Land of Hope

America is land of hope of people without land, tittle of baron and baroness, and people without fear. That’s what a conclusion I  got from Prof Djuhertati’s paper. Middle class people from Europe came with the spirit and believe in American dreams, freedom to built their life. Well, I’m not talking about Indian, who have been repressed there,  I want to talk about the struggle of life.

Here, somewhere in the middle of Indonesia, I met people with courage. Man and woman came strive for living. They opened the land for cocoa, orange, and palm plantation. They sell plate, napkin, knife, string, and soap in the market. They made tempe and tofu to help our tongue chewing delicious taste. 5000, ten thousand rupiah for shrimp, fishes, or oyster. Every seller tell the price and the buyer who interested will come. That’s the traditional market here, in Indonesia. For me, that was so ordinary. (That’s why I surprise when my friend, Sato from Tokyo Christian University interested to make some research about it. What’s so special with it ? We, who meet on market came from various area of Indonesia). We have the same reason to be here, to buy and to sell the stuff to fulfill our necessities.

Land of hope. For people who choose to move from its hometown and migrate to another place, new land is a new hope. Farmer in Java devided into land owner and peasant, and there are also the cultural relation built among them, as the have and the have not. So, if you don’t have any resource (materiil, family name, ownership), then who are you ? What kind of future that God promised for you ? Migration, may be one of the answer.

In primary school, my teacher told me about transmigration (with various kind of it). As you know, transmigration was a program in Soeharto regim, to migrate people from Java (high density population and the center of development) to the low density population (Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes). The impact of this program is built diasporic Java around Indonesia. There are joke, if two Javanese discuss, they will do transmigration J.  And there’s alot impacts can be found because of transmigration. Recently, I read the review of the book ‘Ayo ke Tanah Sabrang’, and I found that migration was a program by Dutch Colonial, to migrate people into plantation area, because they needed alot of workers.

Nowadays, I live nearby transmigrant area. They came from Java, Bali, and around Celebes for living. Mbak Yayuk, told me that her family was migrate to Sumatra (Lampung) in rubber plantation, but because the condition there had not good, they moved to West Celebes. From her performance and her language, I found her as Javanese since She speak  with Javanese dialec. Mas Yono- her husband, was originally from Kulon Progo, Jogja, but He had moved with his family to Banyuwangi, East Java and continuing his life in Celebes. They were young family with 2 children who can’t speak Javanese but only Bahasa Indonesia. Now they have their own home and hectares of palm plantation.

Another story, is Mbak Narti, from Kendari, Southeast Celebes, worked on palm plantation and met her spouse, Pak Bambang, Jogja origin. Once they go to Java, and the kids met their grand parents. I met Pak Wagiman, Banyuwangi ori. Migrated on 1991 with his family on palm plantation. Now He has 7 grand children who live in Celebes too. Four his son in law was Javanese, and He never back to Banyuwangi just to meet his ancestor.  I found that struggle for life is not like flip you hand. Only people who have a spirit, power, and strenghtness will survive and succeed. Not much talking, but working alot. Not much gossiping about what your neighbour have or agitating people to disobey the rule, but working the best as you can. Sure, it’s not happen on 2 months, but 5, 10, or even 15 years !

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