An ordinary woman…, a wise woman; my mother.

sungai I  was born in a small village not far from the notorious Aburizal Bakrie’s legacy, Lumpur Lapindo – Porong, Sidoarjo. I was very fortunate that I was born from a couple of honourable parent. Compare to my friends in my village, I feel grateful.  It is me who could survive to proceed my education  until college.

It wouldn’t have happened without  my parent, of course. A fact that I could never ever deny. My father was an ordinary man with a future mindset. He always wanted his children to be successful  In their future. And he believed that the only way to reach that was by sending his children to good schools.

My father was just a farmer and was a chief of the village.  He ruled the village since Indonesia had not been an independent country.  He was appointed by the people that put a big hope on him. As one of the young people soldier, my father actively engaged in pursuing independence from Japan. He was a brave guy once he became the most  WANTED man by the enemy.

And my mother, a humble and the most simplest  woman i’ve ever known on earth.  She always obeyed my father in whatever he said. If my father said No on something, she would do her best to say NO too to her children as not to raise our disappointment.

My parents raised nine children in that old and ” growing” house. I said growing as the house grew bigger as one by one my siblings came to the world. It was funny. My father added room by room, could be every two year, as our age differences mostly two years, except I and my young sister, the youngest. We have seven years difference.

My father had passed away on 2012. A heavy year for me, as I felt missing him so much. But thinking that I and my siblings had done the best we can to take care of him, made us feel ease. And we still have one parent, my beloved Emak, that’s how we call her.

Since my father left, my mother felt lonely. So, I pick her up every holiday so she can stay with me in Jakarta. But when she was in Jakarta, she always begs to be taken home again for some reasons. 

Then,  I am taking her back to my hometown after staying with me, and with my sister in Jakarta for about one month.

I really love and adore my mother. She is kind of the product of colonialism education . She was used to obey whatever my father said even without thinking, as she really believed and loved him. When you love someone, you will believe him or her, won’t you?

My  father was a very dominant figure for his family and people. But, I believed that he did that for many reasons. He did not want to see his children grew and became jobless or live their lives by relying on our land and fields at the village, like many children there. Almost all of them. They stopped going to school after graduating from Elementary or secondary. Then they got married, have children and go to the field for their living. My father just wanted the other way around. Once he said that it was hard living as a farmer as weather sometimes so unpredictable.  So he did not not want his children have those heavy and hard life as his. And his dreams came true. He got the fruit of his perseverance. Most of us live a better lives, of course compare to his and people in my village.

Now, what we have is  my mother. The only parent left. She is everything to me. Her simplicity inspires me to live simply and wisely. Her love and care towards my father and her nine children teaches me a lot about compassion. She always hides herself behind, she is every thing to all of her children’ lives. She genuinely offers herself to be always available tirelessly. She offers whether her sons or daughters want this or that whenever they are home for visiting.

Yes, she is my mother. The simplest and wisest women, for me.

Jakarta, Dec 17, 2014

The Sweetest Thing

Pish's Blog of Loveliness

Although it seems like eons ago, I remember being pregnant with my daughter. I remember those months of waiting, anticipating, worrying, and wondering. What would she look like? What would she be like? Would she have my laugh and her father’s head for math and directions? No, seriously … It seems like a silly thing, but a good sense of direction is important in life. I have been known to get completely turned around in the city in which I lived for a number of years. My father always told me I could get lost in a wet paper bag.

We all want the best of everything for our children. We probably wouldn’t ever admit this out loud, but we want them to be more beautiful than we ever were. We want then to be smarter. We want them to feel they can dangle the world at the end of…

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Days in, days out….(For my two innocent colleagues) #NeilandFerdi

I start counting again,

You start counting again,

WE DO…

Neil and Ferdi, do you count it too?

 

It began from day one, two, three….with tears

Then four, five, six….turned  to sick of anger and fears

Days in, days out moving like gears

Then ten, twenty, thirty, forty….seem to be like years

 

I start counting again,

You start counting again,

WE DO…

Neil and Ferdi, do you count it too?

 

The candle lights do…

The dragon troops do…

More people around the globe do…

Even…our pets do it too..

 

When it comes to forty….,

We never thought that it would be this long…

We never realised that we could be this strong…

Forty days unwavering in our sanity…

 

Then it comes to forty one…..STOP! Please STOP!

We do not want this injustice keep going on…

Fill our souls with indignation…

Stop the number at forty one, STOP! Please STOP!

 

When the truth dies, very bad things happen…

But we will never give up on you…

The longer they hold you, the stronger we will fight for you…

The strength of your innocence will never be beaten..

 

Let the days in and out,

Each day is a day of welcoming you home…

Living and Loving as an Introvert

Nice note:)

dorkymum

good advice

*stands up*

*shuffles nervously*

*clears throat*

Hello. My name’s Ruth and I am an introvert.

Would you believe that it has taken me 31 years to say that?

Most of those years have been taken up with saying other things. No, I’m not anti-social. No, I’m not shy. No, it’s not that I hate people, or that I hate you, or that I’m a badly brought up Awkward Annie.

I’m just an introvert.

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Baduy Tribe ; The Strength that unites with Nature

Just a week  ago, for the second time I visited  Baduy  land. It is a village  located not far from  Rangkasbitung, Banten, West Java – Indonesia.  Baduy tribe splits in two, namely inner part and outer part of  Baduy.  The names itself represent how  these tribe   open up to the outside world.

      Outer (part) Baduy. The location is adjacent to Kampung Ciboleger (the closest entrance to the Baduy village Gajebo- outer Part of Baduy). The outer part of Baduy (let’s call Baduy luar), often interact with people from  surrounding communities outside Baduy. Even the majority have been using mobile phones as their communication tool. While the inner part of Baduy (let’s call Baduy Dalam) , is very exclusive, shut themselves  down and seldom have interaction with the outside world.

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     However, in spite of the above differences, what fundamentally similar between both that give unique characteristics of this tribe is the way they live. They strongly hold their customs  and traditions. They  only use wood and other natural resources for their home, they do not allow any electricity, and do not send their children to school. Any formal education outside is prohibited. 

My first visit was about six years ago. At that time, I was immediately impressed with the silence that I felt when I was down the walkway that connects  village to village. 

     Along the way….lined trees, plants and shrubs around the  fields.  Everywhere is green. The sky is blue and clear. The air is fresh and relaxing. The rustle of the wind in the dense foliage creates beautiful orchestra. The creaking crickets, the chirping birds and the crawling insects shout to each other accompanied by  ants swarming among the dry leaves that fall all over  the ground. Peaceful. That’s how I felt.

     Not much has changed in Baduy. And it would never change. Their houses  and Leuit (traditional paddy rice storages) is made of bamboo and the roof is from kirai leaves (similar to coconut tree leaves). The men are dressed in

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black and wearing a blue headband – while the women dress in blue  batik sarong with the black top (Baduy Luar costume)). While  Baduy Dalam tribe are dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt or also called Jamang Sangsang. The women, not much different from women in Baduy Luar costume. When they are traveling, either to the field or to the market, they bring their stuff  with a long scarf (selendang) that tied to their body.

   Night life in Baduy both luar and dalam is a perfect silence and darkness. Although many residents of Baduy luar  use flashlight to do their evening errands, but the only light shares to the whole village is the light that illuminates from the moon. Baduy people are so accustomed to the dark. There are almost no  activities at night. They use the time to fully rest after exhausting working all day long in the fields. But sometimes, in the middle of the silence, we can hear some Baduy young men practicing the xylophone  (gambang kromong) –  Sundanese traditional musical instrument. They gather at Jaroh Daina’s home (the chief of the village). 

    The  uniqueness and  the peacefulness are what Baduy offer to its visitors. When the life in the outside world are hustle and bustle with football world cup fever, Baduy people embrace the night soundly within its darkness. When people outside  are busy meeting their never-ending wants and needs, Baduy people mingle in their house porches talking about  tidbits  or away in their fields where the crops always wait for the touch of his hands. 

      In those complete silence and darkness, Baduy is a symbol of strength. Strength to stick to the traditional values ​ that ​they believe within and  have been passed from generation to generation by their ancestors. A strength that reach out the visitors to its peaceful that unite with nature.

Jakarta – Indonesia

July 5, 2014

(In commemoration of National Resurrection Day (Indonesia): The Three Assets of Nations: Youth, Culture and Language

By: Rahayu Matruno Anwar

      106 years ago, May 20, 1908,  was born the first youth movement namely Boedi Oetomo (Budi Utomo). This movement marked the rise of the spirit of unity, nationalism and an awareness of the fight for independence of the Republic of Indonesia. The spirit to break away from colonialism, to catch up and free the nation from backwardness became the values ​​of unity that increasingly crystallised and created a moral strength within the nation. Twenty years later these values ​​contained in the pledge of Soempah Pemoeda, in October 28, 1928.

     The youth struggle during those heavy times was focused on the achievement of national independence. The Independence of the Republic of Indonesia was eventually obtained through a long struggle. It has been nearly 69 years since the age of independence. If this country were a human figure, physically he would be old and weak. While his soul should be rich with life experiences. Every word he said becomes a valuable legacy to his offspring.

     As a nation that began to ripen, how successful are we in inculcating and passing down the noble values of our ancestor ​​to young generation who will sustain and be the successor for the future of our nation?

     Why young generation? There is no other reason to say except that the youth are the driving force of the dynamics of a nation. Boedi Oetomo organization was born because of the initiative of the youth.  The Youth Pledge was triggered because of the strong resolve of the youth. Almost any forms of major changes in the earth were spearheaded by youth. Name few examples; 30 years of the Suharto regime was collapsed because of the youth move for change, then many acts of reform after his fall. The 42-year regime of Muammar Qhadafi collapsed because of similar reasons. Vietnamese obtained  independence from the youth patriotism that light to all levels of its society. And many more examples of the major movements that occur due to the guts and the courage of youth. 

     The youth has such a tremendous and strong role in the survival of a nation. Our first President, Ir. Sukarno once said “Give me a thousand of elder people, I will pull Semeru from its roots. Give me ten young men, I will shake the world. “” A thousand  of elder people could only dream, but a young man can change the world.” What amazing!  

       But now many of us have a big concern that our young generation could not  filter the influence and the widespread of globalisation era that in some parts contribute to the depletion of youth nationalism. The easily accessed internet  unquestionably has wrapped the world within grasp. Virtually, everything becomes spaceless, timeless and borderless. The western cultures captured the youth interest. While the nation’s cultural heritage or traditions seem to be underestimated.

     Has it ever crossed in our minds, how well is actually our young generation knowing the beautiful places around this beloved country? How big is their interest in exploring the country which is also called as  the equator’s emerald?

        I posed the questions above with amused curiosity , particularly after watching a talk show on one of private TV about two weeks ago. Being asked by the host of the show, a female group band that consists of nine young girls sheepishly acknowledged that they did not know where Bromo Mountain was located. Quite alarming. Don’t you think so? 

     If  Bromo mountain that is famed with its sea of sand is escaped from their knowledge, let alone the exotic beauty of islands in the east parts of Indonesia that many tourists called as the Africa of Indonesia such as Flores, Sumba or Papua  with its  marvellous Raja Ampat.

       When our young generation lack of knowledge of the beauty of their own country , how can they promote their country to the world around? Or probably at least just to their fans? 

     Traveling overseas or to the neighbouring countries seems to be on demand as an option to spend holidays. But this should not be the reason to justify the ignorance of their country’s beauty. 

     Provide youth with sufficient knowledge of the country’s assets. In this way, the young generation are de facto take roles as tourism ambassadors. Through informal conversations in this global social media era, the youth can put in any conversations around tourism. In the long run, there will be many more tourists come to visit as the result of the growing curiosity.

         To bring this into reality, education plays an essential role. Raising an awareness  of the country’s assets among youth can be done through establishing and modifying the content of Indonesian Studies subject. 

   Referring to its name, in Indonesian studies students are not only learning Bahasa Indonesia, but they are also learning about Indonesian history, arts, cultures and tourism.

        The teaching methodology is as important as the content. Teaching history, for an example. Instead of giving students assignments to read or memorize  names and any facts about kingdoms that ever existed in Indonesia, it would be more meaningful if the students are asked to do research on historical tourism across Indonesia. At the end, they could do presentation to promote those historical places  to a wide range of audience .

         While in arts, cultures and tourism,  teachers can do likewise.  Have students do researches about cultural diversity or about tourism destinations from Sabang to Merauke. Then challenge the students to find ways to share what they know. 

         How can we instill a love and pride to homeland to youth if they do not know where Bromo or Lake Toba is located.  Or how they would conserve and continue our traditions and cultures if they never knew any traditional ceremonies such as bull racing in Madura, Kasada at Mount Bromo, Bau Nyale in Lombok , Tiwah ceremony by Dayak tribe in Central Kalimantan or Pasola Sumba in  Sumba and many other traditions and cultures which is said to reach hundreds of them? Who will preserve these traditions and cultures if our young generations seem to be indifferent? 

      Should we  wait until many more traditions and cultures seized and acknowledged by our neighbouring countries? It is enough as it had happened with Pendet traditional dance, Barong Dance, some traditional songs and even almost happened to batik, the high artistic craft which is inherited from generation to generation in many parts of Indonesia.

     As a matter of fact, both youth and cultures are two big assets of a country. 

    The third asset is  language, Bahasa Indonesia.

    People say language Is an identity.    What a nation without languages?

   Bahasa Indonesia is a compulsory subject in schools. Indeed, it is true. But ironically, more and more public places or entertainments in all aspects of life are labeled in foreign languages​​. Name some of them; Mall, Giant, Town Square, fitness centre, ATM and many others. While on TV some programs are labeled as Morning News, Prime Time, Breaking News, Midnight Show, You Keep Smile, and many others. 

    What kind of message are we sending to our youth and society through this naming pattern? A message of proudly speaking Indonesian? Quite the opposite, right? 

     Yet there are historical evidences  show that Bahasa Indonesia has become a unifying language of the country with the fourth largest population in the world. 

     Youth, Culture and language are the three main pillars of a nation, one of which could not have survived without the support of the other two. Youth without a pride in culture and language of their nation will just lead to the destruction of the nation’s heritages. On the other hand, cultures without youth and language that can  spread and communicate the messages will also gradually be endangered. A condition that we would never expect, off course. 

   O youth! The future of this country is in your hands. Resonate the spirit of Unity in Diversity in each corner of the world. Arise! Come to the front! Make a difference! 

    “The destiny of any nation, at any given time, depends on the opinions of its young men … “ — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.