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We are Indonesian family, living in Bandung, West Java which is considered one of the biggest cities, with most population in Indonesia. Bandung is located close to Jakarta, the capital city, and is famous with its culinary and shopping attraction, beside its proximity to natural touristic destinations (mountains, craters, hot springs, etc.).
Our family might not be a typical Indonesian family, since me and my husband we are both medical doctors working with tight schedule in hospital… We are Pattisahusiwa family; my husband is Rizky, an internal medicine doctor currently a nephrology trainee; my name is Almira, I just graduated as a pediatrician after finishing residency for 4.5 years. Our children are Akira and Alana. My husband and I are both 31 years old, Akira is 6 years old, and Alana just turned 10 months old. My husband and I share similar hobbies: traveling, reading, studying, watching movies, listening to music (though we prefer different music genres :)). I have fascination on history, international relationships, culture, religion, foreign languages. My husband likes art and photography and is a really good singer and performer.
What kind of toys do your kids like to play with?
Akira likes to play lego, playdough, slime and has special interests to electrical devices (really, all kinds of it). Alana has not had specific favorite toys yet.
What are the local snacks for kids?
Akira’s favorites are chocolate biscuits, chips, seaweed, and cheese sticks. Alana prefers yummy bites, a rice-based snack which she can hold on her own.
Do you cook for children?
I used to cook when Akira was younger (before I started my residency training), but currently we have one helper at home who cooks for us. My aunt and grandma who occasionally visit us also sometimes cook for our children.
How do kids spend free time?
We like to travel a lot, either visiting our parents outside town (they have their own swimming pool where our children like to swim), or visiting some places else outside Bandung. When we stay in Bandung, Akira will see his cousins and play together with them, with anything in the house. Sometimes we take Akira to play at playground, cycling in local park, visiting zoo, run/walk at running track, watch movies at cinema, stroll in the shopping mall and buy some cake, or just chill at home. Akira has quite busy days: school from 7.30 to 14.30, and after that extracurricular activities.
What are the roles of parents in your country? What duties do belong to mother and to father?
Traditionally, father works and earns money, and mother stays at home and takes care of the house and children. However, as I mentioned above, both of us are medical doctors with quite tight schedule, so we have different arrangements: we both work, a helper helps to clean the house and cooks, and we share responsibilities on taking care of the children.
Can you explain how maternity leave works? How long is it? Can you get back to work after it without any obstacles?
Expecting mothers can have maternity leave for three months (I did when I was doing my residency and was pregnant with Alana). I can get back to work after it without any obstacles.
Does the country help families with kids?
Currently, the government has programs to make sure every child goes to primary and secondary school (for free in most areas) and also health insurances (which is affordable for those who prefer to pay and could also be free for those who are poor).
Do you vaccinate your children? If so, against what? Is it mandatory to vaccinate kids?
Yes. We have mandatory vaccinations in Indonesia: against hepatitis B, poliovirus, tuberculosis, diphteria-pertussis-tetanus, hemophilus influenza B, measles-rubella, varicella.
Is it safe to travel with a child in Indonesia? What to watch out for? Do you think your country is friendly for families with kids?
Yes, we have many travellers coming to Indonesia along with their kids. The weather is always nice here. However, one must be careful about the hygiene of the foods and the possible spiciness of food in some areas.