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Another Story from Indonesia Domestic Workers


There it was ... a 60-second news on Tarsih's misery, a domestic worker from Karawang, East Java, who is treated badly by her employer but could not do anything else but to pray that this is all just a nightmare.She was raped, kicked, punched and all she could do was to be silent.

She is considered 'lucky' because she had the chance to run and ask protection from Indonesian Embassy. There are many others who are still in the hand of unknown miseries. Through her cry, she tries to speak to the world, that her tears wasn't the first one and sadly won't be the last either...

Indonesia government has tried to solve the problems faced by these domestic workers. However, the speed of problems growth is 'unbelievably' fast. Moreover, the biggest obstacle is that most of the problems are hidden and unheard.

I did my thesis on Indonesia women as domestic workers and I found that there are so many cases that did not even make it to the surface due to the fact that these women are considered as the lowest class in the world. They did not have anyone to turn to, so sometimes, some decided to change their destinies through the most desperate ways, like suicide or homicide.

This has to stop. I do not how I can contribute to help stopping the cruelty that these women face everyday. I start with writing their stories, to help telling their unheard voices.

She …

Laying in the silence of the darkness

she, who was “loved” with a palm of hand of those having the Dollars

is trying to portray a dejavu of tomorrow’s bliss

yet falling into a deep blackness and emptiness in an imperfect world

Failing to find a way to escape from the abstract depiction of her today’s tears

Attempting to erase the temptation to end her story in the world

Laying in the silence of the darkness

she, who was dedicated her all to volatile being so called laoban

Screaming the inner worm that gnaws at her frozen heart – in silence

Regretting the forcedly revolutionized dream of beautiful tomorrow into the abyss of shame

Breaking a vow of tolerating the last abuse

Building a will to survive

Laying in the silence of the darkness

she, who asked for nothing but respect

Thinking of the bloody body with her knife in his heart

Realizing that the sorrow has ended

Smiling on her outside, faltering on her inside

Struggling to find a path for the new future

Laying in the silence of the darkness

she, who is the new princess of jian yu Kaohsuing

Planting the new shoot of hopes and dreams but this time, her eyes are wide open

Blocking any manipulation once done by her “brothers”

Writing a new story of "I’ll begin again …"

Laying in the silence of the darkness

she, who by others is thought of as a despicable killer

Praying to her Allah

Craving that her sisters would be released from the ‘unexpected’ agony when pursuing a better future

but not swearing to those who sucked her hopes for a ‘sinful’ thing called money

because for her, they are still the brothers to love

Laying in the silence of the darkness

she, who was once admitted as the Indonesia’s remittance hero

Not knowing that she touched my heart in every possible way

She is the dreamseeker, the survivor, the sister of mine

Dedicated to all Indonesian women as domestic workers


ArtByMia's picture

Thank you

Thank you for posting such a wonderful and heartfelt story. This brings awareness to the conditions and treatment of women in this field of Domestic Work. I would be honored if i can add this to my Letters from Women around the world project in NYC. I have it posted on my profile should you want to learn more about it.

Your voice is valuable and the strongest tool we have. Lets share it and be the voice for those that are afraid to speak.

Peace, Mia

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