Cheers of tranquility

If only Nin (my grandma) were alive today, she would be 72 by now. How I sorely miss her...

My bags are up and now I’m ready for a first-time flight to Menado city of North Sulawesi
tomorrow morning (they used to call it Manado before reverting it to the original name), and from there I’ll be taking a trip to one or two islands by the infamous ship that most cynics like to call kaleng kerupuk (cracker jar).

So the Balinese Hindus (and everyone else in Bali) are having their monstrous ogoh-ogoh papier-mache dolls burnt this evening, and it is unfortunate that I couldn’t be there this time round. I had enjoyed the days off (and the pitch darkness too) during my two years of stay there in 2002 and 2003.

In my Singapore days, Nyepi went unnoticed, and even my Balinese roommate chose to go to school despite their religions’ strict law. He told me that Nyepi only forbids Hindus against leaving their home, and since the hostel where we lived was on the same complex with the school campus, he concluded that he wasn’t breaking any Hindu rules by doing that. Yeah, right. I remember very well that he had the lights on our room lit up, and I wondered whether that is also included in “not breaking any Hindu rules”. Haha (^o^)

Tasa Nugraza Barley, a frequent contributor to The Jakarta Post opinions, has posted an interesting essay to show how proud he is to identify himself as an Indonesian. I’ll consider making a similar post in the near future, about how proud I am to have Indonesian blood amongst the other ethnicities I inherit.

The last Weekender supplement by The Jakarta Post had a very green article that had inspired me deeply that nowadays I choose to refuse having plastic bags during my errands to supermarkets and warungs. I guess it has a down side to it though, because people always see me like a looter: carrying the bread, ice cream, cooking oils, etc. all bundled together without a wrapper in my arms.

If you’re a Balinese blogger, or you happen to be in Bali during/to join the Nyepi meditations, just riposte below, and I’ll be happy to have a look at any blogs that has this year’s ogoh-ogoh burning festival and the subsequent serenity that follows.

An excellent day to practice yoga, I say. And don’t forget to turn your lights off.

yours truly  – (8 March 2008 at 11:17)  

Hi there.
I dropped by your blog after reading ur essay in Thoughts Outside The Indonesian Box. It was a very interesting and thought-provoking read I think :)

I see that we shared common history here. I am also an ex scholar. I did my O and A level in Singapore but now I'm doing my university education here. (2003-2004 Methodist Girls School) (2005-2006 Victoria Junior College) I went to Living Water Methodist Church (the church at ACSI) when I was still in sg and thus I recognized some Indon scholars from your pictures. haha :)

It's nice to find someone who shared the experience of Singapore education. Keep up the good work ya..

-Pefita Agustin-

厚山 利彦 (Toshihiko Atsuyama)  – (9 March 2008 at 06:49)  

which pics? on my Friendster acc or my blog archives?

hehe... nice to meet ya too.. thx for the compliment for my essay :)

Btw, are u still going to Living waters?

yours truly  – (12 March 2008 at 11:00)  

the one on ur archives.The formal dinner things. Haha hostel stuffs, eh?

Nope. I'm back to Indonesia now to do my undergraduate studies, to avoid the working bonds.

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