A Country Means: No One Left Behind
- 30 Articles
- Age 23
“...rambutnya sama, kulitnya sama. Sama-sama bisa merasakan sakit.. Saudara kita yang di sana..”
“...we got the same hair, the same skin. We all are able to feel the pain. They are our brothers and sisters.” – Yoel F. Kaban.
I am a newbie in a volunteering organization called Rumah Baca Panter. I was afraid at first, whether or not this would be right for me, or whether I could commitment myself to it. But, as I make my heart firm, I decided to take this path. The first event that I had is Ngamen Galang Dana 4. I was not hugely involved in the preparation, sadly, but I thank God that I was still be able to join D-Day. Ngamen is an Indonesian word for an activity that street musicians do to make money, like singing and playing the guitar. Galang Dana means fundraising. But for what did we do this activity?
Mount Sinabung erupted 4 months ago, still spews dust and hot clouds. It has caused so much pain and loss to the citizens around it. Tanah Karo has struggled so hard.. in fact the government is too busy to take care for Jakarta. Recently the President of Indonesia visited the victims on January 22nd. The tagline, “Indonesia Darurat Bencana” means Indonesia is in Emergency of Natural Disaster. There are so many places that have now suffered from floods. Manado, North Sulawesi, Sulawesi Island experiences the worst floods. In fact, the government is too focus on the capital city of Indonesia.
As the band performed, all of the volunteers went around the bus station to ask for donations, and thank God most of the responses were positive. All of the drivers and the drivers’ assistants were also supporting us. This bus station that at first had a bad reputation in my eyes turned out to be the place that is full of love. Maybe most of us are afraid of the civilians, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes that they also donate and support us to the fullest. The street children—or Rumah Baca Panter’s sisters and brothers— also help the volunteers to collect money.
I could no longer hold back my tears when I saw performances from poetry readers and heard songs from Karo Traditional Music. I could feel the pain, yet I could feel a strong hope rising from every word they spoiled. I wish I could bring them in front of the president, in front of my country, in front of the world.. Sounds so overrated but I really want you guys to feel the same goosebumps as I do. A very strong determination, it is a very tough mental struggle that takes love as its fondation.
As Mas Daeng, the poetry readers, and Iksan Skuter, the musician, said in their performances, Indonesia is not only Jakarta. Indonesia is not only Java Island. The USA is not only New York and Washington D.C, South Africa is not only Pretoria, Johannesburg, or Cape Town. There is no reason to forget, to leave behind some other places for they are also a part of the country. For every marginal group that a society avoids, for the fear they have caused by their experience, maybe later, in a normal way or a magical one, you will see the love that they also have, and even the willingness to share.
P.S. A big thank you to Rumah Baca Panter, for giving me this precious moment to learn.