Mix-blood, “blasteran”, disadvantages of being ‘bule’

Published May 6, 2011 by jasmilenka

WARNING, THIS ARTICLE BELOW COULD CAUSE SOME UNPLEASANT FEELINGS. It doesn’t try to judge or generalize, merely an observation of an individual who spend a lot of her time watching people.

I live in Indonesia. Here, being a mix-blood is a great thing.


Because it gives you a physical look that is considered as ‘marvelous’. As the culture in Indonesia identifies good look as being white, then blasteran people or people with mix-blood is considered as always pretty or handsome.

And life is always more friendly towards good-looking people. more advantages? Well, you can always apply to production-houses and soon your face will be displayed in commercial and soap-operas. Don’t worry about your acting ability, most actors star in soap-operas have non-existent acting ability, and they thrive anyway, earning money, popularity, and thoroughly forgetting about quality. -_-”

Mix-blood also being identified with have lots of money, according to the fact that one of their parents is “bule” and usually it earns you a major salary. So, good-looking, famous, and wealthy, who rejects that kind of life?

Currently I’m writing about life of mix-bloods, and hey, their life aren’t that great after all. The case is being a mix-blood in Netherlands, and your veins are infused with Arabian blood.

In Indonesia, “bule” or “caucasian” is the superior race, so mingle with them and you will get good prejudices. In Netherlands, since phobia towards Islam and its extensions are building steeper every day, it is not pleasant to have a different physical look among all the “white people”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no hater towards caucasian people. I don’t have any prejudice towards them, and I would love to try to live in Europe one day, simply because of the experiences that I can get. I admire some of their values and would love to get them infused into mine. I don’t regard them as perfect, as I don’t to my own culture.

And of course, I am a major admirer of Europe–of its history, culture, food, people, architecture. I also love to travel by plane, and Europe has several best airports in the world, and some of loveliest cities.

Back to the topic.

i love the term of citizen of the world and i would really love to be one, someday. I want to make the world as my home, although I also do not desire to lose my heritage and confuse of who I am as a person. Therefore, I am grateful that I can always call myself as Indonesian and know where I will always feel belong to–Indonesia.

But in Netherlands, immigrants, even second and third, who was born, raise, work in Netherlands, even only speak the Dutch language, can be confuse of who they are.

Some are very comfortable of being people of two worlds, and can call themselves “I am a Dutch”; “I am a Moroccan” ; “I am a Turkish” but some don’t have that advantage. In Netherlands, people are either autochtoon or insider, and alotochtoon or  outsider. There’re no term for mix-blood people, like “Chinese-American” or “African-American”. You have to choose, period.

But how can you choose, some people do not desire that obligation of have to choose, and even if you want to, how?

You live in two different worlds, and when you feel that you are Dutch, because you, for example, only speak the language, your physical looks will always betray you, because you aren’t “white”.

Not only the matter of choosing who you are, but it also the matter of where your home is. Yes, there are conditions and rhetorical conditions where you will feel at home with the people you love the most, but one will need a place where you can feel the safest, right?

some people don’t have that privilege, to have a country to call ‘home’.

some people don’t have that, one thing that many people take for granted.

how you can feel at home, when you will always be seen as something ‘different’? Mind you, that different doesn’t mean negative, but the feeling of “we” and “them” is always there, unspoken, hanging in the air.

Moreover, some people also being treated differently, and by this, negatively. Immigrant is often seen and called as ‘guest-workers’ and even though they’ve lived in host country all their lives, a lot of local people still see them as allochtoon.

how you can make a home in a place where you are continuously being asked, “why don’t you go back to your home country?” or “when you will go back?”

Over the years, I’ve seen the people with mix-bloods are lucky people, because they have dual citizenship, good-looks, and two cultures and two countries to call home. Their life seems more exciting to me.

But after some time of research, I realize that there is balance in this world. What they have doesn’t come without a cost.

I may not be as good-looking as they are, or wealthy, or lucky.

People might not see me with awe, but at least I can say confidently, “I am Indonesian.”

I will always have a place where I feel belong.

I can go incognito.

I don’t stand-out like a peacock.

I have a home.

wonderful! 🙂


5 comments on “Mix-blood, “blasteran”, disadvantages of being ‘bule’

  • Nice artikel.
    But you know Blasteran is from the Dutch word Bastaard (bastard in English).
    Bastaard is a bad word. It means: a child that is not recognized by his father.
    Dulu in Indonesia there were many mix-blood children who where not recognized by there father. If someone wanted to make fun of them they would call them basterd/bastaard/blasteran.

    The words we use for mixed Asian-European people from east Asia is: Indo-Europeaan ore Indisch (Indis in Bahasa Indonesia).
    Indo comes from Indio (a greek word) the country to the east of the Indus river.
    So Indo-Europeanen are people with European blood living to the east of the Indus river.
    But normaly we just say Indo.
    Im Indo to. In Belanda we have about 1,5 mil. Indo’s. In Indonesia there are about 1 mil. Indo’s to.

    • I just saw your comments, I’m really sorry. But thank you for the comments, I’m quite enlightened. I hope I didn’t offend you in anyway, it was meant as a comment for the phenomenon I’ve seen 🙂

  • Interesting article. Maybe ‘blasteran’ is more rude than ‘Indo’, but it is also more common. In England, all Indonesians say ‘blasteran’, never ‘Indo’.

  • Hi, I’m a dutch blasteran born and raised in indonesia. To be honest, I found life in jakarta to be difficult. I’m not wealthy as I don’t come from a rich family. Currently I have an office job at entry level (staff). The thing is I noticed lack of respect from my coworker. I keep hearing stuff like you are bule go become an actor or something. In some office (mostly government office) I noticed they are looking at me like “hey bule you don’t belong here
    “. Because of my looks and height I found it hard to mix with some Indonesian altought I am born and raised here. To be honest being me, its really like a burden sometimes.

    • Hello Markus. Thank you for reading my article and I am sorry that it takes a loong time before I reply.
      About the advantage of being “bule” or “indo” it just something that I notice on daily basis. Your circumstances, I am afraid, is unfortunately quite often happened in Indonesia. But being born and raised here, you must have notice that some Indonesian, or rather a lot of them, can be quite mean and prejudice and think okay to make jokes based on how you look. If it’s any consolation, you have my deepest sympathy.
      Thank you for your perspective though. And you know what?

      People who are different, the pioneers, are always ahead of their time. You might open door for people who looks a bit different than most Indonesian (and better, if I may say so myself) to be involved in desk job.

      Never mind your co-workers, find yourself a new circle of friends or even a new office! You are welcome too in my circle of friends. We are very friendly towards everyone and I can assure you, the only comments you get about your look will be a positive one.

      keep up the spirit!!

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