Gita Riastuti from Parenting Indonesia magazine interviewed me on bilingualism. The fact that more parents in big cities in Indonesia raise their kids in English is worrying. Especially most of them are not aware of the long term consequence if their Indonesian children possess weak foundation of the mother tongue.
On my side, seven years of raising my kids in Indonesian, it becomes clearer that the command of Indonesian language among schoolage children raised abroad is almost non-existence. The older the kids, the harder it is to find other parents who are really committed in raising their kids in the Indonesian language.
A very common example is, whenever I gather with other Indonesians, we parents would chat in Indonesian. But most parents would then switch to English when speaking with their kids. Although it's an Indonesian gathering. Although the parents are 100% Indonesian. The reason is: it's simpler to converse in English because their kids' English is more fluent. They wish to keep the Indonesian language but they consider it impossible as their kids read and write in English only (thus leave the Indonesian behind)'.
Which is not true. NOT TRUE. If parents are willing, there are many ways to preserve their kids' Indonesian.
Therefore, it's encouraging to know that an Indonesian parenting magazine writes an article on this matter. Sometime ago, there was also an article reporting that Anggun C Sasmi, an internationally recognized Indonesian singer who lives abroad, raises her kid in mother tongue .
If more Indonesian media feature the importance of mother tongue and if more public figures set examples, probably more parents will follow.
Below is the article on Parenting Indonesia where my views on multilingualism were quoted. It's written in Indonesian (keep on clicking the picture to get readable letters)
Related articles Femina 2009, Jakarta Post 2008