Do you remember that our beloved Indonesia STILL have a national day called ‘Hari Kebangkitan Nasional’? It is a commemoration of the establishment of Budi Utomo in May 20, 1908 and regarded as the starting point of national movement in Indonesia. I hope you still got something from history class in your mind. It has been 100 years since that memorable day. And, do any of you remember the tag line “celebrating 100 years of national awakening“? Are you celebrating the day?
I still remember that every year my school always have their own way to celebrate the day; something like ‘pesta rakyat’ where all of the students having fun doing some games like ‘balap karung’, the tug of war (tarik tambang), and even things like essay contests with a topic: “Do you love Indonesia?” or “What is the meaning about national awakening to you?” The essays were, of course, fulfilled with heroic words and prides. Indonesia was just perfect in my mind. I didn’t even know what the term ‘corruption’ mean back then. I really enjoyed the fun that time.
But now, I guess we are now mature enough to see what is happening in Indonesia. Is the national awakening really there? I wonder if it would be easy to celebrate the day with the national pride inside our heart. I’m not saying this because we’ve just lost the Thomas and Uber Cup (is the word ‘lost’ the right expression? I forget when those cups are still in our hand actually). And this is not about the ten years vigil of the forgotten massacre May 1998 tragedy. And also not about the riots that are complaining about the fuel and food price rise. And I don’t even talk about the massive church destructions that happened in Situbondo and all other places in Indonesia several years ago. How about Chinese discrimination issues?? Nope.
It’s just.. hmm.. I’m starting to lose all of the momentous reasons to commemorate the day. What were I thinking when I was writing the essay back then?? Now everything is just.. different.
Well, I am Indonesian. I guess that would be one simple-yet-crucial reason to celebrate the 100 years of national awakening. Happy national awakening day, everyone.
PS: I don’t know why I am so pessimistic this time. Weird. This is not me.
Well, I am sorry for such a pessimistic opinion I’ve written above. It is indeed very skeptical. Here’s what I got:
We are now mature enough to see what is actually happening in Indonesia. It is in fact still far away from the ideal condition of national awakening. To be honest, are you starting to lose your faith? But please, try to look deeper to everything that this country is currently facing. Yes, we lost that Thomas and Uber Cup, but do we realize how bold those athletes tried their best to keep their dignity by fighting in bravery to the very end? Doesn’t it mean anything to you? Yes, we are all in the grief and sorrow remembering all those victims in May 1998 tragedy, but don’t we see how they succeed to change the fundamental mistakes in Indonesian governance then bring it to a so-called reformation? Doesn’t it mean anything to you? Yes, they are riots on the street complaining about the price rise and the poor citizens are in stake of becoming poorer and poorer. But don’t you see that most of the rioter are college students who were trying to show their empathy to the poor ones considering that they are the nation’s agent of change? We still have hope. Don’t let it fade.
We don’t need momentous reasons to commemorate the day. We need spirits, not reasons. Happy national awakening day, everyone.
PS: It’s good to be bad some time, but for only a short period of time. Thanks to christin and yuki.