Rosa van Malsen | Canggu, Bali / Indonesia
“Everyone is the same, don’t be evil“

Interview | Rosa van Malsen  | Model

I am …
Rosa van Malsen, a 22-year-old Dutch girl living and working in the island of gods 😉 Bali

What is your cultural background?
My grandma – from my father’s side – was born in Batavia, now known by the name of Jakarta. As a daughter of a civil servant (who kept an eye on the fact if trade laws where followed up) she was Dutch Protestant raised and learned among other things to speak Dutch at school. Once the Second World War came to an end Indonesian freedom fighters where slathering any Indonesian citizens that did not ‘’support’’ the Republic of Indonesia. She fled to the Netherlands with her whole family and reunited with my grandpa (a Dutch soldier of the Royal Dutch-Indonesian army) in 1950 and got married 6 years later when my father was born as well 🙂

In terms of ethnicity / culture / identity how would you describe yourself?
After 3 years now, living in Bali, I describe myself more as Dutch than Indonesian. There are many many aspects of life and culture I recognize but would not want to or trying hard to not make my own. Things as hospitality, having everyone over for dinner and being sincerely interested in someone else’s well-being are more Indonesian than Dutch styled though.

What aspects of your culture are most important to you?
Having respect to belongings that are not yours. Maintaining the culture (and not only the religion or habits but buildings, books and other artifacts etc. as well). Obeying to rules and laws to prevent chaos and offer everyone an ‘’equal’’ chance.

Has your cultural background influenced your life/ and or work – hobbies? And if it did could you give some examples?
My background influenced my life for sure. I traveled to Indonesia as it was my childhood dream. My grandma recommended to go to Bali where I am now and will be for another 2 years. It influenced me also as my grandpa and grandma were of two very different cultures and coming from the war to Holland caused many ‘’problems’’ in communication. There was a period in my childhood that I didn’t have/could have contact with my grandparents for 6 years because they simply couldn’t talk/face problems. Very Indonesian and war-victim characteristics in my opinion.

In what language do you dream?
English 😉 I think in Dutch and English. Not in Indonesian at all..

Earliest Memory?
Nothing related to my Indonesian background.. My earliest memory is probably of my sister.

Growing up you …
Were always going through old photo albums, grandma’s collection of Indonesian ‘’stuff’’, taking every chance to write/research about Indonesia (for school projects and reports for example) and being able to listen to stories of the old days back in Batavia for ever!

What most people don’t know about you is…
My grandma translated my life slogan into old Malay (what she spoke at the time she lived there) and is tattooed on my body.

Cannot live without?

What inspires you?
The possibilities of life, the strength/survival of human beings and the history that floats through many generations.

Currently working on?
Living healthy, developing my skills/interests in life, appreciating everything I have more and making plans for more traveling.

What are you listening (music) to at the moment?
Check this! (click me) Brazilian/Portuguese music

If you ruled the world what would you do?
Install a new power system (instead of powers like the bank owners), destroy any nuclear/weapons in an environment friendly way, put money in cleaning the planet and not in World Cup football games or any big ‘’useless’’ expenses like that and invent ONE big happy religion 😉

Message to the world.
Everyone is the same, don’t be evil.

Where can people find you? (Venues / Web / Social media)
rose_vitelli (Instagram & Facebook)

Thank you for your time & energy

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