Insight Articles — Apr 07, 2022
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There are at least 4 unique eating habits that Indonesian people have, some of them are 70 years old eating habits but some are just born yesterday. As a diverse country, Indonesia has so many ethnicities and races scattered throughout Indonesia, this eating habit might be influenced by the uniqueness of each archipelago. Indonesia developed some sort of traditional and modern cultures over the years, here are some of the things that can describe Indonesians and their food, especially in the year 2021.
Indonesians respect and live up to their traditions, Indonesia’s people love to look back and do things based on the things that happened in the past. The saying ‘to never forget the history’ made Indonesians respect the history and tradition long ago, which includes eating food such as lesehan, kobokan, muluk, suru. These 4 methods that Indonesians still use up until now, Lesehan means eating on the floor with no chair or table, muluk means eating with a hand commonly use for eating rice with sambal and kerupuk, suru mean eating using a banana leaf spoon commonly use for eat some snack, while kobokan is known for a bowl of water to use hands before and after eating. These terms may vary in different parts of Indonesia but you will see the activity is the same.
There are also some debates among the people about food. Before we order food we usually have a humorous debate about food, such as ‘fried noodle or boiled noodle’ or while eating chicken porridge we debate about ‘should this porridge is stirred or not?’ This kind of debate happens and is common for Indonesian people. While this is just for fun, there are some people who take it seriously and take a side then they will start the whole argument and start elaborating their choice.
Work from home or WFH changes our eating behavior, believe it or not, a survey titled “The State of Snacking” reveals that Indonesia’s people love snacking compared to several other countries. While working, studying, cleaning the house, snacking is the norm for Indonesians, this habit rises during the period of working from home, the stay-at-home activity makes it easier to get some snacks. This is also affected by the tight work schedule and working overtime, it’s easy to take it out on food. Another fact that reveals that Indonesian people like to take on more snacks rather than eat regulates meals while they are busy, snacks can come in handy to help boost mental and emotional support while at work
Moreover, there are some interesting habits that change people while they are at work from home. They tend to postpone eating while on a tight meeting schedule, and these irregular eating hours become more regular while working from home. The WFH situation blurred the boundaries between home and office, so they might still think of finishing the work faster rather than resting or just having time to eat so people’s eating hours change tremendously.
Food and family become the main part of Indonesia’s people, as explained above having food can boost mental and emotional support but there is one other thing that can help, family. Indonesian have a strong bond regarding family, family is everything and is where you go whenever bad things happen. But during this pandemic every family member rarely eat together, this is because they have their own packed schedule of school from home or work from home, although eating together with family can be an opportunity to communicate and relieves stress
But there is one unique thing about the Indonesian family for choosing a place to eat, yes the Indonesian family did not go to fast-food restaurants to host a family meal. Families often go to ‘family restaurants’ rather than fast-food restaurants because of the fast nature of the business, so they prefer someplace with soul food, outdoor scenery, large gathering space, and suitable for relaxing.
Finally, we come to the part where modern lifestyle affects the food. It's about time that technology fully affects our life, from ordering online food to watching mukbang videos on youtube. Some research from CHOP states that social norms greatly affect a person’s food consumption. When an individual sees a certain group of people on social media consuming fruit and vegetables, that individual will tend to follow suit too. This phenomenon happens because of the technology where social media share information rapidly and the FOMO lifestyle is insanely affecting the people and the food. A lot of people seek validation from social media and always want to be up to date with the current trends, food can be used as an image of certain social status. This image formed inside social life and was accelerated by social media with their rapid sharing of information.
The modern lifestyle is the current life that we live in where technology is almost like primary needs. We just can't live without technology, but technology is not all bad. The easiest example from this modern lifestyle is when you order food via online you just simply click here and there your food will be delivered in front of your doorstep. This easy lifestyle is being sponsored by the technology itself, but there is one unique phenomenon within Indonesian people when choosing the food, it is the decision fatigue among the food that we are going to order. People spend too much time choosing food because of the various food choices and platforms to choose from. It's nice to have options but it can be overwhelming for the indecisive consumer.
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