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Jakarta Post

‘Kecil-kecil cabe rawit’, stunting and 1,000 days

  • Julia Suryakusuma


Jakarta   /   Thu, October 29 2020   /  01:00 am
Health for all: A medical worker from the South Denpasar community health center (Puskesmas) in Bali vaccinates a toddler on Aug. 19 as part of the government’s efforts to prevent stunting in children. The program continues even during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Antara/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo)

Cabe rawit (bird’s eye chili) are much smaller in size than regular chili peppers, but try chewing one, it could make you run to the nearest fire hydrant to douse the fire in your mouth!  That is why in Indonesia kecil-kecil cabe rawit refers to someone who is small in stature, but who can pack a punch, whether in smarts, bravery or some other special ability, talent or character. Gandhi (1.64 m), Genghis Khan (1.55 m), Lady Gaga (1.55 m) and Kamala Harris (1.57 m) are examples of kecil-kecil cabe rawit people. In Indonesia, our third president, B.J. Habibie (1.62 m) was the shortest, but purportedly also the smartest. Indonesia is not short of short people, unfortunately most do not belong to the kecil-kecil cabe rawit category who are small due to genetics, but because they are under-fives and they are stunted. Stunting is caused not just by chronic malnutrition, re...