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i haven't been to indonesia before but this rupiah currency frustrates me everytime i see it in news articles. so how much is 9000 rupiah in Aus dollar? how much does an average family middle class earn in indonesia?

User icon of Jeroen
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The currency converter can be found on the frontpage of this website. Emoticon: Wink

User icon of Agung
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You shouldn't be frustrated, because the bottom line is that when you go to Indonesia you'll get an awful lot of Indonesian money for your Aus$.

So, Indonesia is rahter cheap when you come with Aus$, but it expensensive for Indonesian people who are payed in Rp.

Then about how much they earn on average. I'm not sure, but I know you should be careful with reading the statistics, since the money is not equilly distributed. Some have a lot, many have more or less nothing. For poor people on the country a large part of their income is in food and not in money. So it depends quite a lot where you are. But to put a number on it I guess many families have to live on about Rp 1.000.000.- or less every month. I guess I need some comment from Indonesian people on this. Emoticon: Confused

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Hi Agung and Pharaoh21,

I am an Australian woman who has been to Indonesia many times and I have a little weekend English school in Cipanas/Cianjur in West Java.
I can assure you there are millions of Indonesians who live on less than 500,000 per month which in Aussie dollars is roughly $73AUD/month.
Most factory workers only earn 450,000-600,000/month although the Govt has said the average monthly wage should be about 650,000.
That makes it so difficult for children to advance to higher education, even junior high school because the money earned by the family is not available to spend on education.
At under 500,000 it just covers food, clothing, electricity etc.
For example a child entering an academically sound junior high school in an area in West Java like Cianjur has costs of the first year amounting to 1.5 million.
I personally know this to be true as I am sending a young boy Yanyan,13 yrs old to junior high school this year and with entrance and admin fees, uniforms for general wear and sport , books, and monthly tuition fees for 12 months it has so far come to 1.5 million.
This boy's family have 6 other children and the father has a very lowly paid job in the local cementary, so their monthly wages probably do not get anywhere near 500,000.
Hoping this has helped with the understanding of wages in Indonesia.
Maybe some Indonesians can post in reference to my comments.

User icon of Agung
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Hi Pamela,
the 1 milion I wrote about is the income of the family. Poor families usually have (must have) more than one income. Well, this is the case in Bali, in Jawa this could be different. So, then we agree rather well.

I guess that the salaries in remote places are even lower, but the prices of daily living also. As far as I know these people usually run into trouble when they meet something like hospital bills, school bills or government papers. They have no insurance and all of these are very expensive. Emoticon: Nooo

User icon of sidia
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Pamela ,
yes its correct what you writing.
I hope that there are more people like you who loves the people especialy the poor.
On behalf of the other yanyans thank you for your support.

Bisa dicek mas .

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Yes, you may be discussing Bali, but I am sorry I doubt the figures you are quoting there as well. I say this because one only has to read Bali Travel Forum to understand that many many parts of Bali are poor. There is no way these Balinese would be earning 1 million rupiah/month. Rotary from Aust, Helen Flavell Foundation, Kupu Kupu Foundation for the Disabled in Bali, Bali Crisis Care in Singaraja, a French woman Sandie who has a free kindergarten for children and a guy from Western Aust called Cracker are just a very few of the number of people and organisations that help people in Bali.
Plus I also belong to a closed forum for women with Indonesian partners and I have been very well educated through that as to the poverty in Indonesia as well from my own experiences of spending almost a year in Indonesia spread over 7 yrs.
And I have never been a typical tourist staying in hotels etc. I usually travel with an english speaking guide friend ( I have many friends now) and stay at budget places and in indonesian homes with the families so get to know and understand their lives. Each year I usually revisit these people and so have grown to know and understand their daily lives over the years.

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Hi Sidia,
Thank you very much for verifying my description of the reality of most Indonesian families.
Thanks also for your acknowledgement of my work there. I did not write about it because I want accolades because that is not the case. I wanted to let Agung and others know that life is not easy for most Indonesians and I know about it from a personal level working with families to educate their children.
Here is little about what I am doing in a more detailed way. I would dearly love to do more, but hopefully that will happen in the future if I can get my little handbag business happening and more money coming in.
So far I am sending 4 children to school, 3 boys in the Cipanas/Cianjur region and a girl in Bogor.
Plus I have helped two families with children with medical problems, one boy Riktzi with hydrocephalus (water on the brain), thankfully we do not have to operate as this has been discussed with Dr Hasan in Bandung via phone from Aust. He is stable and just needs to be Cat scanned every year.
My other child is Habid, one of my students learning English through my FREE program who received glasses this year to help his eye sight (virtually blind).
Born with congential cataracts, operated on at 7yrs and now at 14 yrs cannot see very much at all.
And the poor father has been beating himself up for 7 yrs wanting to buy his son some special vitamin tablets to help the eye sight, but there was NO way he could afford 600,000 rupiah/month for the tablets.
Dr Parbo at the Jakarta Eye Centre was able to tell the father that the tablets would not be able to do anything for his son and at last after 7 yrs the father can sleep at night with no worries.
Glasses were prescribed, but Dr Parbo was not enthusiastic as to their performance. However that doubt has been unfounded and Harbid loves his new glasses and only takes them off to sleep.
And finally a little about Yanyan. This young boy is an exceptional boy in that he is a victim of polio, totally crippled and has just topped 10 schools in the Cianjur region in his last year of elementary school.
For his graduation he spoke in english to the applause of everyone. He started in our English programme last October and his dream was to make a speech in English for his graduation which he did with aplomb.
Brought to my attention in Jan 2003, I was able to provide money for a wheelchair to be purchased in Bogor and taken to Cianjur where he lives.
The wheelchair such an easy purchase for me has made the world of difference to Yanyan ( his father used to carry him to/from school morning and afternoon every day & Yanyan weighed 30 kgs) in so many ways too numerous to mention here. And now with me being responsible for his education he has a chance to have a better life and hopefully provide for his own family later with an academic career.
His present from me for his exceptional year at school was something he has desired for awhile now. Armed walking sticks which he is attempting to master at this present time.
The absolute joy I get from providing the simple things I do is worth more, than all the money in the entire world.
It is simply about giving people opportunities that they would never normal get.

User icon of Agung
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Hi Pamela,
I don't think we have a different idea about this. In Indonesia the individual income is not what counts, but the family income does. A family will nearly always have more than one income. Often a bit more than two, since it's normal for childern to work after their school is finished. Not good of course, but they have no choice. As a matter of fact the childern (my nephews & nieces) consider themself lucky when they have a job after school.

By the way, the real bad thing is not so much the average income of the middle class families, but the income of the poor. In western countries there's always government support for those that really need it. In Indonesia, maybe they have family who can help them, if not, maybe people like you, Pamala, but that's about it. Please continue with your good work

I guess it's not needed to say that my wife & I also sponsor my nephews and nieces studies, although in the last few years we also sometimes had to buy food, since some of them didn't have enough.



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the wage Rp 1.000.000-below, i guess is for the lower class
for middle class it should be around Rp 1.500.000-3.000.000 minimum
i assume the middle class here includes the working people
working people here must work hard to have better life,
most of them are doing sidejobs,
as its very hard to have a decent life fullfilled (entertainment,foods,health,etc)

but, i think one family with 2 kids can live happily with 1,5 million Rp/month

i can give you a clue
in indonesia, the lower class (the poor) wont go anywhere
the middle class (working class) must work like a dog
and the richest will always be on the top
and the gap is very huge between this social status

mostly the richest are goverment officials including the corruptor, actress and actors of the soap opera and born to be rich businessman
hmm i really admire some people; for example like my ex-boss
hes american and get a kind heart to help the poor kids here, send them to schools and university, give em shelter,etc

thats what i think, anyone going to add?
Emoticon: Smile

aku tak memiliki cinta, aku hanya memiliki nafsu, telah kubunuh cintaku dan ku kubur dalam-dalam sanubari

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bujang_vektor,out of intrest what area of Indonesia are those figures from?

My wife Lives in central Java is a radio DJ gets about 1 million a month.(but I know that a Djs wage varys widely)

Her uncle is a school teacher teaches english and gets 1.5 a month,support a family of 4.

I would say there both middle class in these areas,but within a few hundred meteres of both there houses,you can see total other extremes houses that here in Australia would cost a million Au$ and houses that are relly only home made sheds,some with no furniture.

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yes sebastian,,
thats what im saying,
there are houses here built like a palace and the next to it is a hut where beggar and his family live in it

the approximate salary i gave is in jakarta only, outside jakarta like yogyakarta, bandung and even bali, the salary there is lower

if you are living in australia, is there a huge gap between the social status? Emoticon: Smile

aku tak memiliki cinta, aku hanya memiliki nafsu, telah kubunuh cintaku dan ku kubur dalam-dalam sanubari

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Oh yes Jakarta that makes sence....and that kind of explains why when you rent a car with driver it cost so much,compared to bali.

Well the gap in Australia isn't as big as in Indonesia and the social classes don't live side by side as in Indonesia, but there still is a large gap.

There is still people who live on the streets and also people with more money than you could imagine,but i think you would find that anywhere in the world.

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the best thing is... i guess
live the life fully and apprreciate what we got
because if we always look at others, it wont end
we will always be jealous with what ppl got,
i believe happiness is not only about money

aku tak memiliki cinta, aku hanya memiliki nafsu, telah kubunuh cintaku dan ku kubur dalam-dalam sanubari

User icon of divodurum
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Maybe you guys now understand why people in developing countries need to have many children... it's their social security. so don't blame them. Many people in the west always complain: "They are so poor but have so many children".
A servant in Bali earns about Rp 300.000 (excl) and the girls working in a shop don't get much more so...........
ps: the rate of the Austr. dollar is 7515 today;
Dick / NL

Wayang Golek: Petruk

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