Hey guys! New member here. I’ve been lurking for a long time and enjoy reading all the interesting threads here. I’m curious to know about Taiwanese-Indonesian relationships, and would like to know if anyone knows of such couples and relationships.
I’m an ABT (American-born Taiwanese) in my mid-20s with an Indonesian maid (caretaker) girlfriend in Taipei. My aunt is her employer, and the Indonesian takes care of my grandmother. I visit Taipei on and off. No one in my family knows about the relationship, because my gut feeling is that they’d be horrified.
What I’d like to know is:
How are such relationships viewed in Taiwanese society?
When walking around Taipei, people seem to think we’re foreign tourists. No raised eyebrows, but I hardly see any similar couples either.
My impression is that Taiwanese view Indonesians (non-ethnic Chinese) as foreigners who are just working here, like how Japanese view Southeast Asian foreign workers. Taiwanese don’t seem to openly discriminate and harass Southeast Asian “wailao,” but rather treat them like robots working in the background that they don’t really socialize with.
I was born and raised in the Bay Area of California. Stereotypical Taiwanese-American upbringing: went to a highly ranked public high school, did well on SATs, got my degree from a University of California campus, nerdy, and well-behaved. I think in every Taiwanese person’s mind, I would probably be expected to just get another one of those ABT yuppie/bimbo GF’s in the US, but here I am with an Indo girlfriend.
But in Taiwan, I don’t come across as an ABT due to my fluent Mandarin. It doesn’t sound local though, so I usually get asked if I’m from Malaysia, Singapore, or Hong Kong.
Javanese Muslim born in Central Java, Indonesia, who is a few years older than me, but we look the same age. Her family said on the phone that they are more than willing to accept me into their family.
She initiated the relationship and is really clinging onto me. My grandmother scolds her often, which she hates.
I’m kind of good at languages, so I learned to speak Indonesian with her. Taiwanese just don’t speak to foreign workers in their native tongues, so when taking walks with her and my grandma around Taipei, people seem to think I’m Chinese-Indonesian when I’m speaking Indonesian with her.
Please share similar stories and experiences if you have any. Thanks!