Manu, a student at BINUS UNIVERSITY International, sometimes forgets to get ready for the holiday season ahead. Why? Well, it is summer, dong!
“You can expect Christmas and the New Year in winter,” shares Manu from the Netherlands. “Here, winter is only in the shopping malls where you can experience the end of the year season with the Christmas trees, Santas, fake snow play areas, and an occasional Christmas market. Once you step outside, it is summer again.”
Manu, whose parents are originally from Indonesia, decided to continue his studies here for personal reasons. Crossing culture bridges since birth, he does not miss Christmas, really (apart from the seasonal treat, Oliebollen), but he appreciates what the season means for the families and friends:
“I notice that the holiday season in Indonesia, just as in the Netherlands, reminds families of how important togetherness is. I like the idea of ‘Pulang kampung’ here – people visit their extended family — this is the time of reconnecting, sharing the food, appreciating the elders. Compared to Indonesia, in the Netherlands, we celebrate with the immediate family and friends,” he says.
Manu is looking forward to helping prepare the season’s outing for international students at BINUS. “This is important for my friends who are in Indonesia for the first time away from their families. At the time when our Indonesian friends are going home, we should make sure to be together. We will enjoy the biggest Christmas Market in Jakarta organised every November at DoubleTree by Hilton (Cikini) by the German community here. Our friends from the fashion design programme exhibit there as well.”