Indonesian's fascination towards black people memes (in Facebook)

Pardon the title but that's the real occurrence in Indonesia. Also do note that I mostly spend my passive-research in Facebook and in Indonesia, so another platform and language may have a different conclusion.

Early 2022, I saw numerous big local Facebook groups started to introduce absurd humor. It was a big niche back then and because it developed in a sort of edgy communities, it has a slow progression of virality, the joke wasn't really nice to people.

If you recognize Indonesian people, they tend to make a satire about a (local) race and the person receiving it mostly don't mind with the joke as long as it's within a scope of a "joke" and not abuse. And this mentality was brought to black people. Not because they're "black", but it's an enthusiasm of how absurd and exaggerated the content is (and the ability to say N-word). Note that there aren't many black people in Indonesia so they mostly poke fun of people outside of their world.

The earliest version I can remember is Rehan Whatsapp. After the "drip song" meme, one of which is Whatsapp Drip song, a video showing Philips Diby dancing was altered green and people dubbed it "Rehan Whatsapp", with Rehan an alternate version of Raihan — a generic name in Indonesia.
images (8)
https://youtu.be/3wxm2Au4piw

Since then, I saw numerous image and video circulating with absurd joke and tendency of using black person as a subject in one way or another. The most popular and currently running is Ambatukam (and ambasing and ambadeblou), a cropped video of a man jerking off, saying, almost incomprehensibly, "I'm about to cum". Maybe I'm wrong about its existence was from Indonesia, but the fascination is here. The other is vine-derived "What the dog doin", "Ay yo the pizza's here", "Call 911 — what's the number". I may missed some of them but generally they took the fast paced joke of black people memes.

The other more unpopular twist is the "name+food" with a random person in the picture. Some of them are funny, some of them are not.

What made me say that Indonesian is fascinated with black people memes is the widely-used reaction images. While a viral post may have 1k shares, a viral reaction image may reach 100 post. So it's an exponentially better reach than one post alone. And most of them are snapshot version of vine, a picture of random people with a single one-line text. And the weird thing is, most of them are including black people and not an Indonesian themselves! Unless the reaction image is specifically for Indonesian, they are rarely be a subject of reaction images. Check some of these examples.


Means "What," (with coma because it's an unfinished sentence)

Doesn't really mean anything, just a name + food (it's a comment section meme to give an absurd black person image with "name+food" tagline)

Means "watch your words"

Means "I can only smile"
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Means "out of your mind" (it's the same guy from Ambatukam)

Maybe because they look funnier and has more emotion to resemble a certain reaction rather than pointing to a certain previous reference (that requires a previous knowledge). It's absurd, but I kinda enjoy it.

I think that's all from my research from the past 6 months or so.

Group example that you can find this kind of post and reaction image anywhere

1 Like

hmm

interesting

image

I have some stuff to add and might have some explanation for some these memes, cmiiw

yes it's a occurence but It's not that we use a lot of Black people memes, It's we don't use Indonesian memes as much, I have some friends from outside (German/Russia/Filipina) and I follow a lot of meme page run by a person form americas and they do use Black people memes as much as Indonesian do, but here's interesting thing I notice they also use other skin color memes as much, but for Indonesian they doesn't use as much local people memes, maybe it's just my timeline, I rarely use facebook but these memes does find it's way to twitter and discord servers

I'm pretty sure the majority of Indoensian only now just found out that the n-word is offensive in the recent couple years

Important to know that Internet aren't really a common thing until mid 2000 in Indonesia, and even in 2010 - 2015 time some household still see it as a luxury service so the majority of Indonesian only heard the word on from hollywood movies and video games and thinks that is a word like a bro (honestly, i never even realize back then that only black actors use the n word)

I'm sure this meme came from Whatsapp stickers, there's a chat app called LINE that were popular in Indonesia before Whatsapp, LINE has a lot of stickers but only official (and sometimes paid) one so they were pretty harmless boring responses with characters. example:
chrome_VV6oLCKHcR
and when whatsapp is starting to pickup, it supports custom stickers, it add a whole new level for sticker so people started making custom stickers from featuring friends/family or celebs. example:
image
and of course the past couple years absurd memes are getting localized and people started using the stickers as inside group jokes, and as usual images out of context are pretty funny so people started posting these stickers as reaction images everywhere

This mostly isn't restricted to "name + food" it's usually "name + profession" or "name + trait", In Indonesia there's a term "Nama pasaran" which like you stated before "generic name" so when you know 7 individual named Farhan you just started differentiating them with their thing (which tied back to group friend inside joke) example:

  • Farhan Kebab = Farhan that works in a kebab stand
  • Farhan Kurir = Farhan that works as a courier
  • Farhan Nasgor = Farhan that sells fried rice (NASi GOReng)
  • Farhan Juling = Cross-eyed Farhan
  • Farhan Cina = Farhan that of a Chinese descent
  • Farhan Jawir = Farhan that of a Javanese descent