Baper, the Society’s Sensitivity

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The Indonesian popular term baper, stands for “bawa perasaan” is not denotatively “carry a feeling”; the meaning among social practices could be complicated and blurry. The word is used in varied circumstances; when someone is in love, feeling angry, sad, and even being ecstatic. Yet, to our surprise, the word usage also contains sensitive part; and we might be very careful and peculiar to use it.

Although baper is very popular among Indonesians and it no more becomes a strange word in our society, people often get hurt when someone calls them baper. When you’re being over sensitive, put feelings towards everything, are easily annoyed and offended, easily fall for someone, or simply get emotional, the term baper will pop out. Interestingly, people too invest their heart into a purpose and put high expectation on it– which in many cases leads to disappointment. That’s when the word baper is unhealthy.

Baper can be delivered as a romantic way of servicing our feeling. In a personal connection between two opposite genders, occasionally women are the most sensitive ones. They could get too carried away with emotions, causing them to easily cry and fall. Men often show their emotions in order to protect women– often time with probability of no actual romantic feeling; showing they just care and being friendly. In such a case, women could assume different interpretation– they thought men might be interested in them, romantically. Women would then get hurt and baper, men feel guilty by their actions. So, who’s to blame? No one. 

People tend to be stricter and serious when they are under pressure. There are things called “inside jokes” which lead to “dark jokes”. Frequently, people absorb these jokes seriously. When they’re being over-sensitive, this might offend them and end up being baper. They easily get mad and angry over little things. In fact, they might have a reason for acting like that. Probably stressed, depressed, tired of work, or women having their period, even hungry. People often get really mad when starving. These feelings are valid, they’re not baper, they are just drowning themselves in a bad condition. 

Yet, the word baper is not for everyone and rejection to be called as such often happens. People like to justify inappropriate feelings or invalidate someone’s feelings by calling them baper. It’s okay to cry, angry, sad, or even get carried away when the opposite gender treats them nicely. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive–but not too much. People have different point of views with the term baper, since it goes to diverse interpretations.

Since baper has already mingled everywhere, easily targeting someone by calling them “si baper” or “the one bringing too much feeling“– people are sickened by this term and choose to act more ignorant towards everything. This could lead to a more careless society, overthinkers might occur everywhere–thinking they must be more careful about how they behave, and often take someone’s joke seriously. We never know what a single word could do to someone’s life. Thinking before we speak is important to reduce misunderstanding among each other. Baper is indeed a very popular word yet hurtful if the usage is wrong. 

Writer: Nayla Iskandar; Editor: Anisa Kirana | Jakarta, Indonesia | 2021

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