Kenangan Itu: Tari Rantak di Amerika Serikat saat Studi S2


Tulisan ini adalah sebuah cerita. Tentang pengalaman. Tentang kepercayaan diri. Tentang sebuah kebanggaan pribadi yang dipersembahkan untuk bangsa dan tanah air tercita.

Kenangan Itu ~

Saat ini, tanggal 7 Maret 2019. Telah lama, memang. Masih terngiang suasana di ruangan itu, pada malam itu, saat aku akan tampil di sebuah Malam Internasional di kampus tempatku menuntut ilmu. Suasana begitu ramai, tapi formal, dan teratur. Kampus Southern Illinois University Edwardsville di Amerika Serikat.

Kulihat di depan, ada sebuah panggung. Tempat di mana aku akan menampilkan tari itu. Tari Rantak. Tari tradisional yang berasal dari dan dikenal luas di kalangan masyarakat Minangkabau. Entah apa yang membuatku begitu semangat untuk menampilkan tari ini. Ada semacam semangat. Gelora. Keberanian. Itu semua terasa olehku pada saat tampil di sana. Ah, ini telah 7 tahun lamanya.

Setiap kali kupandang dan kulihat video itu, aku bertanya dalam pikiran, “Hey, maukah kamu seperti itu lagi?” Jawabku, “Entahlah…” Meski waktu itu aku beranikan diri untuk belajar otodidak menampilkan tari Minang. Jujur, aku tak pernah belajar menari. Biasalah, dulu itu, bila kamu laki-laki dan belajar menari, kamu dipanggil banci. Ternyata, tidak sama sekali. Bullying yang kalah. Untuk apa aku dengarkan?

Mungkin bila boleh aku share, kok bisa aku naik ke panggung itu? Aku bukan penari khusus untuk acara internasional. Aku bukan anak muda yang mungkin tidak dipersiapkan untuk itu. Namun, kuakui, daya pendorong utama adalah ini: “Ma, Pa, lihat… San tampil di dunia! Membawa harum budaya Minangkabau! Dari sudut kecil di Indonesia!” Di hatiku, rasa itu begitu kuat dan kencang.

Dan sekarang, telah 7 tahun lamanya. Suasana yang masih terasa di hati dan terngiang di telinga. Lucunya, meski di hati ada rasa bangga ber-Minangkabau, ada juga yang menggeledek, “Iko di Minang ko!” Kutatap matanya, seperti ia tidak pernah mengenal orang lain saja. Di KTP, mungkin aku terlahir di Bandung, tepatnya Garut, Jawa Barat, namun ibuku adalah orang Minangkabau asli. Sungguh, sebuah kesemena-menaan bila tempat lahir dijadikan patokan untuk menilai sesama. Bila itu di Indonesia, maka ia adalah orang Indonesia. Hanya saja, cintakah ia ke Indonesia?

Bila diingat lagi, waktu terasa begitu singat kala itu. Terima kasih buat Ruth, Jake, Illona, Doddy, dan semua teman-teman internasional yang ada di SIUe. Ahmad, Nadeem, dan semuanya yang tak tersebutkan satu per satu. Thank you so much, guys! Your presence is so precious at those times.

Akankah aku tampil seperti di atas lagi? Aku tidak tahu, tapi mungkin aku ingin anak-anak muda lainnya yang menampilkan seni tari dan musik tradisional Indonesia di panggung dunia.

Ah, aku ini siapa. Ada beribu cerita yang hendak ingin kusampaikan. Yuk, merapat. Akan kuceritakan padamu arti dari Cinta yang Tak Biasa ūüôā

Cinta yang menggelora, meski dalam wujudnya tak pernah ada, karena hanya mata hati yang bening, yang selalu memahaminya…

Tetap, apapun itu, aku masih cinta Indonesia.

Aku ingin membawa Indonesia ke mata dunia. Akankah itu terwujud? Wallahua’lam bi shawab. Hanya Tuhan yang Maha Esa yang lebih tahu. Aamiin.

Padang, 7 Maret 2019.

Syayid Sandi Sukandi

 

 

Ramadhan dan Idul Fitri di Edwardsville, Amerika Serikat 2012


Minal Aidzin Wal Faidzin (Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Bathin) 2012.

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 Рberkah 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.

Selamat Idul Fitri 1433 Hijriah. Minal Adizin Wal Faidzin.

Attending India Night 2012 in SIUE – “Sanskriti: One Nation Different Cultures”


The Symbol of God in India. The name of the God is Ganesha. Based on Hindu epistemology, Ganesha is the God of Knowledge and Cleverness. I saw this image when I came to the event. The students of SIUE created this image by using colored rice and the rice was put orderly on the table so that the guests can see it directly.

I went to this event on April 7, 2012, together with my host family, Joyce and John, and other friends. The event was started at 6:00 pm until 09:00 pm in Morris University Center of SIUE. I was invited to attend this event because it was something new to me. This event was organized and performed by Indian Students Association at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Besides, this event is such a great time for me to see and know how cultures of India look like. Although I have seen a lot of Bollywood movies that might be useful to watch how people of India represent their cultures through that movie, it does not mean that I have seen the culture directly. Since I was invited by my host family, then, of course, I decided to attend the event.

In this event, I saw many different kinds of cultural performances and cuisine from India. The foods served in India night were so delicious. The menu itself was various. Some of the foods served were Tandoori Butter ¬†Naan, Butter Chicken, Aloo Mutte, Mango Lassi, Condiment Tray, Jeera Rice, Chicken Kebab, Carrot Halwa, and Mixed Salad. I took all these foods to my plate in order to know how the foods taste. Yes, after I ate, it tasted really good. I stopped eating the foods because I felt so full in my stomach. While I was eating the foods, Soorya Performing Arts from St. Louis played some of Indian musics. The musics made the¬†atmosphere¬†of the dinner felt nice. The atmosphere made me felt as if I was in India. I did not understand the lyrics, but the music itself was familiar in my ear. That was enjoyable enough. ūüôā

From all activities performed in the event, there were three activities that I enjoyed watching. The activities were Fashion Show, Garba dance, and Classical Performance (semi classical and folk dance) choreographed by Smitha Rajan. For the Fashion Show, there were some wedding dresses performed by Indian Students. Some of the wedding dress were those from Punjabi, Gujarati, Rajashtani, Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi, Christian, and Muslim. For the Garba dance, there were some SIUE students performing the compilation between modern and classic dance of India. This dance showed the image of happiness between young people of India. In the classical performance, there were three little cute girls performing the dance in such beautiful ways. To my mind, the dance showed how the God and Goddess in India, based on the mythology of Hinduism, were working together in keeping this earth in peace. The outfit of the three girls was cute, too.

Overall, my impression after attending and watching the India Night event was that India was such a huge nation in terms of its cultural tradition. Even though the event itself was only performing some of Indian cultures, attending the India Night 2012 was fascinating for me. Actually, there were still many more cultures of India that the students could perform, but considering that the event was conducted by students, the event was done well. At the very least, I knew that the event shaped my mind that each nation in the world has its own cultures. Such cultures make the world rich, especially in its diversity and multicultural perspectives. To keep and make the cultures last longer and be transformed from one generation to the next generation is a very crucial thing that the people of a nation, such as India, should do.

The world is simply beautiful by its diversity and colorful view – Syayid Sandi Sukandi, April 8, 2012

 

What does it mean to be a Muslim in Indonesia?


Masjid Istiqlal in Jakarta - Masjid is the place where all Muslims are doing the five times prayer in a day, Friday prayer, Eid al-Fitri, Eid al-Adha, and other IslńĀmic activities

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.

Eid al-Fitri in Masjid Istiqlal - Jakarta

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

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‚Äôan. Moreover, being a man in Islam means the man should respect and honor parents. Allah SWT teaches through Qur‚Äôan that parents are the ‚Äúdoor‚ÄĚ 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

"Hijjabers" in Indonesia or 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 ‚Äúnaked‚ÄĚ outfit, the possibility for her to be ‚Äúraped‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúview‚ÄĚ women in this way, they would do ‚Äúistighfar‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúkitchen‚ÄĚ or ‚Äústayed at home‚ÄĚ 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

A picture of happy Muslim family in Indonesia

In order to view this topic, note that the meaning of ‚Äúhappiness‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúenough‚ÄĚ 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.

 

Note:

All pictures above are taken from Internet. To those who own the pictures, I credibly say thank you to you. Jazakillah and syukron!

The Beautiful Side of Indonesia – in Videos!


The nature of Indonesia is still fresh and somehow, it has the aspect of “virgin” nature. Some books that I have read about Indonesia are only explaining this country based on individual perspective. It is still growing in a lot of ways. One thing that makes people coming from around the world to this country is the hospitality and the well-coming services that they get. You will never know what country Indonesia is. Well, all I can say is that, don’t trust “news” or “political discussion” because they are, sometimes, bias and subjective in nature. So, just come to Indonesia and enjoy yourself. Find things that make you enjoy the most.

What a Wonderful World – Indonesia

Indonesia and its cultures

Indonesia – when the butterflies come

Indonesia – The Ultimate in Diversity

Inspiring Indonesia Visit 2011

Discover Indonesia – part 1

Discover Indonesia – part 2

Finally, I would say, Indonesia is traditional in a lot of ways. That happens because we value our culture and we value the way we live.

If all places in the world are in the same ways all together, what a boring world isn’t it? You’ll be surprised to see the things that you can see in the country.

Welcome to Indonesia!