We Have to Appreciate our Local Food

Written by Mega Ai

I have to write. That what comes up in my mind? I realize that I will never have time if I always wait to find the right time to write. Because actually, the right time to write is when there is something is in your mind, that’s the right time for you to write. Based on my experience, something that comes up in your mind, if you don’t write it down, you’ll forget it immediately. Really! That’s why; the habit to take notes is very necessary and important.
Anyway, now I am going to talk about the most pressing issues faced by our country. There are many big and complex problems which are faced by our beloved country Indonesia. One of them is about cultures. Maybe before we explore further about this problem, we to know the definition of culture itself. Culture is something _could be a thing and could be an activity_ that has value and characteristic of the nation that’s exist since long time ago. A little example of our cultural heritage is traditional dancing, music, art, sites, museum, and even some certain behaviors.
Now, why cultures? Because in my opinion, the sense of belonging toward the Indonesian cultures (it includes the local cultures) of the Indonesian people is getting fade and fade. It is especially the young generation. Most of the young generations do not really give attention toward our cultures. Some others even don’t appreciate our own cultures.
One of the examples that we can see clearly is about traditional cultures, such as traditional song and dance which is almost forgotten. Look at it my district in Yogyakarta, the traditional cultures studio is not existed anymore, and there is no passion about traditional cultures among the youth in Yogyakarta. Only few people visit the cultures studio and care about it. While in the other hand, we also can see it clearly that modern theater, bowling area, and billiard places are crowded with so many young people. Instead the traditional cultures, the food we consumed, the way we talked, and even our behavior is moving. For instance, many people prefer to buy pizza rather than local food, such as putu or alike. Many of my Javanese friends cannot speak or never Javanese anymore, whereas local language is part of our culture. One more experience, when I was attending workshop in Bangkok, some of my Malaysian people sang “Rasa sayange” song (traditional song from Maluku). I was shocked. How come they could sing that song fluently? Whereas, we as the owner of the song might couldn’t sing that song very well.
For me, that phenomenon is ironic. And I am sure; this phenomenon is not only happened in my district but also in many districts around Indonesia.
I didn’t say that listening western music, eating pizza, going to billiard, and all the things above is totally wrong. But it goes wrong if we do not pay attention and do not appreciate our own cultures.
I realize that the problem which is faced by our country must be a very complex problem which is very difficult to be solved. That is why, I want to be a writer in which through my writing, and everyone can get inspired to be more appreciate their own cultures. Hopefully.
Now I am going to talk about one of our cultures, which are food more specifically. It is not about recipe, it’s not about how to cook and so on, but it is about how we appreciate our local food. How many kinds of traditional or local food that we know? Can you mention it at least 10? Well, I cannot, to be honest.
Guys, you know what, I am crazy about burger. I like pizza badly. I love coke very much. And I am sure, you love it too. But I realize I should not. Why? Because when you are crazy about something, you will not notice the other things. That’s also applied in this case. When you are crazy about pizza for instance, you will always want to eat pizza; you will not eat putu (such kind of traditional food which is made by rice powder and coconut). When you are crazy about coke, you will always buy coke; you will not buy wedang jahe (such a warm drink made from ginger).
I wonder how if all the body buys pizza and coke, who will by the putu? Who will buy the wedang jahe? Old people? What’s going to happen if they’ve passed way? Our traditional food will pass away too. Who is going to keep our traditional food exists then? Who else if it’s not us?
We realize that sometimes or maybe often, we do not pay attention to our traditional food? We also do not pay attention to the body who sell the traditional food. If we see, most of the seller of traditional food is not the people who live in the middle up level of society. Most of them are living below the poverty line. Let’s try together to love our local food. Because when we eat local food, we help the seller, we help the traditional food exist as well. Nice things to do, right?
Once again, food is just one of the examples from many cultures that we almost forget. There are still many others that we need to appreciate more and more importantly, we need to preserve it better. Talking about preserving, it means that we need to keep our cultural heritage exist and make it as part of our life. Preserving our cultural heritage is extremely important. Why it is so important? There is only one answer for this question. Cultural heritage keeps the moral of the nation.

In short, realizing the important of our cultures as well as our cultures heritage, we should start to appreciate our cultures more than before and better than before. So when does the right time? The right time is today! Right now!

This article was published in http://www.voa-islam.com

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