Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Get to Know Indonesia More Closely; Presenting Papuan and North Sumatran Culture

SMP Islam Takwinul Ummal is a newly built private school that is funded through charity located in a remote hamlet, in Karawang city, West Java, Indonesia. This school was built for the poor orphans living around Karawang Area. The school doesn’t burden the students to pay and the students receive an education, meals and shelter for free.

This is the first year of the school. In this semester the students learnt about the concept of Unity in Diversity. In order to give them a greater understanding of what it means to live together in peace and harmony with people coming from diverse cultures, religions and other demographic differences.  We therefore invited two IofC friends from North Sumatra and Papua to share their experiences. Those two wonderful people are Ricky Chuan and Ardiyamsi Sarmoko or Moko for short.
Ricky Chuan is a university student in Jakarta. He comes from Papua. He is a Christian who is actively involved in the Association of Indonesian Islamic Students (HMI). He is a passionate learner who likes to try something new. He is a typical Papuan with wcurly black hair and super exotic skin so that people easily spot him as he is totally different from us by appearance.

He began the session by presenting the history of Papua before the Papua region was split into two becoming west and east Papua. Next he explained that there are so many tribes and clans in Papua. Two of the most popular ones are the Asmat and Danni tribes. Ricky himself comes from the Dani tribe. He told the students some of the unique traditions in Papua, like Barapen. Barapen is one of the oldest traditions in Papua and usually performed as a symbol of brotherhood and gratitude. This tradition is basically an event when people gather and cook together.

The presentation ended with him teaching us the language of his tribe, waaawaa waaa he says and the students responded with great laughter.

The next presentation was the culture from North Sumatra, presented by Moko, a Javanese who lived in Batak land.

He started the session by having the students sing Dari Sabang Sampai Merauke, and he showed us the picture of Lake Toba, the icon of North Sumatra. Furthermore, he explained about Batak culture. In addition, he clarified about the ornamental lizard that is usually found in Batak traditional building.  He said that the Lizard is a symbol for the Batak people. The meaning is that the life of the Batak people is like the life of a lizard. Lizards can live everywhere and have good life skills. As the Batak tribe must be able to adapt to various ways of life and must be able to survive with various problems of life.

Reported by Veny