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|The Black Fingernail|
|by Farah 'Fairy' Mahdzan (6-May-2004) | Readers Say|
It was during a drive to Glodok in Jakarta with a few friends last Saturday that I noticed a peculiar dark discoloration on Fibi's left pinky fingernail as she rested her hands on the steering wheel of her Toyota Starlet. I winced silently as vivid images of Fibi's finger getting slammed by a door flashed continuously in my head. Hesitating for a minute, I leaned forward to ask my nerdy Indonesian friend about her kuku jari kelingking.
"'Napa sih jari loe, kok hitam begitu, Fib? (What's wrong with your finger?)" I asked her sympathetically, slightly dreading her upcoming nasty story of how she bruised her little digit.
"Oh ga papa kok, kemarin setiap orang yang sudah nyoblos jarinya dikasi tinta, biar tampak beda sama orang yang belom nyoblos," explained Fibi. I heaved a sigh of relief at her answer; it was merely black ink and not some gory blood clot underneath her fingernail!
Indonesia just had its pemilu (legislative election) last month. After every Indonesian casts their votes by stabbing a traveler map-size ballot paper with a nail (the metal kind) on the party of their choice, or nyoblos, one finger is required to be dipped in black ink.
The black mark on Fibi's little finger differentiates her from folks who haven't voted, enabling quick transparency in carrying out voting exercises and discourages people from voting more than once. In a country where 147 million people were registered to vote, such a crude branding can be quite a God-send when tracking voters.
Aan, who was sitting next to me in the car, smirked as he showed me his pinky finger, exposing a similar-looking black fingernail. We all laughed when he said "Sebel, kukuku hitam nih!" Apparently, it had been a month since Aan went to vote and while the black ink has washed off from his finger's skin, it seemed to have semi-permanently seeped through the nail!
Not everyone went to nyoblos. At least one Indonesian friend in the car had a clean left pinky, a subtle sign of protest and disbelief in the governmental powers that be.
Aan and Fibi aren't the only Indonesians griping about this tinta pemilu incident. People are retorting on forums, going as far as sarcastically humoring that the stubborn ink might actually be the same kind used in tattooing.
Since presidential elections are due in July, Indonesians can expect more of this horrific-looking ink stain on their untainted finger nails.
Another close Jakartan friend shared with me a clever tip when it comes to easy removal of the cursed voter's black ink on the fingernail. "My family and I apply transparent nail polish on our nails before heading off to the voting booths. Removing the unsightly ink on our nails after we nyoblos is as easy as using regular nail polish remover!" declares Riga.
So how will you be wearing your nails this pemilu season, dear friends from Indonesia? Daintily polished or semi-gothically smudged?
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|WHAT READERS SAY ABOUT The Black Fingernail:|
#32. Thanx for interesting article)
Posted by Zhanna on 10-Apr-2009, 18:44 MYT
#31. FIBI: Ya memang bukan tangan kamu, itu tangan teman dari KBRI KL, Pak Nasrul.
#30. ini bukan foto tangan gue nih..sejak kapan tangan gue berbulu
#29. Malaysian GIRL you mean.
#28. wow, i guess this malay guy really loves indonesia.
#27. fireangel: sure thing, link me away.
#25. Cool nyoblos huh?!! Kinda cute also..
#24. Kasian deh ....I and fairy(maybe who knows) are not allowed to vote..even being so crazy about Indonesian Culture..kita pasti nyoblos gambar Baksos and Tehbotol duluan.......
#23. Hi Umar, I think that manicure tool you're refering to is a buffer. All the best for the presidential elections then! Remember, transparent nail polish!
#22. Fairy, you know I was not very patient to let the nail grows longer so I can clip that black tip. When only a small spot left, I remove it by a manicure tool (I don't know its name though) and rub that stain for good. On the presidential election, I'll be more careful by letting only the very tip of my finger dipped into the ink and rubbing the drips right away. Yikes, I hate the awful stain.
#21. Demiz, apparently menurut nenekku, I have some Minang blood, her grandmother was from Bukit Tinggi in Sumatera or something like. Jadi ya gitu lah. My interest in Indonesia has nothing to do my ancestry though, it's purely from myself.
#20. Kalo gak salah gue baca2 dari salah satu cerita kamu yg bilang kamu masih ada darah padangnya(Minangkaba u/west Sumatera), so sorry kalo gue salah ya :p
#19. DEMIZ: Wah tau dari mana saya punya darah Padang? Yah, darah saya ngga jelas deh hehe.
#18. Hi Fay Thanks udah "munculin" komentar gue (That was my 1st comment ! )
#17. Suria: Euw!
#16. Wow, that should be effective to ensure no/less pengundi hantu/bogus voter. I pernah hitam kuku kaki masa pergi camping at Bekelah, Pahang. Rasanya sebab kasut yang terlalu ketat. That kuku tercabut masa I mandi at the waterfalls kat sana. And, so far.. its the nicest waterfalls yang I pernah pergi!! So, berbaloi lah tercabut kuku. I have a picture of my kaki and the kuku hitam tu..
#15. Demiz hello, iya iya ga ge er kok, tenang aja.
#14. Hi Fairy... i love you... maksud gue i love ur web site (Jangan ge er dulu makanya )
#13. ROEDI: Beli ajah dari Carrefour sanah nail polish removernya. "Nyoblos" di Malaysia disebut mengundi. Yang jelas tidak ada fenomena pakai tinta di jari segala pas 'nyoblos' spt mana di Indonesia jadi banyak "pengundi hantu" (bogus voters) we call it, iaitu orang yang 'nyoblos' lebih dari satu kali. Curang ya.
#9. tapi ngga harus di kelingking kok, ada yang di jempol,ada yang di telunjuk,heheheheehe he
#8. Tainted fingernails..... hmmm still much better style of election than what we have here in Malaysia.
#7. Yes Fai, I still have it...
#6. Norman, I wasn't at the Indonesian fair in Midvalley, I was in Jakarta for the entire weekend, that's why this story is online.
#5. pemilu season???? Never heard of that...
#2. ah gak apa-apa kok fai, lima taonan kok lagian rajin2x cuci pake sabun juga ilang...
#1. Itu aneh dong
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