who has two kids needs mom's inheritance more than me. My mom isn't rich, but the house and land that she owns (that they're living in at the moment) is worth quite some money because of its location.

Besides, it's not that I'm entitled to the inheritance anyway. After letting go of my Indonesian citizenship, I'm not entitled to any inheritance or to buying/having properties in Indonesia. However, because the bureaucracy in Indonesia can be quite messy, it's much better to have this kind of paperwork so that my brother won't have any trouble later on when my mom passes away.

When I got married, my mom gave me some of my childhood gifts from our relatives, such as a pair of gold earrings and a baby bracelet. She also gave me a necklace, a pair of earrings, and another antique bracelet. In the past I was holding on to them because I thought I could give them away to my own children as their inheritance, a piece of my mom's and my own history. When my brother got married, mom also gave his bride some jewelleries that she had kept for years.

Now that we don't have kids, I don't know anymore whom I should give those to. Or maybe I should just keep them in case I need some money in my old age - perhaps to cover the costs of my own funeral/cremation or something he he...

In Indonesia when a baby is born, some close relatives and close friends tend to give jewellery as a present. It doesn't matter even if the baby is a boy, because there are lots of gold baby jewelleries to choose from. I think the bottom line is that they want to give a long-lasting gift, which can also be sold later on if the parents need money. In Indonesia within the Chinese community there is no baby shower tradition (well, unless the mother is very modern and wants to copy this foreign tradition, that is). 

People usually come flocking to visit the baby soon after he/she is born, bringing gifts. And at least within the Chinese community, the parents need to give back to those gift-giving people after the baby turns 30 or 40 days old. In the past the parents would send a cake or some food (chicken) ordered from a bakery/restaurants. Imagine having to send a few hundred cakes. Time consuming and expensive, no? But then again imagine receiving hundreds of baby gifts. The more people you know (at work, church, etc.) and the more relatives you have, the more people will come to visit you and your baby in the hospital. (This trend also applies to weddings - it's really hard to have small weddings there because the relatives that you don't invite may feel left out if they aren't invited)

These days, though, there are people who opt to be more practical. They'd pre-order some thank you gifts (a mug, some towels, etc.) and when the baby's born, the orders are made right away and given to the guests that come and bring gifts at the hospital. The only problem with this kind of practicality is: what if the baby doesn't make it? I have NO idea. My brother did this with his second son and when I read my mom's SMS about it, I shuddered. I didn't say anything because I felt like it was morbid to even say the words, but after the baby was born safely, I told her what I thought about this new trend and my mom shuddered at the thought, as well.

Anyway, enough rambling. This is what I made the other day that I've posted in my main blog (click to view a bigger size). 


  1. I love the "When I Am an Old Woman" sentiments. I second that!

    I'm also sad that you had to relinquish your Indonesian citizenship. NZ is very open, and we are able to hold two citizenships. (My brother-in-law for example (and another friend) both have joint US and NZ citizenships.)

    I have been given a lot of things by my mother-in-law - I'm the only daughter-in-law left living in NZ - and I've always made a point of saying to her that I will pass these on to my nieces and nephews (her grandchildren) either when I'm old or when I die. And I have my own great-grandmother's piano, and it is still beautiful, and I'm trying to decide if I'll pass it on to my niece in a year or two when she could start learning to play. It is certainly noted in my Will that it goes to one of my sisters or their children.

    Reading this simply reminds me that NZ really is a very relaxed place - we don't have baby shower rituals like the US, and we don't have the gold-giving customs of Southeast Asia (I have two Malaysian SILs and have lived in Thailand, and they all give gold jewellery at birth).

    1. Glad you liked my writing challenge sentiments. :-)

      Yeah, unfortunately the Indonesian government doesn't allow double citizenship and because I don't think I want to live in Indo anymore (can't handle the traffic and the crowd and the heat anymore, I've become more like a hermit here in Lapland ha ha ha...)

      I'm glad that you've written down a will. I don't think I'll write a proper one, because our nephews here in Finland are the ones that will inherit everything and they can just decide themselves what to do later. I don't have too many antique belongings other than the jewelleries I mentioned.

      Nice to know that NZ is a very relaxed place concerning baby rituals. And interesting to know that they do that too in Malaysia and Thailand. :-)


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