"With writing and reading, a scholar's spirit shines like the stars"
Category: Cross Cultural Understanding (CCU)
To have a good understanding of cultures around the world is considered as a must recently. For students of English department, it is a compulsory for them to have a good perspective of cross culture understanding. The point is not crossing every border vividly seen in the diverse cultures but it is to implement and practice the action of respecting different cultures so that peaceful life and meaningful relationship among countries in the world will always be everybody’s.
On April 27, 2019, I was invited to be a speaker an event about scholarships in Indonesia. The event name was World Indonesia Festival, as the committee called it as WISH Padang 2019. I presented about Fulbright scholarship.
Berikut video presentasinya (Click the following link to see the presentation video):
The opening session of WISH Padang 2019 was filled out by the Rector of Univeritas Negeri Padang (UNP) who had been represented by the assistant of the third vice dean of Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the university. Besides, the governor of West Sumatera province also attended to open the event formally.
Mata Garuda Sumbar and LPDP Awardee also attended the event to share the views and tips as well as tricks on how to win and get LPDP scholarship. The chair of Indonesian Scholarship Network (ISN) from Jakarta also attended the event. Thus, it provided good values for students and visitors to know more about scholarship that is available in Indonesia or overseas and open for Indonesian students.
In the session of Inspiring Talk, the committee invited Prof. Saldi Isra and Prof. Mestika Zed. These two public figures increase the worthy of the event.
IELTS Coaching Clinic by IDP, IELTS Simulation by TIME Language Center, and Blajar.id also provided information on Tips and Trick of scholarship application.
Additionally, the event also has Stand and Expo that display various types of scholarship available for students who are interested to study overseas, such as Japan, Ireland, United Kingdom, USA, and Australia.
In short, the WISH Padang 2019 event was successful because many students and visitors came to the event. Almost 3000 students came to see the scholarship event. The event itself was sponsored by W-DANK LOKALATE, a product of Nutrifood in Indonesia.
Standing with Ibu Akhriani in W-DANK Nutrifood Stand (Kopi Gula Aren and Kopi Durian) So Tasty!! 🙂
Endorsement: Just to let you know, the taste of Kopi Gula Aren and Kopi Durian of W-DANK have added extra variant of taste of soft drinks in Indonesia. Ms. Akhiarni (Ani) gave me a glass of coffee with ice and it was rich of taste. I recommend drinking W-DANK Kopi Gula Aren and W-DANK Kopi Durian to enrich your taste on Indonesian traditional soft drinks but with modern packaging.
Pengalaman Ramadhan kali ini cukup berbeda dengan pengalaman Ramadhan yang biasanya saya alami sewaktu saya tinggal di Indonesia. Biasanya, saya pergi ke Mesjid Al-Hidayah yang lokasinya berada persis di dekat rumah, yakni hanya berjarak sekitar 50 meter saja. Cukup dengan jalan kaki, sampai menuju ke Mesjid. Postingan kali ini, saya akan berbagi pengalaman mengenai hal-hal baru atau hal-hal lumrah yang saya jumpai dan alami selama bulan Ramadhan di kota Edwardsville, Illinois, terutama sekali selama berada di kampus Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Hal pertama yang saya alami adalah menjalani puasa dengan rentang waktu yang lebih lama daripada biasanya. Ketika saya tinggal di kota Padang, saya terbiasa berpuasa mulai pukul 5 pagi hingga jam 6 sore (kira-kira, rentang waktu ini selama 13 jam). Di Edwardsville, saya berpuasa dari pukul 4 dini hari hingga pukul 8 malam (dengan rentang waktu sekitar 16 jam). Yang jauh berbeda dari biasanya adalah jam 3 pagi, kadang saya bangun untuk memasak. Itupun kalau tidak letih, kadang saya memasak dua porsi pada sore hari agar sambalnya bisa digunakan untuk sahur. (Maklumlah, hidup membujang di negara orang memang harus bisa masak sendiri). Meskipun rentang waktu berpuasa lebih lama dari biasanya, alhamdulillah, puasa bisa saya jalani dengan baik. Bila banyak kegiatan dan sibuk, puasa jadi tidak begitu terasa. Namun, pada awalnya memang agak sulit, karena puasa kali ini bertepatan dengan musim Panas, di mana suhu dan tingkat kelembapan udara sangat tinggi. Tidak jauh berbeda memang dengan kota Padang kalau untuk suhu. Yang membuat rasa panasnya berbeda adalah panas di sini terasa seperti lengket di kulit. Ibaratnya, kita seperti berada di ruang yang panas tapi pengap dan kalau pun berkeringat, keringatnya kurang bisa menguap. Setelah beberapa hari dijalani, puasa selama bulan Summer bisa dilalui dengan baik.
Kalau untuk sahur memasak, lalu bagaimana dengan berbuka puasa? Alhamdulillah, di kampus saya ada organisasi yang namanya Muslim Students Association of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Mahasiswa yang ikut organisasi ini, sesuai dengan namanya, adalah mahasiswa Muslims. Anda mungkin bisa menebak mereka dari negara mana. Ya, sebagian dari mereka berasal dari negara Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Amerika Serikat (tidak banyak), dan Indonesia (saya sendiri, kebetulan rekan sesama Indonesia sudah pindah ke luar kota). Kelebihan dari berteman dengan rekan-rekan dari negara ini adalah mereka sangat respon terhadap teman yang minta tolong. Jadi, setelah saya menyelesaikan satu term untuk Summer (alhamdulillah, dengan hasil sangat baik – berkah Ramadhan), saya dan beberapa rekan pergi bersama ke Masjid untuk melaksanakan berbuka puasa, shalat Maghrib, shalat Isya, shalat Tarawih dan Witir bersama. Kebetulan saya tidak punya mobil, maka saya minta tolong sama mereka untuk mengantarkan. Mereka begitu ikhlas, hingga akhirnya saya bisa penuh shalat Tarawih dan Witir di Masjid, meskipun pada awal-awal bulan Ramadhan tidak bisa karena ada kuliah malam. Oh ya, untuk makanan berbuka puasa, saya mencicipi makanan yang enak ala India dan Pakistan. Salah satunya bernama Gulap Jamun. Makanan ini berbentuk bola, tapi sangat enak. Kegiatan ini, alhamdulillah, penuh dijalani selama sebulan penuh. Hingga akhirnya, pada tanggal 19 Agustus 2012, saya dan rekan-rekan di organisasi ini pergi ke Masjid di Belleville, Illinois, untuk melaksanakan shalat Idul Fitri.
Berkah Ramadhan kali ini adalah saya bisa menyelesaikan Summer term dengan baik, bisa memenuhi panggilan shalat dan berbuka puasa di Masjid dengan khidmat dan penuh syukur, bisa bersilaturahmi dengan saudara Muslim lainnya yang berasal dari negara lain, dan tentunya bisa mencicipi makanan lezat dari negara lain. Di samping itu, yang tidak kalah serunya adalah pengalaman pada saat berpuasa di mana orang-orang di sekeliling bersantap ria. Masih ingat saya pada kesempatan di mana saya diundang pada sebuah pesta. Pada saat saya menerima sebuah gelas jus dan sepiring kecil kue coklat, saya hanya bisa menenteng-nentengnya saja. Hingga akhirnya semua orang yang ada di pesta tersebut melirik ke saya. Setelah saya menjelaskan bahwa saya seorang Muslim dan saya sedang berpuasa, mereka pun akhirnya mengerti, meski pada awalnya cukup seru karena sebagian menunggu-nunggu waktu saya berbuka puasa, hingga akhirnya semua makanan pun dihidangkan. Saya jadi merasa terhormat waktu itu. Kenapa? Masak karena saya puasa pula semua makanan belum dihindangkan, padahal waktu itu cuma saya seorang yang berpuasa. Hikmah yang bisa dipetik di sini adalah rasa segan itu ada pada semua orang, meskipun berbeda budaya dan bahasa. Sebaik-baik bahasa adalah sikap dan tingkah laku yang sopan dan santun terhadap sesama. Alhamdulillah, Ramadhan kali ini terasa damai dan tenang, meski tidak dihiasi dengan takbiran atau ke-heboh-an pada waktu malam menjelang Idul Fitri.
Jika ada niat yang kuat, insya Allah, rintangan akan bisa terlewati. Iman itu terletak pada niat, dan ditekadkan melalui perbuatan.
Teruntuk mama dan papa serta adik-adikku tercinta, rekan-rekan dan teman sepergaulan di Indonesia, Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Bathin.
Indonesia is a country that has the largest Muslims population in the world. At least, this is what people in the United States know about Indonesia. Why the United States? Because this is one of the most intriguing countries in the world. I can say so because I have never been in this country before. Now, in this post, I would like to share a bit of my perspective of how being a Muslim in Indonesia. The questions that I would like to discuss are mainly concerned on the way Muslims live in Indonesia and how the word “jihad” is viewed in this country. Please also remember that I am an Indonesian; therefore, I am pretty sure about Muslims in Indonesia.
The life of Muslims in Indonesia (general perspective)
Indonesia, as it is known in the world today, is a country where people are dominantly Muslims. Recently, there are some debates about the controversies of life of Muslims, especially in Indonesia. Some people who are not living in this country sometimes have different point of view of viewing the true of the life of Muslims is. In this post, I would like to give a perspective of the life of Muslims in Indonesia in a general point of view.
In Indonesia, Muslims are seen as people who believe in Islam and the one almighty God, that is Allah SWT. They worship Allah SWT as their God and they follow what Allah SWT teaches them through Qur’an, the holly book of Islam. In living their life, Muslims in Indonesia are facing the dynamics between social and spiritual life. In terms of social life, Muslims in Indonesia are gathered together to form brotherhood and sisterhood to protect their country, Indonesia. They also try to carry out the principle of life by performing the action of solidarity among people. If there are people living in other provinces are having natural disasters, they try to help those people by giving them some helps as the way they can. Meanwhile, in the aspect of spiritual life, Muslims in Indonesia view Islam as religion that determines the way they live. If the religion does not teach them to do certain things, they would basically not do those things. For instance, if they are asked to do prayer five times a day and go to Friday prayer once a week, they will follow that. In other words, the lives of Muslims in Indonesia are reflected through their actions in combining the social and spiritual life. For people who are living in non-Muslims countries, this is the case where some problems might occur. Misunderstanding and misconception might occur but along the way, as more people try to learn about Islam and its teachings, the more they could learn that Islam can be implemented to social life.
Because Muslims have two Sexes, that are Men and Women, it is a good idea for you to know Muslim Men and Muslim Women in Indonesia
Muslim Men in Indonesia
The very basic thing that is considered as a Muslim in Indonesia to do is known as circumcision. This is the action of cutting a part of penis, which is the foreskin of it, in order to follow the order of the prophet Muhammad SAW.. For boys, circumcision is done when the boys are reaching ten to eleven years old, depending on the customs of the regions where the boys are raised. About this circumcision, there are many researchers studying about this thing. One of the benefits of having circumcision is that the men can be avoided from genital diseases due to free-sex, but, free-sex or promiscuity is not allowed in Islam. Therefore, when the boys are growing up to be men, they are asked to get married or doing fasting to control their sexual needs. To be a man in Islam means that you are not allowed drinking alcoholic. It is forbidden as it is said in the Qur’an. Moreover, being a man in Islam means the man should respect and honor parents. Allah SWT teaches through Qur’an that parents are the “door” for Muslims to get into the mercy of Allah SWT. If a man does not follow a good thing to be a Muslim, then, it might be a serious case for him and as a punishment; the man may end up in the hell-fire. The rest of being a man in Islam would be the same as other men in general. However, those basic things should be taken into consideration in viewing what Muslims men are.
Muslim Women in Indonesia
The same case as in Muslim men, circumcision is also done among women but it is done when they are babies. Women are asked to cover themselves by using hijab or burqa because in that way, they are protected through the wilderness of men sexual desires. Women are created in such beautiful ways to attract men as the opposite gender. If the women are wearing dresses as in such almost “naked” outfit, the possibility for her to be “raped” is high. Therefore, Allah SWT asks women to cover themselves by using hijab. If in this way, men are still victimizing her, then, the problem goes to the men because they cannot control their desire and be the slave of their own passion. Muslim Men are trained to do this so that when they “view” women in this way, they would do “istighfar” and try their best to control things that they see about it. Moreover, being Muslim Women in Indonesia means that your rights as women are respected. Recently, there are many job opportunities are opened for women. The forms of the jobs are various depending on their ability and skills. Even one of the presidents of Indonesia is woman, who is Megawati Soekarno Putri. Some ministers in Indonesia are also from women. These show that women are having their balance position in Indonesia together with men. Women are no longer viewed as those who should be in the “kitchen” or “stayed at home” to do domestic things in Indonesia. They have their own ways of life and that makes them having a well-balance of life as a Muslim and as a woman in Indonesia. Nevertheless, the government and the society are still trying to make better condition of life about this matter. Hopefully, their plans and goals in realizing this could be realized as expected by all Indonesian civilians.
The form of happy family in Indonesia
In order to view this topic, note that the meaning of “happiness” would be different among people, depending on where they live. The standard of happiness in Indonesia would be different from the standard of happiness in the United States, the United Kingdom, or in other countries. However, the basic thing is that the members of the family can be united together in religious events or in any social events. The father, mother, and the children are sitting together in their house to celebrate the events. They also have “enough” way of life together that they can share. Apparently, the happiness of a family in Indonesia is the same with other families in the world. They need to educate the children by sending them to school, to fulfill what the members of the family need, and be responsible with the family ties are basic things of happy family in Indonesia.
Unfortunately, though, some news on how Muslims in Indonesia cannot be trusted 100% true because the news are sometimes bias and driven by certain political issues. The best thing you can do to understand Muslims in Indonesia is by visiting Indonesia and see it yourself. But, be careful with what you think because sometimes, what you think can mislead you into subjectivity.
All pictures above are taken from Internet. To those who own the pictures, I credibly say thank you to you. Jazakillah and syukron!