Desain oleh Kang Ayip
Tak terasa, ternyata sudah lama juga aku tidak ketemu dengan karibku yang satu ini. Namanya tidak boleh disebut. Tidak etis. Soale ini hubungannya dengan konfidensialitas, prinsip di mana kerahasiaan status seseorang harus disimpan sampai dia sendiri yang membuka statusnya. Teman itu positif HIV. Aku boleh nyebut status saja, asal tidak menyebut nama. Sebut sajalah namanya Adi. Dia pernah bertahun-tahun kecanduan heroin. Dan karena ini dia tertular HIV.
Kami teman akrab sejak aku kenal lebih dekat isu HIV/AIDS dan narkoba di Bali pada 2005 lalu. Tapi teman ini pula, yang aku wawancarai pertama kali ketika aku menulis isu AIDS untuk GATRA, tempatku kerja waktu itu. Adi inilah orang dengan HIV/AIDS yang kukenal pertama kali, sekitar 2002. Eh, lha dalah, ketika aku kenal lebih intens soal HIV/AIDS ternyata dia jadi teman akrabku.
Nyempal dikit dari tulisan bersambung soal perjalanan ke Flores. Tiba-tiba aku pengen nulis soal bahasa.
Jawa dan Bali itu memiliki karakter yang tidak jauh beda. Misalnya soal feodalisme. Menurutku keduanya memiliki budaya yang bertingkat-tingkat dalam interaksi, termasuk soal bahasa. Kalau di Jawa, terutama Mataraman alias Jawa Timur bagian barat daya dan Jawa Tengah bagian selatan serta Yogyakarta, masyarakatnya mengenal tingkatan dalam bahasa, maka begitu pula Bali. Berbicara dengan orang yang lebih tua harus menggunakan tingkat bahasa lebih halus dibanding dengan bahasa untuk orang yang sepantaran.
Setahuku ini berbeda dengan bahasa Melayu atau bahasa Indonesia yang tidak ada tingkatan bahasanya. Jadi kita bisa menggunakan bahasa yang sama untuk siapa saja dengan bahasa Melayu.
Features – January 31, 2008
Smiling and talking casually despite the strong aroma of cow urine coming from the bucket in front of him, Ketut Wiantara looked very happy as though he was rich with treasures.
The urine was his real treasure though, for later it would be mixed with water to create organic fertilizer and pesticides.
Farmers in Pancasari village, Sukasada district in Buleleng regency, around 60 kilometers north of Denpasar, used to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides for farming, which inevitably caused them losses.
Features – January 24, 2008
Anton Muhajir, Contributor, The Jakarta Post, Karangasem
Students of Ashram Gandhi Candi Dasa in Karangasem regency, Bali, have to practice their spiritual beliefs amid the constant noise produced by the bars, restaurants and cafes that are located just a few meters away from the ashram building.
The 2008 New Year’s celebrations showed just how difficult the situation could become for them.
While others celebrated the end of the year by partying, the 13 students of Ashram Gandhi sat cross-legged, trying to enjoy a moment of silence, while embracing the coming of the new year.
They chanted the holy mantrams (Hindu’s traditional prayers) by heart. They tried hard to act as if they were not aware of the festivities outside.
The year may change but not the students and the ashram.
Established in 1976 by prominent spiritual Balinese figure, Gedong Bagoes Oka, Ashram Candi Dasa — located in a part of Bali popular with tourists — is now the headquarters for two other ashrams: the Ashram Gandhi Vidyapith Denpasar, which was established in 1996 and the Ashram Gandhi Vidyapith Yogyakarta, established in 1997.
Ibu Gedong, as she was familiarly known, was an ardent activist for interfaith dialogue activities.
Many of Indonesia’s well-known religious figures came to the ashram when Ibu Gedong was running the place. Former president Abdurrahman Wahid, or Gus Dur, was one of the frequent attendees.
Even though an ashram is meant to be a place to learn about Hinduism, Ibu Gedong imposed a totally different set of rules, permitting others with different religions, or sometimes also people with no religions, to learn and live in the ashrams.
Besides religious teachings, the ashrams have also taught other skills needed in life, such as embroidery, craftsmanship and farming.
I Nyoman Sadra took the lead over the ashrams after Ibu Gedong passed away in 2002. He was one of Gedong’s first batch of students and also a former member of the Sarvodaya International Trust, a Bangalore-based international organization that aims to follow Gandhi’s way of life.
Sadra has also acknowledged that not all the students come to the ashram for spiritual reasons. Many of them do so simply because they cannot afford to go to school.
I Ketut Dharma Saputra is one of them. The 15-year old is the son of a poor farmer from Gianyar. His neighbor brought him to the ashram after hearing the ashram provided free schooling for its students. Ashram Gandhi gives educational assistance to all the 13 students who live in the ashram.
“We give them educational assistance from junior high school to university,” Sadra said.
He added that they had also built a kindergarten, which now has around 30 students. The learning process continues after school as these students still have to learn and practice spiritual and religious subjects in the ashram at night.
“It feels very awkward at first, but we learn to live with it,” Dharma commented on the obligation for students to practice religious teachings.
Unlike their peers, who are spoiled by television, Play Station and junk food, these teenage students eat no meat and must practice a modest way of life.
But life, however modest, requires money.
This fact has created confusion for Sadra as the ashram has no fixed income. The ashram has chosen not to get directly involved in the commercial world and this fact leaves them with no choice but to rely on donations and the savings accumulated during Ibu Gedong’s lifetime.
“Actually we have eight cottages that function as tourist accommodation in the compound, but since we don’t offer anything but a tranquil atmosphere, tourists rarely pick this place,” he said.
He realized that relying on the savings was not the best choice because the momentum of life at the ashram would flag once it was gone.
“I don’t want to beg for donations simply because Ibu Gedong did not do that,” Sadra said.
Published in The Jakarta Post
“So, how was your impress about Bali? Is it like what you’ve thinked before?” kataku.
“Ya, ya. It’s absolutely different. I was travelled around some places. I went to India, Srilanka, Ghana. But, Bali is different. I don’t know how. In Bali i feel like coming home,” katanya.
*obrolan dengan basa Inggris ala kadarnya di mobil dalam perjalanan ke Ubud pagi tadi dengan Bu Edith, bos dari tempat kerja part time*
Tadi siang ada diskusi kecil dengan Win, semeton blogger Bali yang lagi studi di Pittsburgh, Amrik sono. Obrolan via Yahoo Messenger ini bermula dari tulisan dia di blognya soal kekerasan di Bali. Win mempertanyakan apakah orang Bali sudah berubah sehingga sudah demikian akrab dengan kekerasan?
Pemicu pertanyaan itu adalah tawuran di Kuta pas tahun baru lalu. Pas pergantian tahun itu, dua orang tewas akibat tawuran di salah satu kafe. Sebatas yang aku baca di media lokal, hanya disebut tawuran. Tapi Jun, teman wartawan The Jakarta Post, menyebut itu sebagai tawuran antar-preman.