‘Ka-weh’ atau tidak? ‘Genuine-fake’ or not?

Beautiful batik, nothing fake about it, barang ori saja.

I love my online Indonesian Skype lessons with Ibu Roro, Ibu Fina and Ibu Rini and the other teachers at WB in Yogyakarta or Jogja as its more well known. Yogyakarta is the city’s official name but its affectionately known as Jogja, located in Java.

I go to Jogja now whenever I can to study Indonesian with them in person, usually once a year, however when I am back in my home town Perth, my lessons are Skype classes for the rest of the year.  I say ‘study with them’ but of course its these hardworking teachers actually teaching me Indonesian. However, we have such great discussions that it feels to me like we are in it together, hence I use the incorrect term ‘study together’. As a teacher myself that’s how I think learning should be – that you feel like you are all in it together.

This morning we talked about buying barang palsu or fake goods.  I commented that Bali is famous for fake goods and Ibu said “Tidak Lisa, seluruh di Indonesia” (No, Lisa all over Indonesia).  We had a good laugh about KW, pronounced ka-weh.  KW is the short form of the Indonesian word kwalitas or quality, but it also means ‘fake goods’.  And there are different grades of KW.

KW1 (ka-weh satu) is the best quality fake stuff.

KW2 (ka-weh dua) is second rate quality fake stuff.

KW3, (ka-weh tiga), well, Ibu Roro didn’t want to elaborate on KW3 so I am guessing its probably not very good quality fake stuff.

Kuta Beach Guard Police, kw atau barang ori?

So next time you are at the market in Indo and are trying to negotiate a deal for sunglasses or sneakers or clothing, you could slip in these words.  KW atau tidak?  (Is it genuine fake or not?).  I doubt the shop owner in Bali would have heard many bule (white people) or orang asing (foreigners) slip the old KW into the pricing negotiations before.  It should at least brighten their day even if you don’t buy anything.

If you are well cashed up and don’t buy fake goods then you can say ‘mau barang ori saja’, I only want the real thing.  Barang means thing and ori comes from ‘original’ in English.  Though I don’t think you are going to have half as much fun or save as much money as you would buying the KW stuff. There’s nothing much to talk about when you come home with a genuine article and an empty bank account!

Leave a Reply