Monthly Archives: September 2016

I hope Boneka Susan would want to become a farmer too

Dear Son,

Let me tell you a little bit about my childhood in the 90s. There was this adorably creepy doll called Susan who, together with her ventriloquist Kak Ria Enes, sang a song about her dream. She wanted to be clever so she could become a doctor, an engineer, or the president. It was an amusing song and very popular in the 90s. And it had a good message for young children all over Indonesia. Dream high, achieve more.

Too bad the song was too short, yet there were so many professions in the world that were not popular enough to make it into the lyrics. And I’m just sad that until today, farmer is not seen as Indonesian children’s dream job. I think it is ironic. We have vast land with good soil and relatively friendly climate. We should be able to grow our own food. But, Son, we don’t excel in agriculture as much as we should have.

It’s good that Susan paid high respect to doctors, engineers, and presidents. I just think that many other professions deserve that kind of acknowledgement too. In this case, I’m thinking about farmers. If their role is so important, how come we take it for granted? And we’ve been doing that for way too long.

“Mother, you’re not a farmer. Quit yapping about food sovereignty and anything else you know nothing about.”

I will, Son. But today is September 24th, it’s National Farmers Day (Hari Tani Nasional). I was never aware about it until I googled it last month. It’s never featured in LINE Today, or in my Facebook newsfeed, or anywhere in my social media timeline. I came across this competition because a good friend of mine shared it to me. I think it’s a good step to promote farming and to bring in more young people into agriculture business. It’s a shame that this announcement didn’t get as much exposure as cyanide coffee trial, Aa Gatot case, Brangelina, Awkarin, Mas Agus and friends’ selfie and… GOOD LORD I MUST’VE HAD TOO MUCH LINETODAY I GOTTA STOP NOW.

So, here goes.

Poster Pemilihan Duta Petani Muda 2016

I want to join the competition but I’m not a farmer. Maybe in the next few years if I ever have time and be eligible to sign up (which is very very less likely). So for now, this is the least thing I can do.

So here’s to Indonesian farmers, Son. For each grain of local rice we eat, each cut of cheap-but-good tomato, each clove of fresh garlic, and every other edible thing that is in my kitchen, we owe it to them. We deeply thank them for their hard work. I hope the government and public could finally manage to enhance their reputation. And 2020 Susan (if any) would dream to become a farmer. And you and your friends will have one more option for future job inspiration.

Selamat Hari Tani Nasional.

 

Mother

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Categories: Awkward Mother, Gardening/farming | Leave a comment

The cardamom in my soup

Dear Son,

In life, you will play different roles in different occasions.

Sometimes you get the biggest part, sometimes you you’re just an extra.

People don’t always recognize you.

Or know you exist.

Some things can still work without your presence too.

That’s okay.

But always, always do it well.

So when you feel like you’re not the most important person in a circle, think of a cardamom.

It’s a kind of spices that I sometimes put in my soup, in a very teeny tiny amount. Without it, I can still cook and my soup will still look like a commonly known soup. People will only ask if the beef, the carrot, or the potato is missing in their bowl. They won’t care so much whether it has a cardamom or not.

But Son, a cardamom actually makes a difference. It gives a different aromatic warmth that is felt by everyone. Most people will enjoy it, but don’t know where that sensation comes from. And people who don’t cook don’t even know what a cardamom is. Only a very few people will notice it and appreciate its presence. And most of the time, they are the ones who are good in the kitchen. In other words, they are the expert ones in the field.

There are also, people who don’t like the taste of a cardamom for no reason. But they are rare. And if you happen to meet them, I think you’re just having a very bad luck. Everyone get bad lucks every once in a while, Son. Don’t worry.

Therefore, Son, if you’re beef, be very good beef.

If you’re a carrot or a potato, be a very good carrot or a very good potato.

And if you’re a cardamom, be a very good cardamom.

And when you’re a cardamom, don’t bother to try replacing a carrot, because that will not make a good soup.

So, My Dear Son, whatever circumstances you have on hands, always know your role.

Work together with other roles.

And make the best impact in the play.

 

 

Mother

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Because we don’t have Indonesian Grammar Day

Dear Son,

Look at this picture. This is too embarrassing.

I don’t want you to grow up to be some kind of adult who does this.

Please don’t write this way.

20160325_073340-01

Because when you’re indicating preposition of place or referring to a certain location, “DI” and “a place name” should be separated by a space.

It should be DI AREA.

Not DIAREA.

I’m sorry to inform you that I’m no expert in my native language. There are many rules in Bahasa Indonesia that I might not be aware of. But I keep trying to learn them and even when I do, I still make a lot of mistakes too.

So you should learn better. At least don’t belittle Indonesian grammar. It seems that we don’t make a big deal about this. And it’s actually sad.

When you grow up, you will meet people who don’t care about kata sambung, imbuhan, and EYD. That may include your coworkers, teachers, bosses, or even VIPs who are considered academically smart. They won’t notice that you put extra effort on doing the right thing. Some may laugh at you for being too pedantic. And they will think you’re weird.

But that’s okay, Son. It is small. But I believe it’s important to respect our own language. With the our public tendency to use non-formal or foreign words, it’s hard to do so. I don’t use formal Indonesian in daily chats and casual writings either. Often I write in English too. But Sweetheart, if you happen to be doing something official, please choose the proper way. Ask someone legitimate. Open your dictionary. Google search. Whatever attempts you can do.

Today is September 8th and we don’t have Indonesian Grammar Day. Nobody bothers to celebrate such thing. So, happy International Literacy Day, Son. It’s vital to be literate. And it is best to be properly literate.

Mother

 

P.S. Oh, and the smaller words written in red paint below? Yeah those are dirty words. Don’t write them in public.

Categories: Awkward Mother, Daily Rambler, Occasional Writer | Leave a comment

Remind me about the words of appreciation

Dear Son,

There are times when a husband would voluntarily open his mouth to say something just to piss his wife off. Mine does too. But there are times though, when he unexpectedly comes up with a few words that truly make my day.

Now bear this in your mind. Because if one day you decide to get married, this is the kind of unusual yet magic words that could melt your wife’s heart, and keep her from scolding you (at least for 1×24 hours). She will even cook you your favorite dish (in your father’s case, it’s Indomie with extra extra EXTRA Boncabe). And more importantly, she will be thankful for having you as her husband.

Sometime recently, he told me this:

“Housewife chores are extremely hard. I only replace your task for 6 hours today and I don’t think I can ever manage to swap roles. I would rather spend hours at the office than do whatever it is that you do everyday. It’s just.., too hard.”

I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean to make compliments or intentionally created such strategy to get his Boncabe Indomie. He just made a comment out of his own experience. But to me, it sounded like a wonderful appreciation.

With digital wars these days between working mothers vs stay-at-home mothers feat. ustadz ibukota feat. unmarried netizens who think they know everything about marriage, and with daily judgmental comments from people around us, starting a family is highly challenging. You barely escape a day without being criticized for your life choices, parenting values, and even relationship style. I’m not telling you to ignore that because you need evaluation to improve yourself. But it is not always easy on the ear and it can drive you crazy. So you should always remember that what matters the most is what your partner thinks about you.

I tell you Son, I see old couples these days tend to take their spouse for granted. They hate, they disrespect, and are fed up with each other. I don’t want that but who knows what will happen to us in the future? So maybe, if 30 years later he becomes so annoying that I want to throw a brick at him (or vice versa), please do us a favor. Remind him that sometime in 2016 he used to appreciate me this much. And remind me too about how much it ever meant to me.

 

Mother

Categories: Awkward Mother, Daily Rambler | Leave a comment

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