Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Social Media Day

I'm not the kind of woman who frequently go out for clubbing. Being a mother of three sons is already consumed my time. Then, my being involved in citizen journalism websites also took my leisure time to write in front of the computer. The very short stealing time to go out are usually to meet neighbours or to keep me active with the museum matter through Indonesian Heritage Society. Guiding in the museum might be once in a month, and attending tour guide meeting is also once in a month (yet, I skipped it more than attending it. I was more active before I had my twins). So the existence of the cyber world is something valuable for me. Yet, I'm not really sure where to stand in facing the social media.

I found mailing lists as informative medias, but I don't really like them. I prefer blog than mailing list to communicate. Lately I came into facebook and twitter too. Facebook is a nice tool to connect me with old friends and new acquaintances. Twitter seems nice to get the updated news from certain sources. Yet, I'm not really falling in love with twitter.

I gained more information through the cyber media. For example I've got "Aditi Shankardass: A second opinion on learning disorders | Video on There are some talks and seminars that I would love to join but I couldn't come. It could be because of my lack of free time, or also my limitation on budget, so the online speech is the great source of learning for me.

Well, social media in the internet helped me to go through lots of activities and information without really going out there. I missed the real meetings, but I had to be wise on using my time. On the evening of June 30, I joined others who came to the FreSh meeting to celebrate the social media day. It was fun to meet new friends, to know how those singers are using the social media to gain their new fans and keeping up with their old fans. I've been learning a lot from both the cyber life and the real life. Sometimes blog is not really about the content. Some people aren't really focusing in the content but in the popularity and economic intentions. I've been learning about this too. Yet, I aim to keep my idealism in blogging. It's great that I've found some bloggers who shared their personal stories and gave me another perspective in blogging. I still think that citizen journalism is important, yet personal blogging (also a part of citizen journalism) is also interesting and important. The need of news are varied and we are just presenting our news. There will be readers who need that news and there will also be more people who don't really find it interesting. It is really up to the writer to feel the reward of writing online journal like this. If it satisfies the writer's feeling, or it can arouse the communication that she/he wants...then, it is worth writing. For those who don't really have the time, or the energy, to write the microblog or other social media outlets can be used as their way of cyber communication.

I celebrated the social media day by enjoying the gathering with FreSh. I came back a little bit late that night, and I didn't even write any article about it. I would like to feel just like a blogger, I will write when I feel that I like it. I don't want to have a feeling of being obliged to write something after attending it as I usually had when I came to an event with a feeling of being a citizen reporter. I will still seek the balance of being a citizen reporter and a blogger.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Thumbs Up for The Three Brothers (Korean Film)

The new trend here seems to be the Korean film. Youngsters are crazy about the young Korean artists, while the older generation are more interested in their television soap opera. My mother said the Korean films are more real than the Indonesian soap opera. This time I agree with her (think of how we usually disagree on many things...)

Now I'm not attached to television as I used to be several years before. Having children made my choice of the program mostly to their desire. I felt the need to accompany them watching their choice of films, and I don't have enough spare time to do it on my own. So I'm not really a special fan of soap operas.

I watched The Three Brothers because my parents were watching it. I came to like it, as I've written in my previous post. And it made me came every weekend to my parents' home. So, we've got several things done altogether. My sons and my parents enjoyed their time together, I visited them and keep developing our communication (mending old wounds hopefully, not making new one...), and off course a bit freedom for me (including on watching the Three Brothers hehehe...)

For those who have not seen this film, this is the synopsis:
Sun-kyeong is a retired police officer and father of three sons.
He had high hopes for his eldest son Gun-gang, but he has fallen short of expectations almost every time. He has made wrong decisions many times in life, ending up being divorced and going bankrupt. Sun-kyeong was not happy with Gun-gang's decision to remarry Chung-nan, but after finding out Chung-nan's secret, he keeps it unknown and wishes the couple's happiness.

His second son Hyun-chal is the envy of the town and pride of his father. Compared to his older brother, he was not favored as much by his parents as a child, but now he runs a number of businesses which are quite successful. Sun-kyeong always feels indebted to Hyun-chal's wife, Wu-mi who has long sacrificed her happiness for the benefit of the Kim family.

Sun-kyeong feels proud of his last son Yi-sang as he follows in his father's footsteps by becoming a police officer. However, due to the generation gap, oftentimes the father and the son clash each other.
As opposed to Sun-kyeong's expectation, Yi-sang married Eo-yeong, the daughter of his deadly foe, an ex-convict Sun-kyeong traced and eventually arrested a long time ago.

The unique three sons and three daughters-in-law!
"Three brother" revolves around their relations full of conflicts and love.

There was an episode where Eo-yeong was forced to help her mother in-law at home. She then questioned about her valuable time that she would waste at home instead of giving something to her country and to herself. That is the same struggle in the heart of women who are between the need to stay at home and to go out working.

I love that Wu-mi opened a restaurant. And (not as narcissistic as I would be) she did it together with her mother and her husband. So they were all shared the same portion of hard work. It helped us see how she gained back her husband, and how a misery put them closer together.

Another interesting facts of life is how the old couple Sun-kyeong and his wife faced his retirement, and how their three sons backed them up.

Yet, there is one thing which make me write this one down. It was the episode where Chung-nan and her mother-in-law went to the ATM booth ready to transfer the content of Chung-nan's deposit to a number that would be given by an "authority of the bank" who will help her to save that account as someone else is trying to take it out. We then saw Gun-gang running as fast as he could to stop them from doing any silly action that would empty their deposit. Even though it turned out that Chung-nan didn't have money in the deposit, but it is some message that was already transferred to the audiences. It was so real and it wasn't preaching. I like it.

Recently, we also have those kind of hoax. Not only the one from the phone, or worst through hypnotizing people, but this one is using the social media. That crook were using other YM to chat with friends of the owner of that YM and then asked them to transfer some money saying that she was in trouble and couldn't retrieve money from her account. She needed her friend to transfer it through a friend's account. And then it turned out to be a deceiving action to get money.

If things like this shared through film like in this Three Brothers film, it would help a lot of low educated people (yet those who were deceived were not low educated) who was probably not really listening to talk shows, or do not really understand the real process by just listening to the infotainment. Film is a way to reach people. It is so sad that Indonesian soap operas these days seem so unreal...Thumbs up for The Three Brothers, hopefully we are learning from this film too.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Celebrating the Lives of Yasuo "Pepe" Hara and Mizue Hara

I don't really remember if I had an oppotunity to come to a tribute that remembering passed away friends. Tributes for singers or musicians perhaps, but for friends? I think a Tribute celebrating the lives of Yasuo "Pepe" Hara and Mizue Hara was the only tribute for friends that I have attended. I don't know why I felt the strong need to come. On the same day I had a wedding invitation. The bridegroom was a long time neighbour from my childhood, but our family are really close that it's like we have a family relation. That morning was the wedding ceremony, I usually don't miss the church invitation from relatives and close friends. It would be better to skip the wedding party than skipping the wedding ceremony in the church. Yet, there was an urge from within my heart that brought me to the Jakarta International School where the Tribute was held. May be because I wasn't been able to pay my last respect before that event. But, I gained lots of life messages, a better way to learn how a married couple complemented each other, and how they supported each other.

After signing our notes either in the book or on the white clothes which were hang on the wall, we went into the Fine Arts Theater. Some very gentle boys assisted us. They are perhaps the students from the Jakarta International School. "Good manner, good upbringing...," whispered one of my friends.

The Tribute was opened by a welcoming bow from the three children of Yasuo "Pepe" Hara and Mizue Hara; Yuichiro, Chisato, and Mizuho. Smile were on their lips. It is really comforting to see them so tough. They did sent their family note to the Japan Embassy concerning that the impact of the press coverage might affected the good relationsip between Indonesia and Japan. I think as an Indonesian, I do feel somehow guilty that they lost their parents through a tragedy like that in our beloved country, but seeing them in the willing, so caring and tender...It showed how their parents guidance and examples had ripened in them. They shared the life story from their parents:
Yasuo [原 康雄] and Mizue Hara [原 瑞枝] were both born in Japan; Yasuo on 23 November 1940 in Tokyo and Mizue on 11 March 1943 in Kanagawa prefecture. Yasuo is an alumnus of Sophia University, where he majored in Spanish; Mizue is an alumna of Yokohama Futaba Gakuen, where she discovered her love for culture and languages.

They met through a matchmaker in the traditional manner, were married on 04 October 1968 and honeymooned in Nikko. The family moved to the United States in 1977, when Yasuo was transferred to Houston, Texas, to open a representative office for Satake Inc. [サタケ], a manufacturer and distributor of rice milling and processing machinery.

In 1986, the Hara family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Yasuo opened a general representative office for Satake. He worked towards establishing a Japan-Indonesia joint venture to help develop the country's agricultural sector until the financial and political crises of 1998. Yasuo, believing that the time presented an opportunity to create jobs and alleviate the situation, took early retirement from the company and sought another job that would allow him and Mizue to remain in Indonesia and contribute to its future.

This opportunity came in 2000, when he became Director of Cultural Affairs at the Jakarta Japanese School (JJS), a post that falls under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Education and Culture. Over the next three years, Yasuo worked to expand the school's ties with its surrounding community, local schools and students, while encouraging JJS students and teachers to learn about the culture, history and people of their host country.

Since the Hara family came to Indonesia, Mizue has been involved with a variety of community associations, such as the Women's International Club, the Indonesian Heritage Society, and the International Community Activity Center (ICAC). She has held several executive positions in her career as a community service volunteer, including chairman of the Jakarta Japanese Club's women's division and chairman of the Indonesian Heritage Society. As a Heritage member, she studied the cultural wealth of Indonesia and established close ties with the Museum Nasional.

Mizue found her calling in the ICAC Leadership Development Scholarship Program, which provided support to exemplary university students who did not have the financial means to complete their studies. The program was created by the ICAC Community Service Committee in 1999 as a direct result of the 1998 crises.

In March 2004, the program was established as an independent foundation, Yayasan Goodwill International, and Mizue was appointed its Executive Chairman. The scholarship program marked its tenth anniversary in October 2009, by which time it had supported 540 students at the University of Indonesia (UI) and the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB).

When Yasuo's contract at JJS ended in 2003, the couple decided to retire in Indonesia, which had given them their life's purpose. Yasuo and Mizue were looking forward to celebrating their 25th year in Indonesia on 26 January 2011.

The first tribute came from Juliana Roe. She was a long time volunteer working through the Indonesian Heritage Society. She told the story of how she met Mizue in the transition between the Ganesha Volunteers into the Indonesian Heritage Society in 1994. How Mizue worked not only in the Japanese section, but she chaired the Indonesian Heritage Society for four years. Being a close friend of the Hara family made her shaken a bit in delivering her tribute. She didn't forget to mention Pepe's ponytail while describing how supported he was to his wife's activities.

It seemed that all friends who delivered their speeches were shaken. Budi Iskandar Dinata from PT Rutan was giving the second tribute. He was an ex colleague from Pepe. He said that Pepe insisted that his colleagues called him Pepe instead of Mr. Hara or Hara-san. He also mentioned how Pepe was describing his ponytail when he saw that his friend looked at his hair, "This is the mark of my freedom. While working I need to cut my hair to have a neat appearance. But now I'm not working, I'm free to have it long." It shows that he was low profile and very committed to his responsibilities. He was also very dedicated to his colleagues, he would stand to defend them if they were accused wrongly.

I didn't have the chance to meet Pepe, or perhaps I was just not giving my attention. His face seemed familiar, but it might perhaps blurred with other Japanese faces that I've seen before. Those who knew him seemed to agree that he was quiet and he loved taking pictures (which reminded me of my uncle), and he was always the best supporter of his wife's social activities.

After two tributes, we were given the chance to see the Goodwill Dancers performed Tari Piring from Minangkabau, West Sumatera. Tari Piring as written in the Indonesian wikipedia is the symbolization of the farmers' movement when they are working in the field. While holding the plates on their hands they moved their hands in quick movement to show how they plant and harvest their plants.It is also a way of showing gratitude for the result of their hard works. A friend who understand the Minangkabau traditional language told me the translation of the words they shouted; they were apologizing to the audience. In the middle of the dance one plate was accidentally broken. Seeing how good and smooth that girl dancer was dancing, I whispered to my friend, "If my grandma was still alive, she would say that the couple was here saluting us." As I've mentioned in my post "Good Bye...", older Indonesian generation believe more in spirits. When I was a little girl and my grandfather passed away, I was probably about five years old. I stumbled and lost an earring. People said that he was greeting me. Off course if we used our logical sense we would say that it is only an accident. Yet, the magical atmosphere was felt when the boy dancers broke their plates and dancing on those sharp broken glasses. Reviewing it now, I knew the meaning of the dance (this is personal view) that the couple had worked hard during their life, planting and harvesting their works and then they were showing their gratitude to all the audience who helped them during their work and who will help them to continue their works.

I was being sentimental...lots of friends were sentimental that day. I'm glad that we were seated in a theater where the audience was covered by darkness, the light was focused on the stage.

Next tributes came from Charles Pollard (Yayasan Goodwill International), and also from Toru Asai (Jakarta Japanese School/JJS). I couldn't write notes as it was really dark in the seat where I seated. And I shed tears so many times that I couldn't really remember words by words. But from both of them I learned how dedicated this couple to their works, especially in their volunteer work. I remember Toru Asai said about how Pepe became the consultant, even after he was retired, for teachers who teaches in the JJS. Both Goodwill International and Jakarta Japanese Scool are working in the field of education. The Hara couple believe that education is the key to change the future.

There is a poem wrote by Mizue Hara, printed in the flyer of Program.

An Open Horizon (by Mizue Hara)

Fly Students, fly high

Fly and see this world
A world of people
A world of nature
A world of endless horizons

Fly and open your eyes
To people in joy, in agony
To people living
And others, merely surviving

Fly high, Students, fly
To discover what we can do
For the world around us
And the people within

We can only do so much, perhaps
And a little at a time, at that

But believe, we can make life better
We can change this desperate world
Into one united in its diversity
And joined by its humanity

But only if we try
Try,try very hard

So fly, Students, fly
To discover yourselves,
Your happinesses
Your sorrows

Above all, uncover your strengths
And fly, Students, fly high...

Let's fly, and learn to soar

From the songs that the Goodwill Singers sang that day, I remembered mostly Bengawan Solo a very famous Indonesian song (I've just heard this song yesterday sang in Chinese language in a Chinese film through the television. This song is very popular in Japan too). The writer of the song, Gesang passed away on the 20th May 2010. The day he passed away was also the day to commemorate the Indonesian National Awakening days. The foundation of that awakening movement was also the education.

M. Rashid Izada was introduced in the program as Pepe's Indonesian brother. He was sharing the story of how Pepe helped building the relation between Jakarta Japanese School with An Nissa school. Yos Dappu, who was introduced as the Goodwill family, is actually one of the first alumni of the Goodwill International Foundation. He shared how hard work and commitment were the two basic things he learned from the departed couple. I think from other tributes we also traced the same essence: hard work and commitment. One specific note from Mizue Hara that he delivered to us is the magic word "share your life". Pepe and Mizue had share their life with others, and that is how they coloured their lives. I was not a close friend, but I can still grab their messages. The Goodwill International Foundation had helped more than 500 students to finish their study, no wonder if so many people were mourning for them. Another in memoriam notes was from a recipient of Goodwill International's scholarship, written in the Jakarta Post. Then, a love letter was published in a blog of another alumnus.

Three little girls came forward as Taiko players from the Jakarta Japanese School. They ended the tribute with their beautiful drum play. The closing remark was given by Yuichiro, Chisato, and Mizuho. I remembered that Yuichiro said that his parents was intended to write a book about their journey in Indonesia, and that we who came to the tribute will continue writing it. Perhaps not in the literary meaning, but to continue their hard work and dedication to the education and to create a better world.

I remember reading a poem from David H. in the slide show (it's only the essence, not exactly the same words as I just put it in my forgetful memory) "You can choose to cry or you can choose to stand up and celebrate their works." It seemed to me that Yuichiro, Chisato, Mizuho, and Kartini have chosen to stand up and continue their parents' works. I can hear my heart promised them to try my best to share my life too. Happiness or yourselves!

We went outside to free colourful balloons to their journey to the sky. Another friend asked me whether I knew the meaning of it. I don't know, I only knew that the Chinese do this with sky lanterns to pray or to make a wish.

They made announcement of no photographing during the tribute, but this was already outdoor and I couldn't stand not to take a picture. I tried my best not to take a picture with faces on it. I took it with my cell phone. While seeing those colourful balloons flying high and higher, a small boy cried briskly for loosing his balloon (or perhaps the whole balloons?!). I thought we are sometimes act like that boy, we want to hold tightly things that we like, persons that we love, and never let go...

We let the Hara couple go, keeping their memory in our hearts, and trying to write more in their colourful book by continuing their good works. All the money contribution at that event will go to the Hara Tribute Fund. Pepe and Mizue, arigato gosaimazu!

Surprises from the cyber space

Cyber world brought a lot of surprises for me. From the social media, facebook, I came to meet long lost friends. There are friends from my childhood, friends from my adolescent years to those who knew me through my pen writing as we were only pen friends. I have a pen friend whom I've never met in person, and recently we found each other through Facebook.

I love the social media since I can visit my friends at my leisure time. Sad that some friends still do not trust the social media, so they wouldn't join in. For some others, social media is wasting their time. Frankly, it is time consuming! We need to be careful not to fall into an addicted condition. Everything need a balancing partner...time for cyber visit should be balanced with our time to have real visits. Even if we do exist in the cyber space, the in-depth relation will came easier with a real meeting.

Sometimes we have circle of friends. It is somehow surprising to find that some of our old friends (even close friends) is a friend of another good friend. We never know as we don't usually talk about friends outside our mutual circle except if we accidentally meet in events. Or, a childhood friend who was married to a friend I had during my time in the university.

My latest surprise is a bit embarrassing (for a person like me who boasted that I'll never forget a friend). I met a mother of my eldest son's classmate. Her face looked familiar, but I thought that perhaps I've just seen her in several of our parents teachers' meetings. She told me that we came from the same senior high school. Later on we continue our friendship through facebook. She did mention a name from our school days. Later on I found out that she (A) is also writing a blog. She said that she was taught by a friend (I) who now lives in Japan. Again she mentioned the same name, it sounded familiar... but I didn't think that the owner of that name is the same person I'd know.

Apart from that, I also gained friends from my cyber space activities. I made friends from the citizen journalism community, and from the blogging activity. In Facebook we can't make qualification of friends. There is no category of friends. And any friends can take a peek of your friends' status. Off course there is the privacy setting, but to have the network shown out we should let it as it is. People can have the same name or similar name. Without peeking out I won't be sure if those name in my friend's list of friends are the same people whom I knew.

I was wishing Krismariana, my fellow blogger, a birthday wish through Facebook, when my friend "A" commented in a surprised tone: "You know her too?" She insisted that I must know "I".

Browsing through Kris' blog I found the link to I's blog. Her half face picture didn't really familiar to my eyes. Then I came to her page that revealed her childhood story. I was not sure that she is the same person I knew even tough there is an old picture of her and her sisters and brothers. Rolling down to further reading made me jumped from my bed (I was reading on the bed)...I saw my own picture smiling at me. So, she is really the same person I knew! I went down to put my comment without even finishing to read that post.

It turned out that we were sharing the same extra curricular activity in our senior high school days. This fact made me ventured into her facebook profile. To my astonishment, I saw that there is one picture where I posed together with the whole Science group including "I" and "A". Here came my embarrassing moment, so I'm not really that good in memorizing friends.

Wow, it is really a very big surprise! I was not only finding (and remembering) my old schoolmates, but I was also taken into a new networking web of bloggers. I've read comments in Kris' blog, but those comments came from names without faces, and suddenly I found out how close I was with those names.

I knew that cyber space is full of surprising experiences. Being invited to Seoul was the surprising sweet experience, and it also had the negative surprising moments too (one of it was the high internet billings which came unpredictable before I'm using this unlimited IM2 service). I hope that I'll find more positive experiences in the coming years...

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Good bye...

When I first read the story in the daily printed Kompas about a couple of Japanese citizens who were murdered in their own house I was really shocked. I did hope that it wasn't the same Mizue Hara, a great lady I knew from the Indonesian Heritage Society. I wasn't really close to her, nor did I know her husband Yasuo "Pepe" Hara. But I knew how much they loved Indonesia. I joined the Indonesian Heritage Society since 1999, so I have seen her in several occasions. She was not only active for the Japanese section, but she was also active in the board council, and lately in the Board of Supervisors. My doubt was answered by a special online news from the Indonesian Heritage Society which confirmed that the news is related to the same lady I knew. I also read that sad news in the daily Jakarta Post.

I didn't really know what I should say or how did I feel. It was a tragedy that this special couple who did a lot for Indonesians passed away through a cruelty act that came out of poverty. I knew that Mizue had a tender voice, and she was always kind and helpful. (I remembered how she introduced me to the Jakarta Shimbun's journalist in the museum. She was eager to help people to know more about Indonesia. It was a coincidence that the journalist had already read my articles in OMNNI. Soon we exchanged name cards to have a further conversation about citizen journalism in Indonesia.) I thought a kind person like her wouldn't hurt someone's feeling to make him took a cruel revenge. The police investigation found out that the murderer was an ex gardener who only worked there for a month. He said he was upset for being fired, but I think the couple can feel that he was not a good man. That's the reason why they fired him. Off course, if he is a good person he wouldn't come back to steal in that house, and I'm sure that a good person wouldn't kill human being like that.

I felt the irony came out from my ten years journey as a volunteer tour guide in the museum. In the museum I gained a lot of Indonesian local wisdoms, among them are the believe in the living spirit. People who believe in spirits wouldn't kill others as they feared revenge from the spirit. Religions came and introduced the concept of heaven and hell. But it seemed that we do not really believe in heaven and hell. We do things as we pleased. So, if someone considers himself as being poor and think that it is OK to steal from those who have more material things, he (or she) are not thinking about the heaven and hell concept. And when he (in the case of the Hara couple the murderer is a man) was caught in action, he wouldn't think about hell, he was only thinking of avoiding prison and continuing his goal to have those material things that he didn't owned.

Just about a week before, a fellow volunteer tour guide asked me the question that was posed to her from an Australian visitor "Why Indonesians are so kind? They are very friendly and nice to foreigners." Her visitor kept insisting asking that question to her. Being a foreigner herself, she didn't know how to answer it. I didn't really know the right answer but I finally answered her that Indonesians believe in destiny. Being kind to other is just like being kind to yourself, a kind of "karma" philosophy. If you are born unlucky or poor it is a destiny to accept. By accepting it we can have compromise with life and have a better quality of life by accepting our destiny. Yet, I reminded her that sometimes situation can also be very different from what we see. Those who fled from Indonesia after the May riot 1998 were probably shocked to see how those kind personality change their performance like those dancers who used the masks. But we should also remember that we can't make a generalized prejudice. Some people were simply looters, some others were the good neighbours who helped rescuing their neighbours.

Indonesian ancestors were thoughtful to think about the ship that would take you to your upper life. The ancestors helped and protected their younger generation, but the responsibility to build the ship is on their shoulders. So, we...human being are responsible to make our good deeds in order to have a good ship that can help transporting our soul to heaven. I think the couple Yasuo and Mizue Hara did their best on crafting their ship to the afterlife. The agony of how they ended their precious time in the world, ended in the country that they loved and helped, are clouding the fact that they have finished their ship and were ready to be transferred to the upper world.

These all were personal feeling that came around my mind. But at that day I couldn't say many words. I couldn't even make a proper poem to express my feeling. I wrote this Good Bye note in my Face Book notes:

It is sad to hear such a story,
Of friends who do care but parted in a tragic way,
Happened here in the country that they loved.

It is a sorrow to say good bye,
When we still need guidance of wisdom of life,
Yet, perhaps we should bow to the destiny of human being.

When ying and yang struggle every day,
None will take the crown away,
It is the balancing struggle of life.

Good bye friends,
My eyes are weeping but my heart is comforting,
You are now with the Source of life,
Travelling in His ship into the eternity.

Some friends who used to be the Indonesian Heritage Society's member were also shocked and sad. We were all grieving to be parted from friends like Yasuo and Mizue Hara. Good bye friends...

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Recharging myself

Sometimes life is just a case of routine activities. Boring, dull, or whatever you might call it. Being involved in citizen journalism made me open my eyes wider than before. More interesting things were seen, yet time limitation is still the main handicap.

I don't have any helper to help me at home now, and it shows in the decreasing number of postings. During the year 2009 I wrote less than 100 posts. I came back to teach an elementary school and junior high school, and it was also time consuming, not to count the energy or emotional effect on my daily routine.

Now, the school vacation is's time to recharging myself. My twins passed their second grade, and my eldest son is waiting for the national exam's result. I will use my time to fill in new positive energy into me.

I was always asking myself about the differences of being a blogger and a citizen reporter. I think being a citizen reporter made me more responsible for what I wrote. I knew that other people are able to read this blog, so I can't write as I would do in my diary. I also need to check and rechecking fact before putting it online. Being a blogger would give me freedom to speak out my own opinion without the need to check or rechecking the truth of my own opinion. Later on I can reread it and laugh out loud to read my own stupid opinion. It would also be a better way to share my personal life story to friends. Yet, may be personal stories will only focusing my writing on me or my own family.

Lately I was not really active in citizen journalism. There are several reasons for that. The main reason is that the printed media and the online media (including the social media) are sharing so many news stories that I don't really have something that bothered me so much to force me to write it out.

Then, off course my personal condition came after that (or may be it should be counted as the first reason?). The emerging popularity of social media like facebook and twitter made people tended to comment in social media rather than in a private blog. Time to browse around is augmented, and it did affect the availability of time to write. Comments are something that energized me to write. I am seeking for communication. It was the reason why is more attractive for me than other citizen journalism sites. Over there, I don't find layer of status like in Kompasiana. Kompasiana divides its writers into journalists, guest writers, and community writers. OMNI also differentiates its writers, but only into two categories: featured writers and non featured writers. In OMNI we rarely have comments came in, but in Kompasiana comments are also becoming a way of enriching the writing.

Once I heard Yoris' opinion that citizen journalism websites will emerge just like the printed magazine were. Readers will pick their own reading and community. They will choose the sites where they feel at home. So, the future of citizen journalism websites will really be depending on its contributors and readers. Contributors wrote to serve readers, while readers commented to show their appreciation and to become the part of the online conversation of the topic.

Being a practical person who always adore the theory "form follows function", I sometimes asked myself: "Do I make any contribution to a better world by writing a blog?", or "Does it really functioning?" I don't need to write it out if it is only for me. I can write a conventional diary without exposing my personal life or my personal opinions. I can write short reminders without thinking about the facts, the grammar, or my way of writing it. And most important thing is that I can write my complains or my critics without the possibility of hurting others' feeling.

Yet, blogging made write more than I would write in my conventional diary. My meditation blog made me astonish as sometimes I didn't really know how did I came to write that postings. So I used my meditation blog as a way to reflect back, as a reminder of His helping hands that I received through friends or through the Bible.

One thing is quite clear for me, that is the feeling that God is helping me to struggle in citizen journalism. This is the first time I felt that there is an unseen hand helping me to cope with troubles. While my chances with architecture and museum sometimes were blocked, it seems that I was always been helped out in citizen journalism. It wasn't without problems but there were always friends who helped out, or another coincidence that helped me comforting my spirit to write for citizen journalism websites.

So, I'll take the profit of the school vacation to recharge my writing spirit, to recharge myself...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Israel never got His messages...

I think that Israel never got the messages from God. They chained themselves in the Old Testament where God promised them the land. Now that they have the land, they don't really care about His will for humanity but instead they put their national priority on the top of their actions. I think people in Gaza need peaceful life, whether they are Palestinians or Israelis. I'm blind for politic, but it is really sad that over these years they have never been able to sit and talk for the future of peaceful life.

Actually I'm a bit speechless. I know that we'll get violence if we planted it. They are planting it, showing it to the world. It should be long gone when the phrase from Torah "an eye for eye" (עין תחת עין, ayin tachat ayin; see wikipedia) was used in human's daily life. It is important to share love and kindness to be able to reach into that promised land, the land of peace and happiness. When it comes to choose between a nation's dignity and humanity, or between politics and basic human's needs, which one is applicable to God's will? Let your heart answer it...

Other readings:
Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet