Understanding The Word Bule in Indonesian Language

If you are out of Indonesia, especially comes originally from America or Europe, than the locals in this country will call you bule. Even, you have white-tone skin, Indonesians surely call you ” mr./ms./mrs. bule” in the first time you meet, instead of saying your name. Now, let’s talk about the understanding the word bule in Bahasa Indonesia!

Understanding The Word Bule in Indonesian 

If you have never called as bule before, then have you at least heard this word ?

If you do, what will you do next to get to know its meaning ? First, don’t think it is same with “bullae” that we know as signs of a disease. Moreover, don’t search the meaning of bule in any Indonesian Dictionary, you will hardly find its meaning, except in the National Formal Dictionary which is Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (KBBI).

Next, before getting know the meaning, you should not worry since it is not an insult word. Then, to know what bule literally means, you should ask your Indonesian relation or friend. You can also learn from anything, including learn with us on this free website to be a master of Bahasa Indonesia: Indonesian Language Difficulties and How to Learn It.

Bule (pronounced [ˈbule]) is a commonly used word in Indonesia to describe a foreigner, especially people of European descent. In KBBI–a formally national Indonesian dictionary–“bule” is referred to either Europeans or Americans whose white skin. It seeks to identify people featuring light hair color, light eye color and pale skin. However, sometimes some locals use this word to refer to all foreigners. For example, Indonesians may say bule Africa pertaining to the people who stemming from Africa.

In the other terminology, bule is a word that defined the foreigners who come to Indonesia regardless the length of their tlstay period and Indonesian proficiency. However in some circumstance, the locals keep calling the foreigners as bule. Probably, it is quite annoying for the foreigners, despite bule is not a bad word at all.

The term bule in many dictionaries point out that the true definition of bule is albino. But, this definition has been blurred in both speaking and writing that is derived from English vocabulary. The meaning of bule has shifted into foreigners, Caucasians, even fair-skinned Indonesian and the people whose the slight hint of European descent.

Besides being called as bule, the foreign tourists are probably called as “mister” and “miss”. It turned out to be sounded funny anf disturb simply since in their countries–in the West–people don’t differentiate the stranger or the newcomer by calling them with odd name. But staying Indonesia seems harder as the locals keep yelling the foreigner, ” bule!” Moreover. those foreigners who stay in Indonesia to study or works in long periods, range from months until years. So that, no wonder that being called as “bule” in all time particularly disturb the foreigner as they feel being in uncomfortable atmosphere.

The use of “bule” word is neither for insulting or being racism. It is just for being humorous without any offense. Meanwhile, some locals’ behavior is changing a little bit to whom they called “bule”. Such as Indonesian sellers charge higher price for the things they sell. They expect all of bule do the same thing to pay the higher price. This habit is because of many foreign currency is exchanged with the highest value with Rupiah as Indonesian currency. Even though the fact is not every foreigner is wealthy or at least have much budget for their stay in Indonesia.

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If only you are one of foreigners whom called bule, please you wouldn’t feel hurt or take it as offensive seriously since the locals here say it as only a joke. Hopefully you can understand the Indonesian sense of humour and with bule joke can make you becoming closer acquitance with Indonesians. Keep your spirit to learn Bahasa Indonesia, see you!