Culture & Curious Habits / Projects

Tinggal* : Eight weeks that would last a lifetime.

Written as reflection to my residency period at Bumi Pemuda Rahayu.

* The word to stay and leave in Bahasa Indonesia uses the same word which is Tinggal. I have to say that is quite sentimental of Indonesians using this word. Somehow it leaves a little smile once I realise the sentimental feel to it. 

Since I arrived back in Bandung a couple of days ago, I find myself rather baffled and, to be honest, a little broken hearted because I am no longer at Muntuk, Dlingo.

I did not see it coming. The past eight weeks I’ve spent at Bumi Pemuda Rahayu has been wonderful to say the least. I have made friends and connections I did not expect. I was not prepared to say goodbye the other day and tears fallen when it was supposed to be.

The final two weeks of our stay was spent quite busily, there were plenty of details that needs taken care of. It really isn’t easy to exhibit AND organize the exhibition. As the star of my presentation, I did a walking tour through the village and forest nearby. In honor of the villagers I worked with I called the tour by its local name of the village : Ceme (read: ce-me). I had about 15 people walking with me on the first tour while I explained a few things about the village and the forest. Surprisingly, there were more people wanting to do another walking tour, so I did, this time with only 4 people and one 1- year old, named Jati, like the name of trees (read: Jati = Teak).  I was very happy on how it went.

To see photos of Ceme Walk you can check my project page here.

The entire 8-weeks stay turned out to be very personal for me. The experience of staying and living in a foreign place, a little secluded amongst forests is quite one of its kind. I am trying not to sound overly romantic about this, but I don’t think I can. There were plenty of laughter, frustrations, getting lost, having fun round about, dealing with strangers and plenty of first times that I experienced together with Arwin, Fatimah and Fehung. I don’t think any of us expected this, but we have grown into really good friends throughout our residency stay.

At Sompok Village, by the Jembatan Gantung Kali Oyo

At Sompok Village, by the Jembatan Gantung Kali Oyo. Photo taken by Fatimah.

During the residency period I learned that living in the mountains surrounded by forest has become an ideal for me.  I could not think of better ways to be woken up by the sound of cows, busy chickens and cats and perhaps a little dangdut music and being tucked in by enormous amount of flying termites, sound of crickets and toads. (Ok, perhaps less bugs and insect would not hurt.)

The residency period has also coincided with Equator Symposium so then I had the chance to spend a couple of days in Jogja enjoying the talks and seminar. Three of the talks that I made much notes on were :Memory, Imagination and Nation by Rudolf Mrazek, CZ/US ,The Influence of Colonialism on the Morphology of City Spaces in the Java from 1600-1942 by Rony Gunawan Sunaryo, ID, The Equator Equine Expedition by Nirwan Arsuka, ID.

Although it is not my first time in Yogya, it is always nice to re-visit some places, like the Keraton for example, where this time I had the chance to watch Keraton dancers practicing their art, tasting some delicacies even walking around past midnight about town. Yogya is lovely.

Here are some photos, perhaps more like a photo diary of my stay at Bumi Pemuda Rahayu.

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I will miss our weekly meeting with children – teaching them something new and learning from them. I had so much fun with them. Niken – the gang leader, Andre – the kind boy, Veri and Febri – the motorcycle fan, Widhi – the gentle one, Dias – who has big dream, Novi – the kind mature one, Putri, Vicka, Fendi. I could not possibly thank Suryanto, Sugiran and Siwi enough. Mbah Supri, Pak Tukiman, Mbak Lilik, Pak Barno, Pak RT dan Bu RT, Pak Dadang, Volley Team of Ceme. I hope did not forget to mention names.


It is all good.


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