Traditional Markets Regain Glory with ‘Sekolah Pasar’

Written by: Mega Aisyah Nirmala

I remember a conversation I had with a close friend a while ago. At the time, my friend asked me whether I would willingly join a volunteer group called Sekolah Pasar (School for Traditional Markets). I closely listened to her story about the organization’s vision and mission. I thought, this is interesting. On the same day, I applied to volunteer. By December last year, I was ready to move and make changes in the community.

Sekolah Pasar is a volunteer organization that puts efforts towards the development of merchants in traditional markets. It educates the merchants through a school at the market and gives free lessons tailored to merchants’ needs and the specific problems they encounter daily at the market. Sekolah Pasar, for instance, has school curricula to teach merchants on how to manage their finances, how to serve customers well, how to display goods, and so on.

Founded in 2011, Sekolah Pasar began operating in Pasar Kranggan, located at the heart of Yogyakarta’s busiest street.

The school has both basic and intermediate level programs. Each level runs for one semester. Upon finishing the two levels, the “students” are transferred to advanced courses run by other education and training centers.

Currently, there are about 30 students in the first class at Kranggan market, whose headmaster is also one of the merchants there. The students at Pasar Sekolah are taught by experts in each subject. The former mayor of Yogyakarta, Herry Zudianto, teaches a beginners class, while the next level is taught by university lecturers, economists, and businessmen who possess expert knowledge in their respective fields.

The class is held twice a month, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. The duration of each class is two hours.

Apart from offering classes to educate the merchants at Kranggan market, Sekolah Pasar also provides a market clinic where merchants are encouraged to visit to get consultation on any kind of business matter.

In my experience of being a volunteer at Sekolah Pasar, I have seen the enthusiastic glows in the faces of the students. They spare some time out of their busy days to study with the hope of developing their businesses in the future, aiming to build a better life. The students vary from fruit sellers, vegetable sellers, and clothes sellers, to many others merchants.

In addition to giving an education to the merchants, Sekolah Pasar also plans to offer informal education to kindergarten, primary school, and middle school students. It will start in April. The goal is to encourage school children to appreciate traditional markets. One of the many ways to make them appreciate traditional markets is by taking them to the market. At Sekolah Pasar, this activity is called the “Tour to the Traditional Market.”

All of these efforts are carried out for the sake of the goodness of traditional markets. Sekolah Pasar understands that the existence of traditional markets is fading among modern consumers. The organization just won’t let traditional markets lose their cultural identity due to tough competition from supermarkets. Sekolah Pasar realizes that preserving traditional markets will not be easy, but I, and other volunteers at the organization, am sure that our struggle will be rewarded. I believe that traditional markets will regain their glory.

A great management thinker Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” That is what we at Sekolah Pasar are trying to do. We will re-create the glory of traditional markets as a future center of Indonesian commerce.

Through this volunteering activity, I have met many people from different backgrounds. Many of the volunteers at Sekolah Pasar are university students from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Universitas Mercu Buana, and many others. I feel good to work together with such inspiring, dedicated fellow volunteers. When you sacrifice yourself for the sake of others’ goodness, that feels really good.

Although it is not my first time being a volunteer, I feel the challenge here is steeper than at any other organization where I have worked. The experience itself allows me to evaluate the way I think, the way I care for my surroundings, and, most of all, the way I see and handle problems.

I believe my time spent as a volunteer at Sekolah Pasar is in line with what American author Edward Everett Hale said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do”.

For more information on Pasar Sekolah, visit

-Published in Jakarta Globe-

Kranggan market, Jogjakarta

Kranggan market, Jogjakarta


The Real Economic Hero

Written by Mega Ai

Everyone has aspiration in their life. They have dreams and hopes toward something. They want to be ‘something’ in the future, including me. I also have an aspiration since I was child. It had been changing so many times. I still remember that I ever wanted to be a doctor, a pilot, and so on. Until I grew up, it changed to be a writer, a photographer, a designer, and so on. But then, it changes again when I was starting my undergraduate study. I was thinking that after finish my undergraduate study, I will continue my study as higher as possible. After that, I will find a good job. I want to work in a big or giant company.

But at the end of my undergraduate study, my mind is quite changing, except for studying. In my opinion, higher education has to go on, therefore, I am pursuing for master degree right now. But I am now thinking that I don’t want to find a job after I got my MBA. Because I want to create a job. I want to be an entrepreneur, the real economic hero. Many entrepreneurs are really inspiring me lately, so I just want to be a part of the real economic hero in the future.

Well, many people asking me why do I pursue my master degree. Most of them think that I want to be an academician. I don’t know why but it seems that many people think that higher education is just for people who is in education area. I myself really never think of it since I realize that I don’t have any ablity in this area. In my opinion, no matter what you want to be in the future, higher education is always needed.

Hence, people can’t predict future, right? I don’t know what my future is going to be. Who knows in the future I will be an academician or anything else. But I believe that if you have a dream, and you fight for it, you’ll make your dreams come true. Agree with me? 😉  


This is Unethical

Written by Mega Ai

“Use Condom!” I read this statement in many advertisements like billboard, poster, and the like in many places like in the corner of the street. Actually, I’ve thought about it since long time ago. But I didn’t really get the idea of this advertisement until oneday I read an article in a newspaper about this advertisement.

Alright, the advertisement say that using condom is one of the ways to prevent HIV/AIDS to spread out. My question is, why it has to be suggesting people to use condom to stop HIV/AIDS spread out? Why don’t they just say don’t do free sex? However, free sex is obviously forbidden. I guess that every religion thaught so. Moreover, in this country which is Muslim as the majority, it is just out of my mind. It’s really not ethical in my opinion since that statement implicitly saying that you can do free sex, but please use condom. Am I right?

Well, this is just an opinion, we do not need to use condom because we don’t do free sex.


this picture adopted from

this picture adopted from

I am more Indonesian,,, :P

Written by Mega Ai

Indonesia is very diverse, yes we know it. We have thousands different tribes and local languages exist in here. Therefore, cross culture is something very common. I mean, different cultures united by marriage is common to see. My family is the example. My mom comes from Central Java, she is surely a Javanese since her parents and her grandparents are also Javanese. But my father is different. He comes from Central Borneo while his father is originally from North Sulawesi.

Well, it means that there are at least three different bloods in my vein, Central Java, Central Borneo, and North Sulawesi. But I was born and grow up here, in Jogjakarta, and obviously being a Jogjanese. Some opinions say that people grow in the line of their environment. Since I am growing in Jogja so I feel that I am just so Jogjanese, but in fact, some people do not fully accept that I am a Jogjanese. It shows that descent factor couldn’t be fully ignored in someone’s life. Now I think that I am a combination of Central Java, Central Borneo, North Sulawesi, and Jogjakarta. Haha.

One of the different cultures is local language. My mom and my father has different language. But we have Indonesian language, which is the only choice we can use to communicate well. Anyway, I wasn’t really good in speaking my father’s language, but I am fluent to speak in my mom’s language since her language is the local language here. Even so, we all speak Indonesian in the family or to other people. I speak my local language, which is Javanese, only to my close friends. For your information, Javanese language has levels of language. The language will be different when you speak to younger, same generation, or older people.

Well, in my opinion, with many cross cultures like my family, people nowadays are more Indonesian rather than being Javanese, Borneonese, Sulawesinese, or others. So, if people ask me where I am  from? I will answer I am from Jogja and I am a Jogjanese. But if they don’t agree with that, I will just say that I am Indonesian. Haha!

this pict adopted from

this pict adopted from