In Indonesia, we have our own type of sitcom or soap opera, it’s called sinetron. It can go both ways, either you love it or hate it. I on the other hand is somewhere in between of that. There are some that I think to be ridiculous with cheesy dialogues, illogical plot and turn of events, plus having no important message to get across but there are some that people beside myself find relatable. A few of my lecturers discussed it a little bit and disapproving groans rose in the class. But they say that if we are to call ourselves open-minded university students, we need to think critically and think of the ways that other people may appreciate it. Wow – I thought, they’re right because I swear to you the last thing I want to be is a close-minded girl.
For example the picture above is from a sinetron that’s been highly popular, and it focuses on the lives of middle to lower class people of Betawi descent. It’s packed with humour, cheesy songs and over the top characters. People will watch and think “Just what’s the use of watching this nonsense?” and that’s what I initially thought when I first watched it but then I remembered what my translation lecturer discussed. For example, will a rickshaw driver in a small town or village watch business-themed channels, or perhaps Starworld or HBO and found what they see to be relatable or relevant to their life? Maybe not. Maybe they’ll think that’s nonsense. These other kinds of sinetron caters to their lives and provide them entertainment, perhaps console to their problems, and even hope despite their hardships. A lot of people here in Indonesia may not like them, but there’s always two sides in a coin and we must always take time to see the other side.