Saturday, 24 November 2007

Climate changes and our actions

I read in the PoinT today on its Views section an article titled “RI’s peatlands: A little-known culprit in climate change”. Searching through google I can’t find this article which was written by Aubrey Belford, instead I found two articles from Yahoo news. One on forest trade, and the other one is about climate defore.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is approaching. Indonesia should be able to present their political views and action plans to keep its power as the world’s lung.
Everybody seemed to be busy talking about climate change. With the recently cyclone in Bangladesh, floods in the cities, the necessity to help mother earth from ageing is very urgent. In Jakarta we were also warned about the possibility of hails and stormy rains (we experienced it several time in several places before).

I am interested in attending the seminar about “The Role of Architect in Response to Climate Change”. It was already an interesting subject for me before, not really about the climate change but mostly about the architecture in the tropical country. How we can make the most out of our environment potential in designing a man made environment.

Long time ago I worked for WWF for a short time in TNKS, Sumatra. As a newly graduate architect it was difficult for me to cope with the idea of eco-rural tourism as I knew that open a part of it as a tourism object could lure irresponsible investors to come as well. Perhaps the other member of the team could not understand me because in their vision an architect’s job is planning and building. Balancing between the economical needs and the environmental needs are difficult. My parents and my boy friend (my husband now) were not approving my choice to work in the forest. It was ridiculous (perhaps) in their eyes to see a girl graduated as an architect to work inside the forest.

I hope this kind of problems will also be discussed in the conference in Bali. We are now stressing on Marine Tourism. The sea is also a part of carbon reduction, so we need to be really careful on exploiting it. Yet, our beautiful seas are also challenging experiences for divers from all over the world. Those who would like to have a sustainable business will think over the sustainable environment. But I fear those investors who will only think about short time profits and then move on investing somewhere else.

There is also another interesting seminar “Langkah Kecilku Untuk Masa Depan Bumi” (my small step for the future of the earth). I am interested because they are forwarding two speakers that I knew: Prof. Dr. Sarlito Wirawan (a psychologist), and Dr. Ir. Bian Poen (an expert in urban planning with environmental concerns). I knew Pak Bian Poen more personally as I had the chance to help one of his researches. (Reminded me of Pak Parsudi Suparlan, an anthropologist who just passed away. I also admire his work. As someone who graduated from a private university I was lucky to be able to know pak Bian Poen and pak Parsudi in the field. They were lecturer for the University of Indonesia). Pak Sarlito I knew from seminars and I like his objectiveness and his great knowledge. Unfortunately it would be in the same time as the seminar on architect in response to the climate change. I also have another problem which is about my children arrangements. So, let it flow…

Friday, 23 November 2007

Namaku, Bahasaku, Internetku

This article is to introduce ICANN (Internet Coorporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). It was quite some time that I've been introduced to this coorporation through a friend from the internet. Being a technophobic it was really hard for me to compose an objective article. So I decided to write the shortest introduction with all the link to introduce the website. I also hope that there will be a reader who is capable to join in this activity perhaps through the fellowship as the starting point.

The title of this article can be translated into one of ICANN's project "My Name, My Language, My Internet". Personally I was really interested in the possibility to have others read our posts without the bridge blog. It will really be saving a lot of time and be more effective to have this kind of internet translation. So we can read Indonesian wikipedia in English, or in Chinese, or in Korean...small world! Off course that would really be a big leap of technology!

Translating is a difficult task, we do not just translate literally but we also need to know the culture.In the compilation of papers presented in the FIT5th Asian Translators Forum in Bogor (April 2007) there are some papers underlining the importance of cultural context in translation.

Chuichi Kamei from Japan underlined "the Domesticating and Foreignizing Approaches in Japanese-English Translation", while He Sanning from China also added the term Neutralizing approach as the third approach in the context of translating for tourist texts. In another paper presented by Wang Yinquan it was explained "Why Beijing Olympics Mascots should be Named Fuwa instead of Friendlies". Language translation is not merely about translating characters and numbers.

So, that will be a great task! A great effort is needed to make "My Name, My Language, My Internet" comes true.

On the other hand, as a citizen from a developing country (hopefully we can achieved the status "developed country" some day) I also fear that all the development of technology will be costly and it would be an additional cost for us the internet users. Even to get into the cyber world is already a struggle for the grassroot of Indonesian people, to think about additional cost is a bit discouraging...

However, it is important to have an Indonesian in that kind of projects at least for adding our voice in the global voice.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Why I Prefer Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk than Saman

A new friend from Shelfari asked me about the book “Saman” from Ayu Utami. What do I think about that book? Wow, I read that book long time ago…1998. As I need to peek back to my diary I thought I do need time to answer that. But temporarily I did answer that I prefer A. Tohari’s book “Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk”. Why?

Actually when I read Saman nine years ago, I compared it to the book of Father Mangunwijaya “Burung-burung Manyar”. I like Ida Ayu Utami’s popular daily language. I wrote in my diary that her way of writing it is just the way I write my diary. That’s perhaps why I like Saman. I read it in less than six hours (meaning six hours with other activities) so perhaps I do need more time to chew it up before making any comment. Yet, I won’t have much time to reread the book. I even forgot if I have read the sequel “Larung” or not (I think I do have the book somewhere in my bookshelves).

There were some notes in my old diary about Saman. First, I was impressed by her research. I was a bit confused by her way of narrating that sometimes travel in the time space, and I thought that the case Marsinah was not in 1993. I checked this one out and was surprised to get that the case was already five years away (that time). Now we are still facing new problem like Munir…how we never grew up!

Then, I underline Saman’s words “Money has its power”. Yes, without the power of money, Saman will get stuck (or even death). Only with the network and money from Yasmin and Cok that Saman reached New York.

Being only a fragment of a novel, the content touched a lot of problems that were hot during that time. It covered subjects from the NGO’s activity and rebellion, the anti Chinese sentiment, to the corruption, collusion, and nepotism.
Reading Saman also opened my eyes (who was very Catholic that I kept myself virgin to my wedding day) about the possibility of the general condition of free sex or other misbehavior in youngsters' lives. Ayu was one or two years after me in the senior high school. I remembered this eccentric girl from the language class. Now, we are facing the existence of porn video produced by and for the high school students here. This is a new reality in Indonesia. We need to stop this kind of globalization coming into this country. Yet, I’m not the supporter of the ratification of anti-pornographic law. I think we do have good law on censorship, the problem is in the implementation. Should we censor all the traditional clothes or the mini skirts? I think man should first educate their mind than trying to change girl’s way of clothing! (But, I am a conservative type in clothing…he..he…he…)

A blogger has also commented on Saman (I thought she is a Moslem Malaysian), and talked a bit about Ayu’s religious back ground. I do not think that Catholic is more permissive to this kind of conduct. I think what Ayu meant is that sex should never be a taboo as the example from the Bible. Human became aware of their sexuality after they conduct their first sin, their act that disobeyed the Lord’s command.

May be this is how Saman is different with Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk. The way Ayu wrote her story (perhaps) made people think that it is normal to have that kind of life. While Srintil tried hard to evade her fate as a Ronggeng. Yet bad luck can sometimes be an eternal friend especially for those poor and marginal people.

Actually I was waiting for a serial like Saman from Leila S. Chudori. She was my favorite writer and I missed her fiction after her study in Canada. She came back and became a brilliant journalist, but I missed her fiction stories. She was always good in describing psychological problem and human character. She recently produced a TV serial “Dunia Tanpa Koma” (“The World Without a Comma”). I like the story (I’ve got to admit I did not see the whole series…TV serial is not my kind of leisure activity) but it seemed to be running very slow. As a bookworm I prefer to read the book (if any) than seeing that film. I can imagine Raya or her boyfriends as I wished, and I can imagine their gestures and body languages better than being given in an obvious but slow screening.

I am glad that Tony gave me this question because I can write some notes here. And I am also getting more information in preparing this post. I never know that there is an uncensored novel of Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk (published since 2003). So I’ll search for the new version or the English version published by the Lontar Foundation.

More references:

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Just a personal diary

I had a high fever and got bones-ache after the three days of busy days with JTS 2007. I was not participating in day one (welcome dinner) as one of my twin already got a fever. I accompanied him to the doctor that evening and the next day it was my father who came to take care of the twins. I enjoyed riding the shuttle bus, a feeder to busway.

Actually I’ve got a lot to write for my blog as I composed it in my mind during the bus ride to Hotel Borobudur. The next day I’ve got to drive myself as I was late already. I uploaded an article for OMNI, then I took the twins to my parents’ house before circling a bit around (loosing my way) to the hotel as I avoided the three in one streets.

Having my own car, I was free enough to wander around after the closure of the summit. I went to The National Galery afterward. This kind of freedom might be impossible for me if I depend on public transportation. Waiting for the bus (it is better for shuttle as I do have schedules as the measurement of time, although it will always be late more than 15 minutes). My car gave me more time and more flexibility to reach two or more destinations in a day journey.

The whole family got sick then...after the twins are me and my eldest son. Then my husband is not feeling well too. Weather's problem...

I’ve produced another article on JTS for, but I have not enough time to write my personal blog on JTS and my thoughts on Jakarta. I am not really well yet…hopefully soon I’ll be fully back in the cyber world!

Berita Bahagia

Happy News...

I'll translate it later...:)

Belajar dari Jakarta Tourism Summit 2007

From the Jakarta Tourism Summit 2007 we can learn a lot of things. From the press conference (My first press conference :)) to how the media provide spaces for this international event. Economy or other industrial summits seems more important to cover than tourism, while we could actually earn a lot from tourism. While as a host it is also important to show that we do value all the good deed offered by the sister cities, especially for those who seemed very serious in preparing their visit here.

This article is in bahasa Indonesia (you will be linked to the article by clicking the title above). It is also talking about other aspects that I found interesting such as the urban and environment issue was given by a lecturer of a school of tourism (I regret missed this part)and those students from local school of tourism was totally blank about what it is. They are vocational school and they are only learning about service but not the planning and their role (tourism sector) in making suggestion for urban planning. Coordination between subjects is something that we, Indonesians, should learn. The other thing is about gambling and night life, how it can increase the revenue but also a reminder that it can also be the poison for the younger generation of the country. Government has to choose and stick to it.

I do not really remember all written there (oups I wrote that I do not like to live in Jakarta because of the traffic jam, in the comment I corrected the sentence I do like to live in Southern Jakarta but I could not afford it.) Some of it share the similar content of what I wrote for OMNI, only that I used different pictures.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Sister Cities and 21st Century Travel

Pesta Blogger: Pesta Usai, Kenangan Tersimpan di Hati

Another article about Pesta Blogger. The party is over, memories will be kept in hearts!

Reviewing some memories from the party. The content is a mixed between my earlier post in English and some additional comments I made on others' posts about the party.

I recently read two articles published in daily Kompas and in daily Seputar Indonesia.
The article in Kompas raised up a good question that I did not think before. The writer commented that usually a national day should be through presidential decree. She mentioned slightly over the minister claiming it as a blogger day on the basis of his being overwhelming by enthusiastic crowd of the party. So, can we really say that we are having a national blogger day?

Wimar Witoelar wrote in Sindo (Seputar Indonesia) November 8, 2007, "Apakag Blog Berpengaruh pada Pemilihan Presiden?" The growing number of bloggers are amazing and is it possible that the next presidential election will be affected by the voices of bloggers?

PS: It is difficult to search the link to Kompas cetak, so I inserted the link from Forum Pembaca Kompas (Kompas readers' Forum).

Tuesday, 6 November 2007


I’m going to Jakarta Tourism Summit 2007. As an architect I am interested in urban tourism and environmental issues (see more discussion issues from JTS website). As a housewife I am confused on providing my time to be there. As a citizen reporter I am urged to be there…

Now I knew the different between current issues and news. Some days ago my brother commented on wikimu; “wikimu is quite something as a media, it reported the British Council event before the news posted in British Council’s own website”.

Actually wikimuwas also the second in the internet reporting about an earthquake. Yet, we can post even a very short article to keep it really update. We don’t have to worry about the length of the article. Off course we do need to be linked to the internet. This is the only obstacle. A fellow citizen reporter from Papua finished his study in Yogyakarta and came back to Papua without internet access. We miss his reports. Communication comes through articles. If voices could not be voice out then frustration can be the output. We need to speak and to listen to each other to gain a better cooperation in building this country (the most important thing is still the ACTION!).

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Current Issue

What is a current issue? The daily Jakarta Post is the earliest (I knew) reported the National Bloggers’ Day. The daily Kontan published the event’s report yesterday. The daily Kompas wrote a page about blogging and the party today. Yet, my article (today, November 2) was turned down by the senior editor of Ohmy News as something “too old”.

I’ve read a T-shirt’s design wore in the bloggers’ party “No one cares about your blog”. I do think that people do care as long as it is something that they think is important.

Nobody wrote about the Indonesian bloggers meeting in OMNI so I do think it is still a current issue. Perhaps, my way of presenting it was wrong. I do not master how to write a feature. One of my articles that I sent to a mainstream media here was never published, and I overheard that the editor was confused where it would fit, Feature or Opinion.

It is so hard to work as a citizen reporter without the proper facilities. I’m glad that my writing about fighting the poverty can get published in Ohmy News. Then, I was already struggling with the problem of my new modem. I just bought it about three months ago through Telkom, so I could still ask for its replacement. As there were Lebaran holidays it was a long wait until I got back my modem. Before I had the chance to get it connected (glad that I did not connect it), the computer broke down. The electricity wire got struck by the thunder storm (one of the 480 thunderstorms on that afternoon, as stated by the BMG). So I’ve got to go to the Blogger Party without having a proper research. I printed out my invitation in my brother’s house just after I left my children in my parents’ house to go for the party.

My article reporting the National Bloggers’ Party for wikimu was commented by a reader as a very modest report. Although it is about my way of using the word Bapak (Mr) or Bapak Menteri, but I knew that it was also too plain….I wrote it in a restaurant borrowing a friend’s notebook.

After the Lebaran, my domestic assistant did not come back. So the proportion of handling the house chores are abundant. Without my personal computer I am paralyzed. While I usually can cut my sleeping hours to write, now I can do nothing…

Do I become addicted to the internet? Addicted to blogging? I hope not! I’ll always remember the articles about blogging that I read in OMNI, one from Claire George, and the other one from Nicolas van der Leek. I hope I can prepare myself to have a more balancing life in my relation with the internet.

I’m going to ease down…

The important thing is to deliver the content. And I do need to remember to make check and recheck before delivering it. I won’t change it to have instant sensational news.

I like the term citizen journalism as it gives me the feeling of being a citizen in the global world as well. It also gave me a chance to do things that I won’t have as a housewife. I won’t have the chance to visit Seoul on an invitation if it was not for the article I wrote about

The term grassroots journalism is not really appealing for me. Why? Don’t know…, it is just that the word “citizen” gave a better direction as for “right and obligation”.

In the Bloggers’ party there were seats reserved for the press, but as it is a party without the presence of the president we were free to take pictures. Journalists or non journalists were all free to go to the front and take pictures.

I know now that I should put my blog under the term of bridge blogging. Let my current issues be something currently thought in my mind.

Hopefully my computer can be fixed soon, and I’ll be able to concentrate on writing my current thoughts in my blog. (He..he..he..this post is still written using another borrowed note book).

Friday, 2 November 2007

New Voices of Indonesia Speak Through the Internet.

Pesta Blogger Nasional Celebrating the First National Bloggers’ Day in Indonesia.

Indonesian government acknowledges the value of Indonesian grassroots’ voices that speak through the internet. Voices from the mailing lists, Readers’ Forum, to the voices of bloggers in the internet are now considered the new voices of Indonesia (Suara Baru Indonesia).

The Minister of Communication and Information, Muhammad Nuh, opened the First Indonesian Bloggers’ Party (Pesta Blogger) that served about 500 bloggers on the 27th October 2007 in Jakarta.

Indonesian bloggers came from Sumatera, Sulawesi, Java, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore joined the party. It was also a celebration of the first National Bloggers’ Day. The government gave its support and will guarantee the freedom of speech in the internet. Yet, bloggers do need to remember their responsibility in presenting their country through the cyber space, and to help building Indonesia through their views and developing critics.

As an archipelago with more than 17,000 islands the internet will surely be the best tool to make a faster and easier connection to unify the citizens. The Indonesian bloggers are now approximately 130,000 people, which is far beyond the huge population of Indonesia. While developing the ICT to serve Indonesian people, it is also important to raise people’s awareness of their position as bloggers in presenting Indonesia to the global world.

This bloggers’ day celebration took place a day before the celebration of the Youth Pledge Day. It was hoped that the spirit that unified the youth in 1928 will be renewed and unified the Indonesian through the power of these new voices.

The internet is more familiar to the young people in Indonesia. There are plenty of teenlits published by youngsters after their blogs. But as shown in this first Indonesian bloggers’ party, a blog is not exclusively maintained by youngsters. I met the oldest blogger in the party, a seventy six-year-old, Prof. Dr. Iwan Darmansjah. His blog is mostly about health and medicine, and he said that he already kept it for ten years.

As in an Indonesian wedding party, where people can meet a lot of friends and be introduced to new acquaintances, the party was served to all range of age. There were also some seventh grader students and ninth grader students who maintained their blogs for about one or two years.

Family and school seemed to have a good influence in introducing blogging to youngsters. I’ve met a family whose members are all keeping their own blogs. First, it was to cater a long distance relation between parents as the father had to work far from the family. Then it became a habit that was followed by the children. The eldest son, who did not really keen on writing, started his first blog about Play Station Games. Now he is also posting to another blog as a part of his school assignment. The younger son started his blog last year when he was a sixth grader student. While his father’s blog is called ndobos (Javanese word for nonsense), he named his blog anakndobos (the child of ndobos). He wrote about his daily routine. He was frankly said in his post about the bloggers’ party that he kept playing Game Boy as he did not understand what the minister was talking about. Yet, as he revealed to me, he never wrote any complaint about his parents in his blog.

I think this is the different between blog and diary. When I was his age I wrote a lot of things in my diary, including my complaints for my parents or teachers. It was wonderful to look back at the diary and learnt how I grew up and to keep reminding myself on things that I might now act as a parent. While diary can be keep personal, blog is meant to be a public share.

Blog is a way to communicate to each other, relate to new acquaintance, or even fight for defending arguments. It will do good deeds as long as we keep it in the cyber world noted Ong Hock Chuan. He is a Malaysian blogger, a former journalist who is now a technical advisor for Maverick (the Public Relation Company that also helped worked out this event). In his blog he posted an article about the dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia on a traditional song known to Indonesian as a song from Maluku, East of Indonesia. He received 249 comments from Indonesia and Malaysia. While the discussion was heated in the cyber space, hopefully a better understanding of the different views could ease down the anger in the real world.

This big event was organized by some senior bloggers with Enda Nasution as the chairperson of the steering committee. The committee was consisted of some popular names like
Budi Putra
, Nukman Luthfie, Wimar Witoelar, Shinta Danuwardoyo, Wicaksono, etc. Bloggers’ communities came using their own T-shirts’ design. Some were advertising their community, and there was also an activity from the Bundaran Hotel Indonesia community (Jakarta) to raise education fund for children from Bangsari, a village near Yogyakarta.

In the first session which was moderated by Wimar Witoelar, stories of bloggers came out. From those who can have their books published, to those who found the spouse through blogging activities. Another blogger lost her job in a TV station after a story she posted in her blog provoked anger from the Malaysian Minister of Tourism. She revealed her gratitude to other bloggers who kept supported and encouraged her during her ordeal. In this session Adrianto as the CEO of was also giving his words. He said that as a citizen journalism website is the participatory form of citizen in revealing their opinions. I have noted that more people are now attracted to write for citizen- journalism websites, and only some of these writers have their own blogs.

The second session divided the participants into several topics. The topics were personal blog, celebrity blog, current issues, bridge blogging, women’s issues, on-line marketing and sales, and technology blog.

I registered myself in current issues as I’d like to know more about how to handle current issues in my limited time for writing. I think it is important to know how to make an objective view if I want to cover current issues for my blog. My blog Buah Pena was constructed after I knew citizen journalism website. I consider it as my diary as a citizen reporter. I like the term citizen journalism because it reminded me of my duty as a citizen of my country and also as a citizen of the world. The moderator for this group were Wicaksono (a senior journalist), and Rudiyanto (an NGO worker).

This second session was very informal so I did placed myself between two groups, Current Issues and Bridge Blogging, to be able to hear both discussions. While the participants for Current Issues were plenty, the participants for Bridge Blogging were only about ten persons. Moderated by Ong Hock Chuan, the topics Bridge Blogging was mainly concern about the function of a blog as a bridge to give information about Indonesia to the world.

Actually the conversation in the group of Bridge Blogging was more interesting for me, but my interest in grassroots’ objectives on current issues kept me longer in the bigger crowd. As an excerpt from Bridge Blogging, I got that language is still the main obstacle for bridge blogging but there are plenty of friends who will be happy to help out. Then, community of mailing list, forum, or citizen journalism website can become an additional resource of knowledge and help. The voices from bridge blogs are important to give more opinions on Indonesia outside the voice of the mainstream media to the world.

There are two important things that I dig out in this session. First, as a blogger I do not have to worry about current issues. Just be ourselves. That way we can produce a better view on any current issues that took our interests. Then, for being a bridge between Indonesia to the world it is important to be very objective. Networking communities can be a big help to gain more knowledge and to build a better blog performance.

Between the two session people made their vote for their chosen blogs. This vote brought some prizes such as Nokia Hand Phone. A lap top was a spontaneous gift from the minister for the most voted blog. It was such a party, but it was also a start for a bigger job. To be the real new voices!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Apakah Kita Masih Terikat Pada Sumpah Pemuda 28 Oktober 1928?

The spirit to be united in 1928, now known as the Youth Pledge Day is it still ours?

Afraid that their children will be left behind in the global world, more and more parents imposing their children to speak English as their daily language. It is obvious that we do need international language such as English to enter the global competition, but do we have to take our own language for granted?

Regional languages or dialects are also being left behind. More and more youngsters did not have this kind of language attachment. So, are we still attached to the spirit of the Youth Pledge Day or is it all ceremonial?

Pesta Blogger 2007 - Ketemu di Dunia Nyata

This is a short report for on the first Indonesian bloggers' party. I wrote this article using a borrowed lap top in a restaurant. My computer was broken due to the thunder storm lightning in Serpong. It happened just after I got my modem replacement from Telkom. Lucky that the modem was not connected yet. I've really got to struggle to keep online...

Indonesians Speak Out Against Poverty

Ikut bangkit dan berdiri menyuarakan perlawanan terhadap kemiskinan (atau pemiskinan?).
Bukan hanya yang tua, yang muda juga bisa bersuara dengan caranya sendiri...
Kesulitan air bersih menjadi salah satu hal yang penting untuk Indonesia. Artikel ini bertujuan untuk mengajak warga negara dunia (citizen of the world) untuk turut prihatin dan bertindak. Semoga tidak sekedar berhenti di kampanye melainkan diteruskan dalam kehidupan nyata!


Indonesians Speak Out Against Poverty
Successful campaign should be followed by real action