September 22, 2008

Have you received your THR yet?

With Ramadhan nearing the end, there is 1 word that is on every Indonesian's mind: THR.

THR is an abbreviation of "Tunjangan Hari Raya" which essentially refers to a 1-month salary bonus given around 1-2 weeks near the end of Ramadhan. It is mandatory for the companies to pay this bonus to their employees. Maybe abroad, it is similar to Christmas bonus.

The bonus is usually used to buy stuff for Idul Fitri (Moslem holiday that marks the end of Ramadhan), usually new clothes to be worn on the occasion. But nowadays, it has come to the point that many people use their THR to buy new expensive stuff, such as mobile phones, so that they can show them off to their relatives back in their home town. And then after the holidays, they would sell them back because of course, it was too expensive for them to begin with! A very mislead consumptive behaviour that actually contradicts the spirit of Idul Fitri.

Anyways, let me not go into that because otherwise this post is going to be very serious. With all my projects finished and only a few presentations to go before the holiday, I only want to relax and go use my THR. Happy shopping everyone!

September 6, 2008


I've just finished watching "Chasing Liberty" on one of the local Indonesian channels. I've already seen it before but being the romantic comedy fan that I am, although it isn't one of my favorites, I was looking forward to watching the movie again (It is one of those "pleasant, I don't want to think" kind of movie. The main actor, Matthew Goode, is undeniably cute (!) but the movie lacks a strong script & also, in my opinion, Matthew Goode has no chemistry with Mandy Moore, the main actress).

However.....thanks to Indonesia's censorship, this mediocre movie became unbearable to watch. They cut out all the kissing scenes, which is in my opinion the whole point of watching a romantic movie!

Well, I shouldn't have been surprised since I know about the TV censorship in Indonesia. TVs are not allowed to show scenes that are related to sex (which includes kissing scenes).

As I got online, I googled about "indonesian tv censor" and found an amusing post by
Marek Bialoglowy about Indonesian TV. Notice that it was written in 2006, but I think not a lot has changed.

I googled further, and found an interview excerpt (please skip to the interview with Ratna Mahadi at the bottom half of the page) that mentions some of the more specific censorship rules (It also tries to explain Indonesia's taste for the typical "poor good girl meets rich before-a-brat-but-after-meeting-poor-good-girl,-he-comes-to-his-senses boy" plot (phew...that's a long phrase) :

All in all though, I think censorship in Indonesia is still tolerable. At least it is not like
in Pakistan!
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