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.
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.