Back to Jogja, where I have been living for about two years. It was just a short visit after more than half of year since I left. It seemed unreal I stayed there only for a week.
Even though I have been in Bali for couple of months now, Java gives me another feeling. Traveling to the remote parts of archipelago always rise a Question, even though just switching between neighboring islands makes me confused:
How thousands and thousands of islands could be formed into one single country?
As I wanted to focus on feelings about Jogja and as there is no simple answer I should just mention a term which is rather an explanation of mentioned phenomenon (not an answer) that perfectly sums up Indonesian unity: ‘Imaginary community’. Benedict Anderson used term exploring the origins of nationalism. Simply said, people from one end and people from the other end of more than five thousands kilometers length in between might never meet up, but they all proudly say they are Indonesian. One big happy socially constructed community whose children would joyfully hum national anthem at the morning plate of rice or afternoon play in the shadow of their houses.
They would perceived themselves as Indonesians no matter where I get lost, although the feeling is slightly stronger in Java, the center. At least for me only Java gives me real Indonesian feeling. Probably no. 1, because the chaos of most populated Indonesian island gives it specific character. Probably no. 2, because it was the first island I spent long period of time.
The first breath of Java air once I stepped out of an airplane filled me up with kind of comfort. All my memories came flooding back to me.
I sat on the motorbike (rented, delivered to airport ) and drove from the airport at around 3 pm, when the adhan, call for worship, went off the mosque and then it hit me. I love it. The sound, the mixture of many of them. The mixture that flow with the wind and comes around my ears and my heart.
It makes me believe. I see people believe. You believe: universe is there for you.
It was narrow believing that made me leave Jogja for a while. One of the factors: Islam culture as Indonesians says most of the time, because it is not solely Islam as a religion that dictates the rules of living, but also Indonesian tradition. At one point you meet up with hot conservatism which your liberal (also an Indonesian adjective to describe western people) mind is aware of, but still not prepared to mingle. Then you start asking questions, trying to be rational. In Indonesian environment such behaviour most of the time doesn’t make much sense. I’m being served with mixture of Islam religion and Indonesian culture forming nowadays Islamic culture of Indonesia. After that I keep asking where did all many bidy parts revealing traditional costumes wander. Massive and tiny Hindu and Buddhist temples scattered around Jogja are now being popular selfie spots. What happened with almost three hundred recorded religions/believes when now only six of them are official.
Does anybody question their own history?
Of course they do. I don’t want to generalize, it can be dangerous. It was flow of my thoughts and I stopped it at that point in order not to write a book instead of blog post.
Well, if what, Jogja makes me questioning. Which is good, it makes my brain work and makes me make plans and clearer picture of the future. Jogja was mostly about meeting old friends, talking aliens and questioning. It felt good.
One of my Jogja mornings I was driving to the city as many times before. As many times before I was blessed. Blessed with clear blue sky atop three distanced volcanoes. Mesmerized once again I was taking turns, passing small streets through a village full of colorful street art creations. Taking small streets to enjoy the volcanoes view as long as possible.
I was thinking what a lucky human being am I.
But am I?
Human being, I mean.