Why Do We Have to Go to Town?

Friday, 22 April 2011

Berdansa, senja semakin gila
Setiap orang, ingin tinggal di kota~
Cari mencari, mengumpulkan rejeki
Begitu banyak, untuk sesuap nasi~

(“Senja Menggila”, performed by White Shoes And The Couples Company)

Yesterday, I and few of my friends helped our faculty to conduct a seminar event by being a Liaison Officer team. We were divided based on our each job desk. When the event started, I was told to be a MOU and gift deliverer between the faculty and the institution that had a partnership with the faculty. What I want to address here is not about the event and my job desk, but it is simply about a small part of a conversation that happened during the event between me and a soundman.

At that moment, I was told to stand by from the right side of backstage. When the preparation started, I decided to get into the backstage and thus together with a soundman who already prepared inside. I guessed that he was a soundman from a rental sound system studio who had a duty to supervise the work of microphone at that time. My guess was right after he told me that he had to supervise the microphone during the event. Due to the small space and the cool temperature that we had in the backstage, sometimes we had a conversation and he started with a conventional phrase of question by asking me about my ethnic. I said that I am inherited by Sundanese, Javanese, and Malay ethnics. Of all the sudden time, his mimic was looked very confused. It may be cause of his thought that I have no clear descent. Then I tried to politely explain that my mother is a Sundanese, my father is a Javanese, and I was born in Pontianak where I grew up in a Malay people environment there. So, I concluded and told him “campur-campur” (a kind of mixture ethnics).

Every time I heard he spoke, I realized that he might not come from Java region. So I returned to ask the same conventional question to him about his ethnic. He answered that he came from Jakarta, West Jakarta at a precise. By hearing his accent, I did not believe him and I thought that he lied to me so I made sure and told him that his accent was a very bold of Sumatra’s accent. And this was completely right after he finally admitted that he has Batak as his ethnic and he just moved out from Medan since four months ago.

I was getting more curious after his lying and asked him why he decided to move to Jakarta from Medan without a blaming sound. He answered innocently that he wanted to live better by looking for job in Jakarta.

(This was conducted in Bahasa actually)
“Were you had no opportunity in Medan?”
“Nope, I had a job before, as a factory labor in a mining company there.”
“Really? As I heard, Medan is an important city in Sumatera and it has a better economy than the other cities in Indonesia due to the support of its mining and plantation outputs. So, you might be a good merit of its economic contribution there.”
“Hahaha I wished so. But yea, I was graduated from plantation school there. Then my destiny led me to the mining sector, so I decided to move to Jakarta.”
“Are you working in plantation sector right now in Jakarta?”
“Nope, as you can see that I am working for a sound system studio now. It is very different from what I expected to.”
“Yea, you are so true. I was just thinking that there is no plantation area in Jakarta, unless the ones outside, maybe it is inside West Java area. Do you know Bogor, Lembang, and Cianjur?”
“Yea, I know Bogor and Cianjur but not with Lembang. Where is it?”
“That is in the north of Bandung. You should go there one day, they have lots of beautiful plantation.”
“Right now, I do not want to work in plantation area, they have no prospect.”
“I did not suggest you to work in plantation area, I have no right. I am just saying that maybe you can go to a vacation there, they have a beautiful view. Anyway, sometimes I wanted to have a plantation and a farm you know, I think they are awesome. That is why, I am in an addiction right now to play a computer game haha. The name of its game is Harvest Moon, it is an old game since I was in elementary but I started to play again right now. The goal of the game is you have to run a plantation area until it has a 100 percent of utilization; farming, breeding, mining, and also socializing with people surrounding the area.”
“Hahaha, is it a distraction of Jakarta’s condition?”
“Yea, you are right, a little bit of distraction! Anyway, was it your decision to move here or were there any forces from your parents and family?”
“No, it was my own decision, there were no forces from my family. I am an oldest son, so I have to be independent.”
“Ah ya I see, but I was just thinking that Batak has its matriarchy tradition.”
“What is that?”
“That the burden is in the daughter’s hand. A reverse of Minang tradition, that every son has to be responsible to the family’s burden. No wonder that there is a term about “anak rantau” for Minang culture.”
“Oh ya, I understand.”
“Anyway, when you decided to move to Jakarta, you had an acquaintance here, right?”
“No, I was just supported by my dauntless (laughing).”
“Really? So, where did you live after you arrived here from Medan?”
“I lived first in my friend’s house. Then I started to look for job, it was a tough moment for me honestly. Until now I had a job and I rented a house sharing with my other friends.”
“Do you feel better than before right now?”
“Yea, I feel better, at least better than I was in Medan. I could buy things with my own salary and the important one, I could send money to my parents there every month.”
“It is very noble indeed! Have you ever thought that one day you will come back to Medan?”
“Yea, I wanted to but not now.”

That was the end of the conversation because I had to do my job desk at that time. But at one time, I suddenly remembered about a discussion in my first Regional Economics lecture few months ago. The discussion was addressed by my lecturer and the big question is “Why do we choose Regional Economics class?”.

The goal of the discussion was only to guide my lecturer so that he could provide what we expected to about the class. This was a simple moment but I found a deep meaning inside. It was started by my friend, Puji Lestari Anugerah, a clever and a low-profile student of Economics. She came from one region in West Java, named Garut. She is a Sundanese with a bold accent.

After introducing our name and concentration, we were ought to answer that big question one by one. Every student had their turns and then there was a time for Uji—her nickname, to answer the question. My heart was trembling when I heard her spontaneous answer. It sounded idealistic actually but looking after dozens of answer from each student in the class which mostly classic, her answer was an inspiring one.

“Okay, Puji. What took you to this class?”
“I choose this class because I wanted to come back to Garut, work there, and develop its resources.”


Four Consecutive Years: God Is Good!

Sunday, 10 April 2011


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