ASIH SIGIT PADMANUGRAHA
YOGYAKARTA STATE UNIVERSITY
This paper will not talk much about the relationship between Indonesia and the US officially but will explore more the ways to deal with the US culturally. Like the other countries, Indonesia cannot escape from the American influence: be it politically, economically, technologically and even culturally. The three factors that usually become the important issues are the identity, geographically strategic Indonesian position for the US, and also religion. Unfortunately, Indonesia is unable to deal with the US in equity as two great nations. This fact only shows inferiority and the ‘doubled-standard policy’ conducted by the US make it worse.
In the US perspective, there is no such a policy since all policies are for the US domestic interest and benefit. Therefore, Indonesia must be able to deal with the US using Indonesian perspective, for the sake of Indonesian domestic need. The most effective way to deal with the US in equity as the two great and respected nations is the cultural way, which is often neglected by the Indonesian governments. The cultural way to deal with the US has been significantly done by the American Indian people. After being invaded by the Europeans which was ceaseless and finally led to their destruction by the end of the 18th century and losing their identity as the Indian among the white society, in the end of the twentieth century they tried to gain back their identity and try to communicate and bargain with the US, their own official government in their culturally unique way. This is best exemplified in the globally-read-and-awarded American Indian literature which explore that identity is the core of a nation, of a people, to survive and to be respected by others. The American Indian experience is the best lesson for the Indonesian to deal with the US.
Key words: dealing with the US, lesson from the American Indian literature, equally respected communication, Indonesian cultural values and identity