Reunion of Indonesian nanny and Taiwanese woman inspires man's search for his former nanny

Young Chan Kuo Ting (right) poses with his younger sister (center) and his Indonesian nanny, whom he referred to as E-dam. Chan has begun an online search in the hopes of being reunited with E-dam, who left Taiwan 17 years ago. A handout photo.
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Inspired by a recent story of a Taiwanese student reuniting with her former Indonesian nanny, 27-year-old Taiwanese man Chan Kuo Ting has started an online search for his own former Indonesian nanny with the help of social media.

Chan told The Jakarta Post that he was separated from his Indonesian-born nanny 17 years ago. The nanny, whom he often called E-dam, left Taiwan when Chan was in fourth grade.

"I still remember that day. I took some oranges from my school so I could share them with her [E-dam] because she loves oranges, but my teacher told me that she had returned to Indonesia," Chan said.

A copy of E-dam's old passport that Chan showed to the Post shows that E-dam's real name is Sartem Tario. The address on the passport shows that she lived in Rawamerta district, Karawang regency, West Java.

"I have always hoped that she would come back to us one day, but as days went by, I realised I would never see her again," he said.

He said that E-dam took care of him like her own son, especially as his parents were busy with work.

"Whenever I was at school, I always looked forward to telling her what I did at school when I got home," Chan said.

The separation had taken a huge toll on Chan, to the point that he sought psychologist guidance to help overcome the issue.

Chan, a soon-to-be father, expressed hope he could introduce his wife as well as his future daughter to her.

"I'm going to be a father this August, so you [E-dam] are going to be a grandma too! I often tell my wife about her, and she really wants to see her. Everyone is dying to see her!" Chan said.

Last month, Taiwanese student Hsu Zhih-han made a successful attempt to reunite with an Indonesian woman who took care of her during her childhood.

Hsu began an online search by posting photos of Dwi Setyowati, her nanny, on Facebook and said she was trying to locate her "second mother", who had taken care of her since her birth until she was four years old.

The story was later picked up by several Indonesian media outlets, resulting in a job broker in Taiwan giving Hsu Dwi's phone number. The two reunited in an emotional video call.