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The Indonesian culture and the Hong Kong Elders

Mother's Day is May 12 this year, and we wish you all a happy Mother's Day, good health, and a happy family.

Indonesian women specialties

In addition to "child marriage," Indonesian women marry at about 20 and then have children. Indonesia's population is now younger, with about half of the population under 30 and about 70% of the working-age population, equivalent to more than 140 million people (see OECD study in 2017). 

Indonesia will be the least affected by the aging of the ASEAN countries.

Unfortunately, during the Suharto era, Indonesia focused more on light industries such as food, beverages, tourism, health, and education and employed more women than men. From 2001 to 2021, there were more men than women in high-end service industries, such as senior officials, managers, and professionals. According to the Indonesian National Labour Force Survey (SAKERNAS), the proportion of women increased from 4% to 7%, while the proportion of men remained unchanged.

Unfortunately, Indonesia has not performed well in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and is relatively inferior to Vietnam and India. In addition, Indonesia has the lowest productivity among ASEAN countries. In the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking Survey 2022, Indonesia ranked 51st out of 64 countries, lagging behind several Southeast Asian countries.

Because finding employment is difficult, Indonesian women still have to work as migrant domestic workers, although they can receive high-end education.

Indonesian "Collectivism"

Indonesians are incredibly close to their families, regardless of their age and level of independence. Many Indonesian families even include extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and nieces, who often live together or in adjacent neighborhoods to care for each other. It is common for them to live with their parents even after marriage. They call it "collectivism," and they love to take care of each other, whether in the village or the community.

In addition, Indonesians like to post photos of their deceased parents on Facebook for everyone to remember. Before, we used to support one of the Bintan schools; her husband even live-streamed the funeral until the moment his wife's coffin was closed.

Challenges faced by the Migrant Domestic Workers.

Some Indonesian women have to go out to work for the sake of the family, their parents, and their children's education. Fortunately, they can communicate with their families through the Internet, but many times, their husbands can't resist the temptation, and it is easy to cheat outside of marriage, especially Islamic disciples because they can be polygamous. Hence, the divorce rate of Indonesians is not low.

There is a sister who is a migrant domestic worker in Pak Tin Centre; because she does not understand the laws of Hong Kong, she crossed the street at a red light and was fined $2,000 by the police!

Another sister likes to buy cheap clothes in Sham Shui Po and send them back to Indonesia. Still, the local customs casually opened the small boxes they sent back and threw the clothes out, saying their gifts would only hit the Indonesian economy. Just leave the goods sent back to a nearby warehouse. The sisters cried because their love was hurt so deeply!

The situation of older people in Hong Kong.

The Samaritan Society of Hong Kong for the Prevention of Suicide announced in April 2024 that the number of suicide deaths is the highest in the past ten years. Analyzed by age group, the suicide rate for persons aged 50 to 59 increased from 12.93 to 17.47 per 100,000 people, while the suicide rate for men aged 70 or above increased from 24.86 to 27.37 per 100,000 people. In terms of the rate, the number of suicides among the elderly aged 60 to 70 or above accounted for more than 40% of the total. (Information provided by The Samaritan Suicide Prevention Society of Hong Kong).

Some older adults feel lonely and physically weak because their children and grandchildren have migrated. If they have some wealth in the family, they can ask their migrant domestic helpers to take care of them, and they can chat a few words and relieve their sullenness. What if you don't have wealth around you?

Christians in Hong Kong are challenged.

According to the 2016 Hong Kong Annual Report published by the Hong Kong Information Services Department, there are only 880,000 Christians in Hong Kong, 12% of the population (500,000 Christians and 380,000 Catholics).

From 2020 to 2022, there are 230,000 Indonesian workers in Taiwan (initial arrival salary of HK$4,325), Singapore 220,000 (initial arrival salary of HK$3,200), and Hong Kong 140,000 (initial arrival salary of HK$4,630). Among them, Hong Kong gives Indonesian workers the highest salaries, and the vacation time is two more days than in the other two countries. Unfortunately, Hong Kong is a highly competitive city, and the place is small, so if the Indonesian workers don't want to come again, what about older people? How can we bring the Muslims to Christ?

Pak Tin Centre Elderly Ministry

Come, let's serve older people. Lead them to the knowledge of the true God and have eternal life. We hope that one day, Pak Tin Centre and the churches will bring more Muslims and the elderly in Hong Kong to Christ!

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