Am I really able to cook or is this just the way my culture taught me how to cook ?

This thinking begins when recently some people said that I’m really good at cooking.

The food is delicious and it always gives them the feeling of festive…

Every time I just say “Thanks!”

But I also said “…but this is the way how Indonesian cook”, because I never intend to cook the way they describe “special, festive, huge…”

My husband also said that he is always amazed how every night I can make such a special dinner.

I’m not intended to but it feels like that…

I think it is because (at least) my culture taught me that food is good..


I (and my family, my friends) see a food as a celebration of life. We (almost) never meet up with someone without a good food served.

We don’t care what drinks we will take but we do care what food should be served with us.

It doesn’t have to be expensive but at least has to have a good taste. Food also become one of our main topics in conversation.

A review of a new restaurant is always one thing that we discuss (while we eat a good food in another restaurant).

My husband always said “every food you eat always looks soooo delicious when you eat it!” YES ! YES !! That’s how Indonesians appreciate food. We love food. We celebrate life with food. We take pictures of the food not only because we want to share it in social media but also because we love food.

Now my husband start to love food.

I can tell that he used to appreciate food only as a food, “It is a food because I need it for my breakfast, for my lunch and for my dinner”. That’s all.

The cultural difference also can be seen when you visit your friend…

People appreciate more about the visit, food and drinks are number…well maybe 5th.

Ok, drinks… tea or coffee is number 2, but there is food or not, it doesn’t matter at all.

In Indonesia,

when you invite your friends and you don’t have any food to serve or maybe just 1 item of snack… hmmm… there will be (a little bit) of questions (silently).. are you serious enough inviting us ?

I have a story of a friends who were invited by Dutch who lives in Indonesia.

My friends complained that she invited them for afternoon tea-coffee but she only served 1-2 biscuits (they meet everyday, they worked together). That’s all.

People talked about it for quite some times.

It is a matter of cultural differences on how people perceive food in their daily life.

Every day I cook from scratch.. I barely use any instant product… I love to try new recipes, I love to exchange recipes with friends, we put our food picture in the social media groups, we make a good comment on the food that others cook, we love to talk about food, we embrace food…

Back then in Indonesia, when friends came over to visit, I always try to serve real snack or foods or we bought some foods together and ate it together…

Even my husband knows when I’m not in a good mood… then a good food will give me a good mood. 🙂 A happiness is a simple for me, a good food. Well I only know 2 kinds of food : a delicious one or a very delicious one. 🙂

One time, we visited a beautiful couple in Amsterdam. The husband is from Indonesia, the wife has ever lived many years in Indonesia. They really can cook… a very delicious one. That was the first time since I moved to Holland that I really feel the Indonesia style on how to embrace the food. We “dance” while we ate… 🙂 We didn’t care much about manner…

The ambient on embracing the food… that’s what I miss a lot from Indonesia.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t like the culture here…

Actually I find it relaxing because I don’t have to serve real foods when a guest is coming.

A tea or coffee is already being really appreciated (thank you…so much!) and vice versa.

I think I’m not so good at cooking. I think it is just a cultural differences.

That’s why I always said :

Ask an Indonesian to cook, she/he will cook a delicious food. Because an Indonesian, learn by nature, to cook with many herbs and to cook from the scratch.

and… next week we will go to Indonesia for holiday ! YEAY !! looking forward to the culinary adventure… Will update in blog about my “food” experience… along with the pictures ! 🙂

Xx, Sekar Steenwelle.





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