Saturday, 24 April 2010

Into a time machine at Times Bookstore

Although Times Bookstore in Karawaci was already opened in June 2008, this is my first visit to the bookstore. I was once visited Amir Sidharta in the University of Pelita Harapan, but it was a long time ago! I am sure if Times was not even there at that time. Lately I rarely go to Karawaci. I went there before for interior projects of private houses, then occasionally for its Time Zone to bring my kids to play. Then the Sumarecon Mall Serpong opened another Time Zone (which closed down the one in WTC Serpong), so I still had another alternative than Karawaci. The bad traffic also discouraged me to go to Karawaci from Serpong.

I circled the mall three times without finding any parking lot, so I do need to go inside the mall's parking lot. Fortunately I can park near the gate that is opening the way to Times Bookstore which stand across the road. I thought the last time I went to this mall this gate wasn't open.

Passing the gate I saw people enjoyed their afternoon at the cafe on the pedestrian. It gave me a sparkling memory of other places in Europe. The bell for the zebra cross light reminded me of those similar sound in Singapore, yet here the people were more relaxed than those neighbours who were running for the MRT. I ran into my time machine...

I used to go to Singapore when my father was posted there. I stayed in Elizabeth Tower and I did enjoy strolling along the Orchard Road. Actually I forgot which of the Times Bookstores in Singapore attracted me the most. I only remember that I had enjoyable time at Times. It had various of books, complete books for my architectural text books, and books to cater for my interest in languages and cultures.

Having crossed the road I then entered the bookstore, said to be the largest Times Bookstore in this region. The seats were already half taken. The author Ayu Utami and the moderator Mdm. Venilla R. Pushpanathan then moved to sit in front of those seats, on the edge of a sunken green pool like floor (which made Ayu Utami felt like sitting on the edge of a swimming pool).

I was interested in the quotes that they use as their interior elements. Another quote was printed on the Privilege Card Application Form (this one sounds good, a privilege card that will give you discounted price for Times Bookstore anywhere in the world). The printed quote was the one from Dr. Seuss: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." For me the more that I've read the more places I've been (that's a mental journey which I've already been through...)

It was a nice chance to hear Ayu Utami read fragments of her book "Saman" in English. The poetic segment of the book was made even stronger in English. I ventured back to the first time I read this book in bahasa Indonesia. It was published in 1998 and I was quickly gobbled it up. Critics were all talking about her way to talk about sex openly, some may even say it was vulgar. For me, it was a bit too open, yet I didn't actually found it as something vulgar. Back then, I found a lot of interesting things in that novel, so that I overlooked the impression of her frank way of presenting it. I can still sense the poetry and prose in it but I was busy with other thoughts. I was amazed that the Marsinah's case was already five years away, which made it seventeen years away today. And, it is still lie in the darkness of that "jungle". The jungle where money and power are the acceptable weapons and the law was wheeled under the power of those weapons.

In that afternoon discussion, as she cited the story from the point of Shakuntala's view, I asked why she was brave enough to use that kind of language presentation in Bahasa Indonesia which for some may be a bit too open or vulgar. She answered me that she didn't want to use euphemism in language to soften a chosen word about sexuality. I thought may be that's the reason why I thought she was too open. I wasn't really accustomed to that kind of Bahasa Indonesia in Indonesian novel. We always pick the right, nicer words for those term in sex. I knew how difficult to change the way culture was built upon us. For example I used to use the word "vagina" and "testis" in introducing those genitals, but then I made my son confused as his kindergarten teachers forbid him to use that language and gave him the term "dompet" (wallet) and "burung" (bird) instead. Remember that translated book about how a baby was created and born? It was banned! Actually it didn't have any inappropriate pictures, that book just need the existence of parents to read it for their kids. I can see Ayu Utami's point of view about euphemism. She also reminded the audience about the paradox of our experiences. She said that behind the serene, noble, and peaceful performance we should not forget that there are always the violent parts of living. People usually made a duality separation of body and spirit, while men are associated with logic and spirit, women are said to be attached to their emotion and body. Grim images used in Saman were to show emotion bitterness, a part of the author's personal experiences taken into a creative process where she developed all the blending of characters.

I wrote in my diary (in 1998) that I didn't find the novel "Saman" as vulgar. I've read books that we can call vulgar. And I also didn't find it too focus on the topic of sex. But, it did shaken my head that I might have been blinded and did not seeing the reality about free sex around me (at that time...remember 1998 was the opening gate to get the real information from the media, before that we've only got the censored information. Yet, now the situation seemed worse, may be because it is worsened or because we're exposed to the news).

I always think that we should take the good lesson from the West but leave those bad lesson which is against our Eastern culture (this is going to be arguable...mistress and prostitute existed even in the Bible, who will say that they were not exist in Srivijaya's or Majapahit's era?).

Ayu Utami's "Saman" might not be a new writing approach in international literary. But, to Indonesian Women, it was probably the pioneering work of how a woman portrayed sexuality together with other problems that were considered to be reserved only for men i.e. politic. Later on women writers follow her footsteps, and then the women artists also shared their point of views.

As for the new paradigm vs. Kartini Day, the topic that they forwarded that day, Ayu would like to ask people not to look at Kartini only from the physical appearance like the face and the kebaya (traditional clothes). She asked those who came to realize that women should know their own sexuality and be able to talk about it without feeling guilty. For her, what is important for women are the need to have a choice and to be able to choose her own choice. I couldn't agree more. We do have good man and bad man. There are men who treated their spouse or their women like hell. So do we have good woman and bad woman. I would not use the term immoral as one of the audience who asked a question, as we can't judge one's morality by appearance. But, there are also women who deliberately use their sexuality to gain their own pleasure of life without thinking of others...and that's bad for me. Yet, women who should struggle through their lives do exist. A story that I've read in the Readers' Digest Indonesia showed how a woman (in "Melawan Mafia Prostitusi Anak") survived not only from being a victim of child trafficking but also that she stood up to help her fellow victims. The story didn't conceal the trauma that she had to endure in her life, in which the frightened feeling tied her even after her freedom now. These kind of women are the victim of bad people, either men or women, and they had to bear the heavy cross through their gloomy life.

Personally I think that the new paradigm is actually should not be seen as versus Kartini Day. Kartini passed away in her young age after delivering her baby. That's one of our Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Fighting the maternal death, and also educating women in order to have better care for the younger generation are really important. The latter was also the basic of Kartini's work, to provide education that can empower women. The new paradigm is that now women knew better about their bodies and their needs. Then, with their education they can have better stand to decide what they would like to do with their lives. Reading has a lot of input in empowering women. Ms. Jo Lee, CEO of Times Bookstores in Indonesia said that Times seek to inspire the people, especially the children and youth, through community activities centered around reading and writing and the growing of their minds. Through her words I can really feel the spirit of Ibu Kartini which aim to spread the education for girls, to plant the seed of what would be the root of our future youth.

Mdm. Venilla R. Pushpanathan who introduced the ASEAN Secretariat Women's Wing
to the audience, said that it is going to help empowering women in ASEAN. They were helping out in health issues, and also they are providing scholarship for women who can't continue their study due to their lacking financial condition.

Yes, education and self respect is the answer to women's problem. Ayu showed how she face the repressive action from the New Order regime. Being banned as a journalist made her concentrate on Saman. She wrote this book in eight months, and it was awarded the Prince Clauss Award in the year 2000. She turned her problem into an opportunity to open her other doors.

Before I went home, I enjoyed this 1,900 sqm Times Bookstore, an outlet where you can enjoy quiet conversation with friends while sipping your coffee or other beverages. Times Bookstore offered the comfortable cozy corner as its café on the second floor. At the cashier I found a special offer showing a bigger discount for women who have the privilege membership card and would like to buy books on that Kartini Day (actually I would prefer to have discounted prices for books about women offered to both gender, so that we can get those men reading about women too). I think the essence of Kartini Day is actually that women keep themselves enriched with knowledge. Reading books is a way to gain more knowledge before we can share it to our younger generations. Then writing is the next step in sharing that knowledge. As Ayu Utami said for her closing word, "Don't be afraid." We can take it as don't be afraid to write out your thoughts, don't be afraid to explore your own limit as a woman, don't be afraid to challenge the world....One short sentence (but so meaningful) that bring me back into the present time. I did the past, and I won't be afraid for my future as I still have my present to strengthened my future.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

My celebration of Kartini Day (2010)

Yesterday, April 21, is a Kartini day for Indonesians. There were a lot of ways to celebrate the day. I used to celebrate it with my children (when they were in the kindergarten) by using traditional clothes. People might say that this kind of celebration was degrading the meaning of Kartini Day by making it a mere traditional fashion show, but I'm not totally agree on that. For me, those traditional clothes should help those children to get closer to the richness of Indonesian cultures, and to remind them to all our heroes and heroine. Kartini, Cut Nyak Dien (in the Indonesian wikipedia), Dewi Sartika, Christina Martha Tiahahu (in the Indonesian Wikipedia) are among those brave women who showed us how women can also have leading fighting spirit. Yet, there are also those who thought that wearing Kebaya is the only way to celebrate Kartini Day. This is actually not the real meaning of Kartini Day.

Some said that Kartini was not showing up her fighting spirit by accepting the arranged marriage with a man who already have three wives. Yet, her courage to ask her father's permission to have higher education was something brace enough for a Javanese girl at her time (I have written about Kartini before-in bahasa Indonesia, showing how writing out our thoughts could really be powerful).

On other occasion our kindergarten students were also celebrating Kartini Day by making it a fashion show that show various kind of occupation. We have doctors, nurse, soldiers, businessman/woman, pilot, etc. My eldest son once took the clothes of a journalist. It was easy to prepare, but he did not win any prize in the fashion show.

Kartini is always a special figure to me. I read her letters since I was still in highschool. She talked about tradition, and also about religions outside her own religion. It is something that perhaps could be considered as taboo in her era.

Kartini is always a special figure to me. I read her letters since I was still in highschool. She talked about tradition, and also about religions outside her own religion. It is something that perhaps could be considered as taboo in her era.

I've got several invitations on this special day, and some are very interesting but I've chosen to go to the one held in Times Bookstore in Karawaci, a discussion with a topic "New Paradigm vs. Kartini Day". I was first attracted to the place where the book reading and discussion would take place. It's nearer to me than other invitations which located mostly in Jakarta. Then in the promotion letter I've read that this outlet is the biggest Times Bookstore in the region. I thought,"It's bigger than those in Singapore? No kidding..." When I was teenage I used to frequently visited Singapore, and I loved Times Bookstores over there. When I had the chance to visit some big cities in Europe I was looking for that kind of bookshop but I didn't find it. I knew that Times are opening their branches in Jakarta, but I thought they were made just like other book stores in Jakarta. Then, I saw a small Times store on Antasari street. It looks really inviting. I usually went passing it when I traveled from my house to my parents' house. Every time we were passing it, I said to my children, "One day I'm going there..." But the traffic and my tight schedule never allowed me to step in that store. So, an invitation to a book discussion in the biggest Times Bookstore in this region was really tempting. I could kill two birds with one stone.

Then, the author that we were going to meet was Ayu Utami. And to my surprise, we were going to talk about her book "Saman", a book that was published in Indonesia a decade ago, precisely eleven years ago...This book has a special meaning to me, as I’ve read it while having my first born. Then, I did say that I don’t really like it, yet it was an interesting novel to read. Actually I was following the media coverage on that book (from the printed media that I used to read). It raised comments even from the well known Pramudya Ananta Toer.

Being raised in a conventional Catholic family I think it was the religious aspect that tied me to the way I perceived Ayu Utami’s literature way in presenting Saman. It is important for me to have a chance to hear from the author herself the in-depth analysis of her book.

Another important factor that brought me to that event is my curiosity towards the new ASEAN Secretariat Women’s Wing. What is that? What is it going to do with the movement for Indonesian women and children? If I had time, I would love to attend their other discussion which was held several days before. I had all those information through my e-news from the museum section of the Indonesian Heritage Society.

So, I left my three boys at home (and canceled their Mandarin language course). An act that would make my mother frowned, and would probably prohibited in the United States too…Leaving three boys under 12 years old by themselves at home! Yet, I enjoyed the discussion, made my exploration in that cozy and the great bookstore. I've also met a French lady which gave me a chance to practice my language. It reminded me that I was surprised to see a picture of Kartini in the book "Lettres de Raden Adjeng Kartini, Java en 1900", where she was reciting "le Petit Chaperon Rouge" for her Javanese students. So, Kartini was probably able to speak Dutch and French as well.

I was enjoying the whole event and the location when I suddenly realized that I should be heading home. Then, I was stranded in the traffic jam as the Serpong street was flooded. Luckily I also have a great neighbour whom I called to help me to provide dinner for my sons. That was an awesome experience for a Kartini Day. It was something really different from my usual experience to spend the whole Kartini day with my kids. I'll write more about this event in another post.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Iceland reminds me of Mt. Krakatau

We are facing disaster everywhere, we've got earthquake in China (Asia), or in Australia. And in the middle of those Asian and Australian continent is Indonesia with its, we are prone to disasters.

The recent volcano's eruption in Iceland had made the airlines in Europe stranded. As the ashes are still disturbing the air, then people used alternative routes, including for those football players like those of FC Barcelona who need to take the long journey by bus.

The news about Iceland reminds me of the famous Mt. Krakatau which eruption in 1883 produced 21 cubic kilometres (5.0 cu mi) of rock, ash, and pumice. It is written in Wikipedia that "the cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Western Australia, about 1,930 miles (3,110 km) away, and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius, about 3,000 miles (5,000 km) away". I was once read that the great waves produced by its eruption can be felt as far as England, while the dust traveled to North America and Europe.

The impact of natural disaster are sometimes shared between nations. Even if we are not there, and we don't really experience the situation but these days news made it closer to us. Yes, we are now living in a global village. Those stranded airline passengers whose destination are in Europe, or those from Europe who would like to travel to the other side of the world, they could be one of us, or one of our family. If the eruption of Mt. Krakatau caused problems mostly for the sailors, then then Iceland volcano's eruption made lots of problems for those who are dealing with airflights to and from Europe (the passengers, and the airline companies). With more voyages in this modern time, we are also loosing (or feeling greater impact) more (in financial term) than back then in that other century. I can imagine how frustrated those passengers who are traveling with their tight budget, or who have certain schedule commitment back home. I was once travel as a backpaker in Europe, I can't imagine how would I react if I was taken into that kind of situation at the airport. Hopefully the situation will get better soon...

PS. There is also Mount Tambora which was erupted in 1815 and made the year 1816 as a year without summer. It was recorded as the world's largest eruption in recorded history. There is another blogpost that described various volcano eruption and compared it to that volcano in Iceland.

Sad Stories and Communication

Lately we had a lot of sad stories. Earthquakes, floods, bombings... I think there will be plenty of sad or terrible stories around the world. Mother earth seems to get really tired of our foolish actions and she couldn't help those natural disasters to happen. On the other side people were also keep continuing their terrible actions towards others. In time like this, it is tiring to watch the news. Actually I don't want to talk about sad stories here. Yet, sometimes I can't stand to keep my mouth shout (actually to keep my fingers from dancing on the keyboard).

One thing that made me write this post is the communication problem with the government on relocation of people from the land belong to the state. One thing that I've seen from SBY's period (and I don't like it) is that the violent approach on land relocating was coming back. We had it in the New Order, and we don't really need it. Perhaps it is the military back ground that bring it in? I've sensed the increased violent at the end of 2007 and wrote about it in my year-end reflection. Now, three years later my fear came true... There was a big crash over the relocation. It was not a fight for a high density human settlement, but it was a defensive action over a piece of land that is known as a "sacred tomb".

They have made a deal but there were already victims and broken hearts. Actually we do need a good communication between the citizen and the government. The printed Kompas published some interesting opinions, yet I really like the one written by a well known Indonesian Psychologist, Sarlito Wirawan Sarwono "Dari Cina Benteng ke Mbah Priuk". So, one day before the incident in Koja there was already another show of power in Tangerang. The victim in Tangerang are the Chinese descendant of the Chinese (mostly men) who ran out of Batavia after the massal murder of Chinese in 1740, that was why they are known as "Cina Benteng". They are Chinese minority and being financially poor their relocation from their old environment wouldn't cause any big news, but we were probably overseen the lost of a living museum. We've lost Condet, the living museum of Betawi cultural heritage. Now we're loosing another part of historical heritage.

I like Pak Sarlito's opinion as he showed a good example from Solo, where the communication between the government and the citizen can create a win-win solution. We do understand the need to build the city, to beautify a site, or to boost its financial function. But, we also need to understand that those poor people do need the government to help them stand up to be able to walk out of their poverty. In the case of Koja, I think it is not really the "sacred tomb" that matter, but it became the representative of a struggle to show their existence. "We do exist here..." or "This is our land..." That's the message to the government and they should be clever enough to read the message and plan a better approaches in other places. We've got plenty problems of land ownership. It is still fresh in my mind the case of the relocation of those military pensioner who lived in their old institution's houses but asked to leave as they are no longer in service for the institution. A blogger here stated the need to recheck the status of land/house ownership for those institutional houses (Rumah Dinas).

Opinions are written out, will the government be wiser and listen to the voice of its people?

Sunday, 11 April 2010

In the quest of a balance life

Actually how a woman would lead her life is up to her. I believe in freedom of taking our own choices. There is an interesting article in the Jakarta Post regarding emancipation written by Dyna Rochmyaningsih, "Irony of an excessive women's emancipation".

Earlier this month, on the eve of International Women’s Day, a survey conducted by Reuters newswire posed the question “Is a woman’s place in the home?” Responses showed that one in four people believed a woman’s place was in the home.

Well, this information could be seen as good news, as it reveals that the majority of adults in the world believe women may not only be at home and can participate in many activities outside the

Nowadays, women run companies, become professors and even head governments.

Many people now believe women should not be marginalized. Thanks to those who during the last century supported the idea of women’s emancipation women can now freely express their talents and interests in many areas.

Indeed, women should have equal rights. In fact, biologically, women make a larger contribution to the offspring than men. Normally, in the process of making new humans, two gametes are needed.
A woman will provide an egg cell (ovum) and the man gives sperm. It is important to note that the egg cell provides more material than the sperm.

The sperm cell only provides genetic material, while the egg provides not only genetic materials but also cytoplasm and mitochondria as the energy source for the new being.

Later, a woman makes another significant contribution to the offspring by providing it with a place
to develop (in the uterus), and shares her nutrients with it. After birth, she also gives the child important immunity through her breast milk.

In addition, through a new technology called cloning, we can even question the existence of men. As mentioned before, women provide egg cells which consist of cytoplasm and materials.

For cloning, all we need is an egg cell and genetic material. Today, we can get genetic materials not only from sperm cells but also from body cells. This could mean sperm is no longer essential.

In my view, these biological contributions are strong enough to support arguments for women’s equality. The survival of our species owes women much. But ironically, these contributions are now threatened by the modern phenomena of the role of women itself.

Every medicine has side effects. The achievement of positioning women as equal to men has not only had positive impacts on the freedom of women, but also negative impacts on their biological contribution to the species.

The survival of the species depends on the successful continuation of its genetic materials in the offspring. When a woman pays more attention to her personal career than her family — excessively in some cases — they risk their biological contribution.

Here are two examples: (1) postponing marriage to an older age because of personal career goals
will likely decrease the chances of having a healthy baby because the older a woman is when pregnant, the higher risk of her having a baby with chromosomal defects, (2) letting a baby sitter spend more time with a baby will negatively affect the mother-infant bond, the baby will grow up with someone else and might not have a close relationship with their mother.

These two examples will likely have negative impacts on the survival of offspring. If the prevalence of cases such as these increases the survival of the species will be threatened.

Excessive freedom among women in pursuing non-family-related goals decreases their ability to contribute to the survival of the species. We should be careful of this. It would be wise for women to find a balance between her personal and family life.

The author is a science writer.

It is indeed interesting as I was just thinking how dull it is if God only created the cloning of Adam and Eve. Through citizen journalism we can see how different responses from different heads. In the real life, a couple is usually also like yin and yang, the negative and positive side join together to make the one complete circle of life. We are interested to others because they are different from us. Yet, how women and men think do need a bridge to communicate.

Lately I thanked God that I don't have daughters. It will be more difficult for me to raise girls when I can't even finished my own struggle of self position in the emancipation. While supporting wholeheartedly the freedom of emancipation, I am also picking my own choice to stay at home. And while my heart is also asking me to go out and do something, the society expect me to stay attached at home. Controversy... That's how I was sometimes torn between two desires. I knew my own character, and also my husband's character. I was afraid of not being able to help the children grow up in character and faith if I take a full time job. I'm a bit perfectionist, it would risk my attention to the kids. They are slowing me down, aren't they? Yet, they are the greatest gift I've ever had...

Life these days is really a material thing, we do need more money to keep on going than perhaps in my era of childhood. Education became so expensive, knowledge is abundant but to help to get it instantly we do need money. Do we really need it instantly? May be not. May be we only need to have enough time to learn for life skills. I know that even if the gardener had planted a good seed, it won't always grow out beautifully. But, it is also for sure that without investing time and fertilizer the plant will not blossom as beautiful as the plant that was in a special treatment (yes, we do have God's special treatment, but He is also asking for our shares). Health issue is also very expensive these days, perhaps it is a sign to start a better and balancing life. If we can't do it, how can we transfer the knowledge to our children?

I'm still trying to grab the essence of emancipation and holding it to the best of our future generations.

Festival April 2010, can I be there?

I'm certainly sure that I will be hanging around the Festival April 2010 if I am a single woman. Unfortunately I'm not...To make it worst, I also have a boy who is a sixth grader! He is in the middle of his final tests these days.

This is how I need citizen journalism. Newspapers sometimes do not have enough spaces to cover an event like this. And that way I do need to find out stories like this in the cyber news, which are mostly came from citizen reporters.

I am hoping to go there...hope I can...but I'm torn between my responsibility as a mother and this fascinating event. I'd love to come and see Makkunrai, a theater and monologue of women. Yet, it will be on Thursday, and we're still having Friday as a school day.

Oh, I'd love to hear those participants discussing Kartini's letters. She is one of my greatest inspiration, although I might not representing the feminist figure that people would expect. An ordinary woman who is working mainly as a mother, doesn't sound like a progress of women emancipation, does it? Kartini inspired me mostly about education, the main task of a woman is to build a better foundation on young generation. That's the basic thing that I'm trying to do right now. My heart is actually aching to reach out, to go out and fly with the follow my passion wherever it calls...but, there is a small voice inside me that hold me back and reminding me of my responsibilities...Oh God, You do know what I should do...and how I should do it.

(Picture is taken from the FB account of Festival April 2010, please visit the link above to know the agenda of this special event, or read more from the Jakarta Post)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Sad story from Mexico

It is actually not only a sad story, but I feel that we can consider it a disaster to humanity. How can parents let their daughter death and even pretending of loosing her? How can a mother sit on her daughter's bed where she hide the body? If it was not Paulette Gebara Farah's parents who killed her, then who did it? Who hide the body and who made it reappear? Why did they need ten days before they found the body?

Jan Barret wrote about this story in, and got some comments. One comment stated "Some news said on a plastic bag and others involved in sheets. So, there are different versions, all from newspaper or TV news that does not match. Also, they said that parents and 2 babysitters had inconsistency on what they declare before, now they just mention inconsistency in mother’s declaration." So, even medias' reports did not match...

Yet, one universal thing is the sadness of seeing that situation is not a priviledge of a certain community or a certain nation...but it goes out to the flattened world. I hope Paulette rest in peace, and that there'll be no more case like that happened. Not there, and not here...

It was a little late for me to find out this story. I've got to admit that I didn't browse around often enough to have hard news. I found this story in the printed Kompas and then googling here to find out more. So, mainstream media (for me) is still an important source of news.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Lesson learned from Kompasiana's case

I've learned a very good lesson from Kompasiana. After the meeting with Jacob Oetama, Kompasiana had various of postings (also read my blogpost "Kompas and Kompasiana"), but one posting seemed to make the administrator felt uncomfortable. Then that post became unaccessible, and the writer was banned from the community. Yet, the writer had the post written in his own blog.

The writer was not the only one who posted his own post. The post was also quoted or discussed by several other writers (you can read it here, or here, in a forum like this, or googling for more) when giving their comments on the freedom of writing in public blogs like Kompasiana. It is understandable that a case like this happened in Kompasiana as it is unedited. OMNI, Wikimu, Panyingkul, and Kabar Indonesia are all having their edited version. May it be with a minimum editorial change as in Wikimu, or with consultation and editing like in OMNI and Panyingkul. Kompasiana is really your own blog; you write and then you can publish it directly.

I remember that in the introduction to the interview with Wikimu's CEO for OMNI
I wrote this:
Multicultural and multiracial Indonesia certainly presents some interesting challenges for citizen journalism Web sites. Some delicate matters need to be watched really carefully in order to sustain national stability. With that in mind, how would any citizen journalism Web site provide a free forum to write down one's opinion while at the same time guarding the public and national safety?

First hand coverage openly showing the real situation sometimes adds flames to a mass anger caused by prejudice and miscommunication. I refer to showing the real situation as it stands as transparency. Once an article is published it can be forwarded anywhere. Readers can comment directly, without being edited, the chances of miscommunication will always be in the air.

It was the reason why I keep my eyes on Kompasiana. Actually I don't really have enough free time to watch all the growth of citixen journalism in Indonesia. But it does evolving, and I hope that it will keep growing as a foundation for demcracy, not to destroy our unity in diversities.

From this story I can pick an important lesson from the web 2.0, as once you have your story published it doesn't really belong to your authority anymore. And it is really showing the freedom of expression as writers can look for any outlet to share his views. Being banned in one public blog, you can still share your voice in other outlets.