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...

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