Two Indonesian twin sisters, who were separated when they were only two months old due to local superstitions and an episode of sectarian violence, have met again after 24 years thanks to a video on the social network TikTok. “At first I did not believe it. I thought it was a scam, someone who only looks similar to me,” said Elis Treni Mustika, a young woman influencer with thousands of followers on social media, whose adoptive family raised her as an only child.
The young woman, 24, and owner of an online makeup store, uploaded one of her usual videos that by chance was seen hundreds of kilometers away by a neighbor of her sister Trena. The neighbor, who confused the sisters who finally met again last October, told Trena how funny his videos were on TikTok, to which she replied that she did not even have a profile on that social network.
“When we started talking (in October), she knew my parents’ names and even had a picture of my childhood. She knew I had lived in Ambon a long time ago. Then she sent me her Facebook profile and I saw that we were very similar Especially when we were girls, “said Treni.
Treni Mustika and her sister Trena were born in 1995 in the city of Ambon, capital of the central Moluccas Islands, into a family that had emigrated from West Java under a government program to encourage the repopulation of part of the Indonesian archipelago.
Due to a series of beliefs and the fear that both would get sick at the same time, a wise local elder recommended raising the twins separately and for years the parents regularly visited the foster parents of both.
In 1999, violence broke out between Muslim and Christian communities settled in the Moluccas, which lasted more than four years and claimed the lives of at least 5,000 people and up to 700,000 residents were displaced.
The twins’ biological parents were forced to flee to their native West Java but were only able to locate Trena, while losing contact with Treni’s adoptive parents, who in turn moved to East Java.
From her home in the town of Blitar, Treni, who changed her surname to Fitri Yana from the host family and was unaware of her twin sister’s existence, made her way with her little professional adventure and uploaded videos of her daily life to TikTok, where he had about 8,300 followers.
About 500 kilometers to the west, in the city of Tasikmalaya, Trena, who had been trying to find her sister for two years, managed to contact Treni’s profile thanks to her neighbor’s comment. Finally, last October and after more than two decades apart, the sisters were able to meet again and now both continue to document their day-to-day lives in videos posted on social networks.