Week 3. Meet my family.

Whoaaa, i missed week 3. 

Anyway, MEET MY FAMILY!! 

I have three families now. First is, of course, the so-called my birth family, the Burhan. Second is my host family in Sardegna to whom I also consider as family, the Fele. Third is my own little family, the Ambia. However, I am gonna write only the first one here. I’ll write the other twos later.

THE BURHAN

There are six of us in the family; my dad, my mom, my two sisters and my brother. All of us live in Banda Aceh, except my brother who lives temporarily in the Netherlands with his wife and children. All of us are married. My parents have seven grand children now 😄. Three from my elder sister, one from me, two from my brothers, and one from my baby sister. 

Both my parents work as civil servants. My dad lectures in the university and my mom teaches at high school. They’ll be retired in a couple of years. Our parents are kind of moderate although basically they applied a faith-based parenting style. We learn about Islam pretty early and grow with it spiritually, I think. Each of us had our own questioning when we were older, but I guess the roots my parents had cultivated made us turn back to our faith whenever we’re in doubts. I am not saying we’re religious, though.

I am grateful to be their child. At least, I personally think they kind of succeed in preparing us some basic life skills. Not everybody can make their own meals, right? We, at least, can. Even my brother cooks better than his wife. Not everybody can advocate for themselves, right? We, at least, don’t ask how to write a CV to our parents or request an internship in my parent-collegue’s office. What about taking public transportation? Uhmm… interestingly I found some people who could not ride a bike and could not take a bus or train. See, these what I meant by basic life skills. I am happy that I can be independent enough to take care of my own business. Thanks to my parents😁.  

Anyway, I am the second child of the family. However, not in accordance with the finding that says second-borns are more likely to rebel, I am the one who conforms more than any of my other siblings. I always think my sisters and brother had a more fun teenage time. They tried things I didn’t dare to try, haha. I was always the good girl in the family. I probably was the only one who had never got beaten (unfortunately, yes, my dad did this sometimes, but don’t get him wrong…  he was totally sober and in control of his action when he did that, never left bruises. Imho, it was just his way of giving timeout, to make us think twice about our action). 

I was very close with my elder sister as we shared room for almost six years. We were only two years apart, so I practically looked up to everything she did. She played basket ball, so did I. She liked roller blade, I wanted to practice the same. She went to her friend’s house, I also hanged out with them…haha. We even shared the same clothes. She was very pretty (until now, of course) and very popular. Although we differed in a lot of ways when I was in the last year of junior high (when i decided to have my own identity; played with my own friends, joined badminton instead of fencing – she was an epee athlete, enjoyed reading than hanging out in cafes, etc), I always admired her as a sister. Especially now, I am proud to have such a strong and patient soul as a sister. Her evolution to be a better person, her hard efforts for her family and her virtue of patient towards those who back-stabbed her, will always teach me how to be a mindful person.  

Next is my forever competitor, my brother. Not really a sibling rivalry, though, since we have different interests and personalities. It’s just we always tend to have the same goals at the same time. I am just a year older than him, plus we’re in the same level of education (I had to repeat my final year of high school upon my exchange program in Italy). So, yes… it seems like we’re always competing against each other. This is not easy, by the way, since my brother is such a smart ass, haha. He’s a more voracious reader than me, waaaayy more creative and imaginative than me (I drew chicken and he sketched a lady, see the difference? haha), a statistics whiz, and talented in music. I remember we both learned how to play guitar in our pre-teens. I got the privilege to learn guitar with a private tutor. But guess who mastered it autodidactly? My brother. I learned so hard to get in ITB (best engineering school in the country), but I ended up in Brawijaya University. He aimed for UGM but ended up at UI (the best university in Indonesia). He finished his college and master degree earlier than me. He is now on his way pursuing a PhD degree. Intellectually, he might be better than me but emotionally I am a lot mature, wiser and more stable. He is waaaay feistier than me, very sensitive for a man, haha. Anyway, no matter how competitive we are as sibling, we always turn to each other when we’re in difficulties. We were always on our long night talks on the phone, chatting whatever, from college romance to marxism. My brother was a best friend during my post-teen to adulthood. 

The baby in the family is my little sister, Dian. She’s very social, outgoing, and the most helpful around the house. She has lots of friends and knows very well how to maintain a good friendship. Even until now, she still hangs out with different friends while I only hang out with only a certain group of friends 😥. She will always still be available to pick up her friends from other town, no matter if it’s at night or early in the morning. She’s the type of person who would accompany her friends in the hospital. She would take her chidren’s friends home if necessary. At home, she’s the most important child to my mom. Anything… from cleaning the house, chauffeuring my mom to anywhere, taking care of family documents to depositing money in the bank. Even if I am at home, my mom would still ask her to do things 😁. Sometime she forgot she has three other children to help because just Dian is enough. She is, indeed, a helpful person. I always wanted to try to be more like her. In reality, it’s very hard to put other people on top of your priority. Or maybe I am just too selfish 😥.

Last pic of us before the departure of my brother to Netherlands. At the beach 😄. Front to back: Dian, me, my brother’s wife, my sister, my brother.

So… that’s my family 😁. What about yours? 

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