I was never a big social butterfly, and still not. As a matter of fact, at parties normally I was the one who sat in a corner and observed. I don’t have any problem of not saying much or not having somebody to talk to. My brain will work extra hard just to find a topic to talk to somebody who happens to sit next to me at a dinner party or a simple any occassion parties.
However, as I grew older, I gradually changed and move out from my comfort zone. I forced myself to talk to strangers when I started working overses; and now that we’ve moved to UK, totally a new country, new environment, new culture as well as finding new friends. To my surprise, people seem very friendly to each other, either a person across the till or sitting next to you on the bus, they could talk to you about anything and everything…. something I learned if I want to integrate and be part of beloved husbands lifestyle, and culture.
While working on integration and try to understand the culture, finding friends is the crucial thing, and my biggest effort of finding friends was hosting a pre-Christmas drinks party for a few close friends in the last two years. However, I soon realised that hosting a Christmas party for 20 people of close friends from Doha time, neighbours and my limited Indonesian friends was not that hard. What I needed was just decorating the house which could be done a couple of weeks before and then organising a few nibles and mince pies plus lots of mulled wine and everybody’s happy.
However, I don’t want to forget my Indonesian roots, and when it comes to hosting an Indonesian party, it was totally different. Indonesian lifestyle works around food, we cook together decorate our food together and than eat it together, especially on special occasions. Most of all, especially with “mobile” photography, selfie and group pictures as well as photographing the food are the most important thing!
“We all dress up in our national costumes, the boys with their Batik dress shirt and the girls with their Kebaya…”.
Last 17th August, which co-insided with Indonesian Independence Day, I decided to throw a little party at home, a celebration where I invited a few of my Indonesian friends (most of them ladies) for a low key gathering with the excuse of celebrating Independence Day. However, what concerned me was to cook Indonesian food for them all. As they have been living in the UK much longer than me, and thus they have got over the missing Indonesian food by mastering cooking the food. I have to admit I am not a cook, I am only an amateur just learning how to cook. Worse of all, I don’t crave for Indonesian food so much, which makes me not appreciating how the food should taste. Thus this party was a real test.
To save me the burden of feeding my guests (and off course embarasement of a disaster) we are doing “potluck”, so everyone brings a different dish and we decorate the whole presentation together…. and as it was a national day, we all dressed up in our national costume, the boys wearing their Batik dress shirts and the girls will put on their “kain and kebaya”.
The party was a success and nobody criticised the food, as we did it all together! Picture taking sessions were good, but too much wind for the outside photography and the food photography was very colourful and not too bad. And we all sang Indonesian songs together, to remind us who we are despite we were thousands of miles away from our home country.