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Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I don’t remember when the last time I prayed. :-P Perhaps since I realized that in my ‘old’ dictionary, the word ‘pray’ referred to ‘dictating to god to fulfil what I wanted via praying’, instead of ‘begging to god for god’s mercy to grant my pray’.  At this point I realized that I have converted to be an agnostic instead of “just” a secular. How long ago? I don’t remember.  but perhaps some posts related to “praying” will remind me myself.

So, because I stopped praying, does it mean that I never expect anything for my future? (do you agree that praying means we expect to get something good for our future and we ask god’s help to make it come true? Or in a more extreme point, we dictate god to grant it.)

Of course I still expect some (or perhaps many) good things for my future. But as people say, praying has a kind of ‘placebo effect’ (in Bahasa Indonesia, we call it ‘sugesti’). After praying, people feel like they have more strength to make their dreams come true. So? They try harder to reach their dreams after they pray.

Me? I skip the ‘praying’ stage. After having one expectation – let’s say – I directly jump to the following stage: do my best to make it come true. Isn’t our real effort the most important part?

However, since I ‘learned’ that in many cases our own expectation – especially when it is related to somebody else – sort of hurt us when it doesn’t come true, I have tried my best not to have lotsa expectations. Just live my life enough. Do what I must do. As many ‘spiritual’ people believe that what we have done towards other people in this universe, in fact, we do it to ourselves.

Meanwhile ...

A few weeks ago, something came up. This made me open my twitter account that I made perhaps in the middle 2010. But due to my twitter illiteracy, I hardly visited.   I started tweeting until I found some accounts of public figures that I thought would broaden my horizon in viewing this life. One of them was Ayu Utami whose book – Si Parasit Lajang – was always one of my most favorite books. And I always love reading her other books, from Saman, Larung, Bilangan Fu, and Manjali dan Cakrabirawa.

I don’t know her spiritual view, honestly. One thing for sure is of course I know she is against the male-dominated culture.

But frankly speaking after following her account on twitter, I found it surprising when the first time she tweeted something that was related to ‘pray’, although it was a simple one. For example, “#doapagi, lenturkanlah otot kami yang tegang” (#morningpray, make our stiff muscles bend and relax easily) “#doapagi, lumerkanlah lemak menggumpal ini” (#morningpray, reduce the fat in our bodies) until more serious one, such as “#doapagi, tajamkanlah pikiran kami dan lembutkanlah hati kami” (#morningpray, sharpen our brain and soften our heart).

Well, people can say that she can be my role model so out of nowhere, I started thinking what kind of ‘pray’ I could post in my twitter account.  My first one is like this: “#morningpray, wish my yummy cappuccino will brighten my day and the good rumor at school will come true”. Well, in fact it didn’t sound much different from my ‘usual’ status, such as “my darling perfecto cappuccino, please brighten my day”. Only, I did not necessarily consider it as a pray. 

Have you ever thought that the existence of social network – such as facebook – has made people more narcissistic? It happened to me too. So this ‘new’ idea about updating status using the term #morningpray gave me more ‘chances’ to attract my online buddies there. (ahh, excuses! )

Luckily, not long after that, when reading Ayu Utami’s latest novel “Cerita Cinta Enrico” – the so-called biographical novel of her ‘present’ husband, I found the answer of my own question about her spiritual view. Compared to Enrico who always thought that he was a non believer (but still thinking about ‘being sinful or not’ when having sex), Ayu was a believer. She was just against everything which was patriarchal, such as Indonesia’s regulation of marriage : man/husband is the leader and woman/wife is the homemaker.  The government is not supposed to interfere in a family’s business,

Me? Believing that all religions (or only Abrahamic religions? ) were products of patriarchal culture, I decided to be neutral.

So? Despite the fact that I claimed to be an agnostic, in my twitter account (which is synchronized to my r account) perhaps once in a blue moon, I will write #morningpray. But for sure, it is a far cry from dictating the so-called god.

GL7 14.04 200312

check this link and that one about praying
the Bahasa Indonesia version can be viewed here

Some comments I imported from my other blogsite which will be closed down on December 1, 2012

maddypunyacerita wrote on Mar 20
Interesting thought :))
afemaleguest wrote on Mar 20
thank you Maddy :)
bambangpriantono wrote on Mar 20
afemaleguest wrote on Mar 20
:) balik
srisariningdiyah wrote on Mar 20
orangjava wrote on Mar 20
afemaleguest wrote on Mar 20
orangjava said
sweet :)
srisariningdiyah wrote on Mar 20
afemaleguest wrote on Mar 20
aiiihhhh ... headshot nyaaa ^__^
rengganiez wrote on Mar 20
Keliatannya sejak menikah Ayu byk berubah :-D
afemaleguest wrote on Mar 20
Keliatannya sejak menikah Ayu byk berubah :-D
begitu ya? :)
rengganiez wrote on Mar 20
srisariningdiyah wrote on Mar 20
harusnya kamis kemarin pas aku siaran terakhir sebelum cuti, ini ayu utami yang aku wawancara, untuk bukunya yang ini... sayang dia telat dateng dan gak ada konfirmasi lagi tetep mau dateng apa engga, padahal dah aku kasih slot jam selanjutnya kalo emang mau, karna kebetulan kosong... hihihi padahal mau nanya2 yang aneh2 xixixixx
rembulanku wrote on Mar 20
doa yuk mbak, minta apa enake?
*make a list first* hehehehe
dinantonia wrote on Mar 22
i think we shud be praising, grateful and believing instead of asking when praying :)
mawarangel wrote on Mar 30
How your opini mba, when i "curhat" to God. I ask nothing, just want to membagi beban. Ketika teman yg paling aku percayai ternya melupakan aku... Is it a dictating also,,, :-(
afemaleguest wrote on Mar 30
of course not
you "just" curhat, right? not ask god to do something, let's say? :-D

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Indonesian" women in the beginning of the 20th Century

Twee Soendanese vrouwen in halfnaakte pose op West-Java 1910

I got the above picture from this link. For the whole pictures, you can click here

I can say that this post is the continuation of my own post at my other blog (in Bahasa Indonesia) here.

These pictures in fact showed me the proof that women in the 'old' Nusantara archipelago were indeed topless. It was their culture at that time so it was not considered as indecent. But as we know that Nusantara was colonized by the Netherlands, for sure, those Dutch people sent to Nusantara area brought their culture here. One of them was wearing top clothes. People say that those Dutch people thought women at that time 'uncivilized' due to not wearing top clothes. They forced Indonesian women to cover their top bodies in order that they became 'civilized' and the Dutchmen would not get tempted (sexually?). :) If we look at all pictures in the link I gave above, not all women were topless. We can say that of course some women got influenced earlier than the others. Usually they came from high social classes who apparently got along with Dutch people more often than women who were from lower social classes.

In my post here, I cited a friend's comment where he believed that being topless (especially for women) was not Indonesian local culture because he opined that the coming of Islam to Nusantara around 12-15th centuries must have brought Arabic culture too to cover women's bodies. Even this picture could not convince him about local culture about women getting dressed. So, whose culture was it? :)

We can roughly conclude that the coming of Islam to Indonesia around 12-15th centuries did not directly change Indonesian's way of getting dressed. The Dutch colonial government did it.

After Indonesian's independence in 1945, Indonesian women wore 'western' as well as local clothes. By the end of the 20th century, many Indonesian women started wearing jilbab that in fact can be said as Middle East countries' culture.

Why did it not happen since Islam brought to Indonesia many centuries ago? :) As always, everything needs time to process; sometimes it needs a very short time, but at other times, it needs quite a long time. :)

PT28 14.14 100312