A Hidden Forest: City Park

In some cases of person who lives in big city, every Sunday is a day where you will spend a whole day for taking a rest at home. You are trying to having as many as time with the lovely bed that you have missed for a week because of your activities. Another people are looking for a perfect place to escape from their problem during work or study. A place where can give you a break for a moment to forget your problems and give relaxing time through its beautiful scenery and fresh air such as city park.

In my city, Bandung, Indonesia, there is a park named Taman Hutan Raya Djuanda (THRD) or Djuanda Grand Forest City Park. It is located in northern area of the city. The park covers for 59 km2 land area and consist of many species of plants and animals. Since Bandung geographic located in high latitude, it makes the park become special. Like no other city park in the region, THRD is more likely a forest. You may see the tree height more than ten meter, the waterfall or even the stream that will divide the city to be two parts. Even so, you can do many activities there, such as jogging, hiking, and biking. For those who love photography, it is a good place to take hundred of shots because it has many objects to take. Meanwhile, it can also be a science laboratory for the students to learn about nature.

From this point, I am thinking that the city park has a similar function like a real forest. If forest is a lung for the earth, the park is a lung for the city. It has important roles to keep the city weather and supply of water are stable. In this case, people in the city play important roles to tackle the environmental issues such as climate change. Whether realize it or not, a person who doing activities in the park was help to manage the ecosystem in the small scale. That kind of activities will remind people how important are forest for our daily life. It is also make being a part of this action is not as difficult as we thought. The increasing problems of environmental issues need individual actions. That is why we could say that as local actions to solve global problems.

Whether it is forest or city park, both of them provide many good things for human kind. I believe the way how we should caring the world is began from how we caring the nearest environment around us. This is how we should celebrate World Environment Day. It is a small step for a big impact.

This blog post is in participation of blog competition hosted by United Nations Environment Program and in partnership with TreeHugger to celebrate World Environment Day 2011.

“Setahun Mengajar, Seumur Hidup Menginspirasi”

Di saat pekerjaan menjadi sebuah keharusan bagi sebagian orang, menjadi pengajar bukanlah suatu pilihan. Upah yang kecil dan seringkali dipandang sebelah mata bukanlah sebuah perkara mudah bagi kebanyakan pemuda yang masih menyimpan ideologi dan cita-citanya. Namun kisah ini menceritakan sisi lain dari sebuah pekerjaan dan impian…

Kisah ini bermula dari sebuah ide unik seorang muda Indonesia untuk menciptakan sebuah program yang bertujuan menciptakan sebuah gerakan mengajar bagi para pengajar muda untuk mengajar selama satu tahun di sebuah tempat di pelosok negeri ini. Indonesia Mengajar sebutannya.

Seorang sahabat yang saya kenal selama empat tahun menempuh studi di Jurusan Hubungan Internasional menjadi salah seorang terbaik yang terpilih menjadi salah satu Pengajar Muda di Indonesia Mengajar, Andita Destriani Hadi namanya. Suatu ketika dalam sebuah percakapan, Dita, begitu panggilannya, membicarakan beberapa hal tentang masa depan bersama saya. Pada kesempatan itu, banyak hal yang saya paparkan kepada Dita tentang rencana-rencana masa depan saya setelah studi usai. Tidak tersirat sedikit pun di dalam benak saya untuk menjadi seorang pengajar.

Namun Dita dengan yakinnya mengatakan ingin dan tertarik untuk menjadi bagian dari sebuah program bernama Indonesia Mengajar. Sekalipun setelahnya saya melihat dan mencari tahu apa itu Indonesia Mengajar, saya belum yakin bahwa itu menjadi tujuan saya.

Melihat karakter Dita yang tegas, saya pikir Dita lebih cocok untuk menjadi seorang Kepala Keuangan atau Manajer di sebuah perusahaan. Ternyata, Dita yang tegas dan bahkan keras kepala, begitu saya menggambarkannya pada saat itu, mampu menginspirasi saya untuk bisa berbuat lebih dari sekedar rencana-rencana yang ingin saya capai di masa depan untuk memulai dari hal-hal terkecil yang bahkan tidak saya inginkan. Mengajar! Entah mengapa, luar biasa bahagianya saya ketika mengetahui bahwa Dita terpilih menjadi salah seorang dari para Sarjana terbaik di Indonesia yang akan menjadi Pengajar Muda di Indonesia Mengajar, seolah-olah saya-lah yang berhasil menerimanya.

Dita menjadi lulusan Hubungan Internasional UNPAD pertama yang saya ketahui berhasil menaklukan ketatnya persaingan pendaftaran Indonesia Mengajar. Saya berulang kali menceritakan kepada beberapa orang teman bahwa pekerjaan yang Dita akan lakukan merupakan pekerjaan paling prestisius yang pernah saya ketahui. Bukan materi yang menjadi alasannya. Bukan pula status sosial yang akan melekat padanya kelak. Namun, Dita berkesempatan untuk mengabdikan dirinya di tempat terpencil di suatu daerah di pelosok negeri ini hanya untuk mengajar.

Di saat pendidikan masih belum tersampaikan secara merata di seluruh pelosok Indonesia, Dita memiliki keyakinan dan kemaun kuat untuk menjadi seorang pengajar. Saya pikir, sebuah cita-cita yang mulia yang mungkin hanya dimiliki oleh sebagian kecil orang. Dalam sebuah renungan, kembali saya melakukan berbagai pertimbangan atas beberapa rencana yang ingin saya lakukan. Akan tetapi, apa yang Dita akan lakukan kembali menginspirasi saya untuk berbuat sesuatu yang tidak hanya berdasarkan materi atau bahkan status sosial yang akan melekat kepada saya melalui sebuah titel pekerjaan.

Di hari Pendidikan Nasional ini, saya ingin mendedikasikan cerita ini bagi Dita yang kelak akan memikul tanggung jawab untuk memajukan pendidikan bangsa melalui Indonesia Mengajar. Semoga, sepenggal kisah tentang Dita mampu menginspirasi teman, sahabat, dan keluarga yang membaca tulisan ini.

“Mulailah cerita besar-mu, dengan langkah kecil pertama-mu”- IM.

Dear Future Wife

Dear future wife,

I have seen many things during this week about love. The story about love that is only happened in some of fairy tale stories. I just dropped my mind on my vision about our wed. This is not an imaginary story that I would like to tell you. This is a wish that I want Lord to know about us.

Someday, I will marry you. It would not like the story that happens right now. It would not like a William and Kath wed’s. (Please, don’t try to be! It would be very expensive) more over, I cannot afford it. Let it become a small wedding with a huge love and happiness. Through a fascinating story of our love live with a gorgeous and adventurous family. Two sons are enough. Let it be a very happy family.
I wonder if Lord will read this message and send it to you. Let’s meet up Dear future wife….

… On the right time.

Korean Wave: Indonesia Electronic Cinema

A decade ago, Indonesian television show mostly was influenced by many American, Chinese or Indian television shows. As time go by, the show nowadays was influenced by Korean television shows. This is happened while Indonesia creative industry is grown up after more than a decade was consume many Western, Chinese or Indian cultures.

During my free time, watching television at home, I heard many times some familiar song came from Korea. One of Indonesia national television aired it during some cooking show or some reality show. It is not surprising to know that Indonesian people nowadays are talking about Korean cultures day by day because it is also happened outside there in many Asian countries. What makes me concerned about that is that national television was being such a good supporter for spreading Korean cultures through adopting it to be an electronic cinema.

In Indonesia, electronic cinema has a big portion on air time a day. It is mostly viewed by many teenagers and moms. The electronic cinema is the right media to catch as many as viewer to get high rate for a television company. Indirectly, it is also support the image of the actress or actors. In this case, a group of boys called Seven Man as Seven Heroes or more popular as SMASH has the beneficiary from it. They begun their debut with a song named You Know Me so Well in the end of 2010. Their song became popular after many young people attracted by their style which is similar to one of Korean boy band named Super Junior. They more known well after they are casted as an actor in the electronic cinema called Cinta Cenat Cenut.

Super Junior

SMASH

Surprisingly, this is not stopped there. That television company continues to air the other electronic cinema similar to the first one called Go Go Girl. It is casted by a group of girls who have similar sing style like Korean group girl singer named Girls Generation.

7 Icons

Girls’ Generation

Even though the Indonesia creative industry is growing up rapidly, it seems still not have their main character like Korean did. In this point, I am still thinking of to predict what will Indonesia creative industry, especially electronic cinema, looks like after years of adopt many foreign cultures. At that time, I wish that Indonesian people will be proud of their cultures while we open up our mind to others cultures.

10 things about Eid

Where should I begin this story? I found many things during my journey from Bandung to Karawang to celebrate Eid in my grandma’s house and I am thinking about the story that I would like to post in my Blog, and you know what, I found this 10 things that I will never forget about Eid in every year!

1.    Mudik

Like most of people in Indonesia always do when Eid is coming, we (me & my family) are going to Mudik. Mudik is a term that we used to say doing activity or mobilization through one city to another city usually from city to village where people who worked in city came from. People who doing Mudik usually using car, bus, train, ferry, or plane as their transportation. This activity makes Eid in Indonesia is different with other Muslim country in the world. You can imagine that there are more than 15 million of people do Mudik in order to celebrate Eid in their hometown in Java and Sumatera. Unfortunately, these numbers are increasing every year which may lead to the high number of urbanization from village to city and makes possible of increasing number of unemployment and other social problems that could rise from this activity.

2.    The Worst Traffic Ever!

You will have no idea, what it could be if there are15 million of people are doing Mudik during a week before and a week after Eid doing this activity at the same time. The answer is traffic. I am very grateful to God that we were doing Mudik to the opposite direction with other people. Mostly people doing Mudik heading to central and east Java which some of them are heading to Sumatera, Kalimantan, and other island too but we are heading to Karawang, a city next to Jakarta (about 20 KM away). When we are going back to Bandung 2 days after Eid, we saw the traffic heading to Jakarta in the highway with almost 10 KM queue in front of the gate of highway! That was my first experience seeing the longest queue in the highway. But, I have no doubt that the queue is more than 10 KM considering that public holiday for Eid is almost over. (This is just a small part of Mudik routes, there are many routes in different places with different long of traffic).

3.    New Clothes

Since, Eid is identical with new things begin from our heart after a month of fasting in Ramadhan, people is always associated it with all things must new! Start from hair, get some new hair cut, buy some clothes, shoes, sandals, pants, skirt, and etc. I have been thinking of this phenomenon and questions appear in my head; what the urges? What does it for? … Actually, I was not fair if I said that there is no goodness behind this phenomenon because everyone is in Joy celebrating Eid. Moreover, it is become their rights to spend their money. I don’t have to questioning this. But what makes me concerned about this is there are still many people who live behind poverty line which most of them cannot buy new shoes, pants, or cloths even for a food!  So, I’ve been thinking of it.

4.    Money

Money! Who doesn’t love money? Since I know fasting in Ramadhan when I was a child, my parents promise me money if I completing fasting in a month. That was motivated. Now, this becomes a tradition that many child will wait for. Okay, it’s only for child! You know, since I no longer categorized as a child, money is getting away in every Eid, hahaha…

5.    Ketupat

This food is always being a part of Eid. I never saw a house without Ketupat in Eid. I dare you to find it. Ketupat made from rice and cooked in the boiled water for almost 3-4 hours. Ketupat sometimes served with Semur daging, Rendang daging, Opor Ayam, Kentang, and Bihun.

6.    Cakes

Cake is like Ketupat always be present in every house when Eid is coming. Putri Salju, Nastar, Kue Keju, Kue Kacang, and etc. are my favorite and I can eat all of these cakes alone, hahaha…

7.    Bakso (meat ball)

Do not asking me why Bakso is in my list that I will never forget about Eid! Because when I visited my uncle house there are Bakso in there. This kind of food that made from meat is serving in a bowl with noodle, ketchup, and sauce, very delicious.no wonder that people are looking for Bakso anytime. When I visited my aunt, I found Bakso again and I found it again when I visited my friends house in another area far from my grandma house. The conclusion is Bakso is in everywhere! I think that Bakso seller (Tukang Bakso) is trying to invade human at that time. hahaha…

8.    SMS

A night before Eid is coming I received many message from my friends telling and greeting for celebration of Eid, asking for forgiveness and wishing for happiness. So do I, sending messages to my friends asking for forgiveness, wishing for happiness and greeting for celebration of Eid. Eid is the right time for us to say hi, and share our happiness. But today, this way is replaced by facebook ot twitter. People are preferred to use internet because cheaper and more effective. But I hope, sending a message is still be a part of tradition in Eid.

9.    Ziarah Kubur

Ziarah Kubur is activity usually do by people to the grave. For Moslem, this kind activity is to remind us about the death. People must believe that the death will come to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. They, who believe it, will always remember God Almighty. I think this is good to keep human to act rightly and think rightly. It is because we live in this world only for a while.

10. F.A.M.I.L.Y

The last but not the least, and the important thing about Eid is about Family. I do really like the situation at that time, people are crying asking for forgiveness to others. But the touchable time is when a son asking for forgiveness to their parents asking for forgiveness that he did in the past to them. You will never know when the death is coming and taking them to the heaven. Before that time is coming, it is better for us to take care of them and give our best. I will have a deep regret on it if I never asking forgiveness to them. My beloved brother and sisters are the important thing after my parents that I must give love and care. You know, I found the abbreviation of FAMILY, hahaha… it is Father And Mother I Love You !!

These are 10 things that I will never forget about Eid in every year. I am sure that you have your story about Eid. Keep these things still in your mind and let see in the next 10 years if there any changes in Eid traditions.

The Last Man Standing

Tonight is 29th in holy month of Ramadhan. I found something interesting during this week. If you ever been to listen speech from Ustadz in the mosque before Shalat Terawih, you must be know about Lailatul Qodar night. At Lailatul Qodar night, Moslem who praying, Shalat, and all good things related to make you closer to Allah SWT. You will be awarded a goodness value as many as like you did it in 1000 nights (equal with 83 years)!  The award will be given in the odd night during the last 10 days in Ramadhan. Everyone want it! But nobody knows when it will happen.

Because Allah gave a clue, it becomes easy for Moslem to get it. But it become uneasy for Moslem to get its value, because such that goodness will only given to Moslem who have sincerity to pray, shalat, and have a pure heart. That makes me wonder, how lucky they are if they got it! But the unique thing happened here. The mosque which should be full of people do praying at the night, shalat terawih, dzikir, and ‘Itikaf is getting empty, less of people!

I can count how many people in the mosque tonight, maybe it less than 50 people (male and female). If I compare it from the previous nights, it is such a drastic number because (maybe) there are more than 200 people in the mosque at the beginning of Ramadhan. And how they could get award from Allah at Lailatul Qodar if it happened like that? I have no idea about the answer.

This phenomenon reminds me to the show ‘The Last Man Standing’ on BBC Knowledge. The show is like a reality show, telling about competition between participants who expert on they own field, such as athlete surfing, wrestling, etc. They all competes each other to gain title as ‘The Last Man Standing’. The last man who still standing at the end of competition will gain money as its awards.

If you look at these stories, you will find the same things between two of them. Either Lailatul Qodar or ‘The Last Man Standing’ give the best that they have to the best that can proven them self as the best from the best.

If you ask me how best is mine, you will have no idea how is it! hehe, because I don’t know how best I gave…

I am on my way

It’s been a long time, I did not post a story on my blog. Since, I committed to practice writing in English on my blog, I found difficulties to express anything around me because English is my third language after Bahasa Indonesia and Sundanese.

Today is my friend’s first day examination to get into the government. Most of them are trying to be a diplomat and to achieve it, they have to get in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This posting is my reflection about my future goals. I am trying to express my opinion about my condition 4 years before and after when I committed to myself to achieve my dream in the future. The future that everybody dreams, a success!

During my last 4 years in university, I’m thinking of how to prepare my future to be a true. I’m doing many things during that time and I learned something important that I must believe in that is the success will not coming so easy to me no matter how hard I try. Even in some cases, there are people who do not have to hard to get it, s(he) have the success.

I remembered 4 years ago when I just graduated from senior high school. I am facing of two choices that I have to choose to achieve a success: my parents desire to me to get in to the most popular accounting school in Indonesia, STAN or my passion to get in to university taking International Relations major to achieve my dream to be a diplomat.

I realize that both of them are giving a success as their own goals. Here, the success means that every single way that I would take from here has their success. If I were going to STAN, I will have a job in the Directory of General of Tax, Ministry of Finance of Republic of Indonesia. It means that I was fulfill my parents desire to have a success career in that field. The indicator is my salary quite high compare to the other government body and of course my pension was guaranteed too. You know that since SBY became a president, this ministry is leading on to the bureaucracy reformation in Indonesia and to make it work to achieve good governance, the employees will have remunerations.

Contrary, entering university has no guarantee that you will have a high salary, able to buy a car or house, even in worst case there is no guarantee that you will have a job. To get in to the university, I have to compete with more than 10.000 people at that time. And you know what, to get out from university too, I have to compete with more than another 10.000 people to get a job after graduate from university. I have no certainty about this choice!

The final decision is in my hand. I choose the second option as my way to get to the future and now 4 years after, I’m fighting to finish my thesis while I’m doing preparations to collect as much as experiences to get to the future. I believe that I am on my way. I am doing what I believe in and I am doing what I am preparing on. Now, the rise and fall, the sadness and happiness of my beautiful life is a way to get a success.

If you ask me, “what is a success?”

I’ll answer it, “a success is when preparation meets opportunity”

Now, go to make preparations and go to find opportunity.

to my beloved friends who fighting with the world to achieve their success: Believe it that you are in your way because I believe that I am on my way!