I Love my Country, Indonesia

Written by Mega Ai

It’s been a long time I didn’t write anything. There are too many things that I have to do. But I am trying not to make it as an alibi. I realize that I just need to learn again about time management that I’ve ever learned before. I also realize that I actually have plenty of time to do all my activities and my responsibilities. It is just a matter of management once again. Huff…
Alright, I don’t know for sure why I always interested to write about my beloved country, Indonesia. But again, I am going write about it. My country, Indonesia, is a very rich country. I am sure about that. And the world knows that. But I will not deny the fact that poverty is everywhere. Just take a look in every single corner of the city, beggar is everywhere. Even though there is a new regulation about prohibition of giving money to the beggar, they are still there. After the regulation, all I can do is just looking at them while saying “Poor them,” always like that, again and again. I hate myself because what I can do is nothing at this moment. I want to do something. Really! But, I will not lie myself that it’s quite difficult to respect them. Wait, I do respect the people, but I cannot respect their way to look for the money. It’s very difficult for me. It’s like a dilemma. Oh, people, please stop begging like that.
It’s an experience, bad experiences exactly; it’s related to the beggar. When I was stopped in the intersection of the street, a beggar comes to me and shows me his bottle as a place to receive the money. In front of the traffic light of this intersection, I saw a sign about the prohibition to give money to the beggar, so it’s easy for me to say no. You know, there is not only one beggar here. But there around three or four beggars. So, what’s the function of prohibition sign for? That’s ironic, right?
Anyway, In Indonesia, there is a difference term between beggar and the street singer (in Bahasa Indonesia, it is called as pengamen). For me, the essence of those two is the same; there is no difference between the one who don’t bring the music instrument and the one who brings music instrument in my perspective. They are the same beggar for me.
However, I will obey the rule, so I will not give any money to the beggar. Moreover, looking at them has a big body, I become surer not to give them money. Come on! They are still young, they are strong, and they must able to work. They are just lazy in my opinion. So, how can we help them if they do not want to help themselves? How can we struggle to help them if they don’t even want to do some efforts? Arrived home, you know what happened? I saw a scratch in the body of the car. Huff. Now it’s happened to me after couple days before it happened to my friends. Okay, it is not a negative thinking, but I am sure about it. The beggar scratches the body of the car. It’s often happened. Previously, I’ve already known that it’s going to happen to me someday. And today it is happened. I am very disappointed toward this phenomenon. I am very disappointed toward them.
Even though, sometimes I feel very bad looking at the very old beggar or defect beggar. I sometimes really want to help by giving them some money. But again, I am facing a dilemma. I always convince myself that it is not the right thing to do. I will not help them even I am giving money. Because what they need is actually a long life fulfillment.
Remember again about the beggar with big and strong body, sometimes makes me think that what a bad country it is. But today, I am sure that I wrong.
This is my story today. When I was going to go to somewhere, I saw a kid ride the “Andong”. “Andong” is the name of one of traditional transportations in Indonesia. It’s using horse power; usually it’s using one horse to pull the “Andong”. “Andong” can bring six people, include the driver or we called it “Kusir”. Yeah, like I said before, the “Kusir” of this Andong is a kid, maybe he is just 12 years old. Oh my God, he is too young to work. And I am sure that he helps his parents to look for the money.
And when I was going to go home, after taking care of my business, I decided to buy “serabi”. It is a traditional food, like a cake which is made by pulverizes rice. It is a very nice traditional food. With a little bit chocolate in the middle of this cake, makes it yummier. You know who seller of this traditional cake? The seller is a very beautiful and very old lady. I am sure that her age is above is 60 years. But look, she is working for her life.
Not only that, let’s take a look in every single day we passes. We saw many Indonesian people are struggling very hard for their life. Look at the public city bus driver, he is still doing his job even it’s hard. Look at the milk seller; he is still coming to one house to another house to offer the milk even it’s very tiring. Look at that old lady, she still walking around to offer the rice and the dishes for the breakfast even she has no much left energy. They are still struggling. They are still holding on in a very hard condition that our country faced nowadays.
I am disappointed toward few people, but I am proud toward many people in this country’s land. However, I love my country, Indonesia.

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

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Ya Allah, I Love the People in My Life

Written by Mega Ai

Since Allah swt bestowed a soul to me and let me feel this life, I live in the village with all my life, named my family. I live with a small river that never let up and continued to flow. I live with the trees which is continue to grow and blossom. And I live with rice paddies which are also living in accordance with its cycle. Green … yellow … green … yellow … and so on. I love my village, the land of my birth.
Well, that’s enough for the introduction. Today is a very valuable day for me. Why? It’s because today I learned many things. Youth Organization in my village, in Indonesia it is usually called as “Karang Taruna”, celebrates the anniversary of the 25th. The event was held by fishing together. The participants were all residents of my village, old, young, children, men, and women were participated. They’re not going fishing on the big river, or fish in the pond, but at a small river beside my house. In the early morning, the boys with passion were build dikes by piling sandbags on both sides of the river, and then they fill it with fishes. Hoped that the people in the village will enjoy the small agenda they held.
At first I was reluctant to join the youth and citizens in the event. It’s because honestly, I lived in this village, but I did not have a life with the people here. That’s one of the regret things in my life. I am sorry because I was too arrogant to open the world with them. I am sorry that was a very pleasant coexistence. I really sorry!
Fishing agenda went very well despite the rain had made the show must pause for a while. But that does not reduce the spirit of the people to participate in fishing. In the evening, the show ended with satisfied faces of the participants. The children were proudly carrying their fish to be showed to their parents. They didn’t even care that they are only get one fish. In addition, many fathers come home with a glorious smile because they succeeded to bring the fish to their families. Their laughter… their sincere smile… their spirit… I didn’t know why it makes me thinking about a pity and sadness. I wanted to cry. But, how foolish I am if I cry on when they face the bitter fact of life tough? At the time they fought in the middle of tough economic crush them increasingly difficult. I want to be tough, as though as they were.
No matter how simple this celebration, no matter how often anniversary of this, people in my village is still happy. I just realized, only togetherness that can make laugh and smile on their faces. Togetherness that can only help them takes off for a moment to load their problematic life. It’s only togetherness that I didn’t have and I will have soon.
The fishing agenda ended, the young and the participants prepared to leave. When I was about to leave home, from the distance I saw a man pushing a cart of merchandise. With rush he positions the cart at the curb. It’s maybe waiting for the mercy of the world. As If he knew there would be celebrations here. As if he walked faster. I wish he came early; there would be many buyers then. As if, that’s what I had in mind. I’m sorry for his coming late.
There are one or two customers who stopped at a cart pushed. Buying a meatball which I think it’s fairly small. The price is IDR 500/package. I approached that seller.
“You just came?” I asked.
“Hehe… yes, I came from elementary school, just finished school,”
Owh… He answered my questions with a cheerful smile and without the slightest regret. His smile seemed to tell me one thing,
“Kid, there’s nothing to regret, this celebration might not be my good fortune, but I’m sure, there is a plan from Allah swt for me after this,”
Again, I felt weak today. Why? Why these people are so strong? I kept silence. I stood beside the carriage. I know him well. He is a meatball seller whom I met every day in elementary school when I was still studying there. Not many changes in him. From the first, this cart he was pushing. This tiny meatball he sold. And also the small toys which hanging on cart irregularly. Nothing has changed. It’s just that he pushed the cart which is getting rickety with the age. His black hair was almost all been replaced by white hair. Old wrinkled face is more visible. What changes is he’s getting eaten up the old.
My heart was torn when I see him happily accept the remaining rice packets from one of the committe. That’s eagerly devoured. And I was, just standing here. I was just able to watch without doing anything.
The cloth pants, tattered shirt, and flip-flops which is increasingly dismissed, were telling me one thing. When no one helps to change his living standards, he did not blame anyone for anything and circumstances. I was embarrassed because I’ve been cursing the world when I had to face a small problem. I was embarrassed because I can only blame the life when my life was shattered. I am ashamed of him; I am ashamed of the society, my nation, my world, and my God, Allah swt, for sure!
Are the people grieving? Are the people being hurt? In that case, only the grief of my society can make me cry. Ya Allah, I love these people, the people who are very strong, strong to keep struggling in this hard life. Now You taught to me to be strong as well.

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