Bekerja Sukarela di Swedia

Tak banyak orang (mungkin) yang mau bekerja sukarela (volunteering). Selain karena persoalan waktu, soal balasan/imbalan/upah/kontraprestasi juga sering menjadi pertimbangan tersendiri. Sebenarnya, bekerja sukarela sudah lama menjadi bagian dari masyarakat Indonesia. Hal ini tampak dalam kegiatan-kegiatan sosial seperti kerja bakti, gotong royong, dan sebagainya. Namun, seiring dengan semakin sibuknya kehidupan modern, maka lebih mudah bagi masyarakat sekarang untuk membayar orang melakukan suatu pekerjaan daripada terlibat dalam pekerjaan tersebut. Misal dengan membayar hansip untuk menjaga lingkungan tempat tinggal daripada menjalankan metode sisklamling bergilir. Tentu saja tidak ada yang salah dengan hal itu. Barangkali memang seperti itulah mekanisme yang lebih pas untuk kehidupan masyarakat Indonesia jaman now.

Tapi, tidak begitu dengan di Swedia. Volunteering di sini, adalah hal yang jamak. Kegiatan sekolah, dari mulai hal-hal teknis seperti memasang gantungan baju overall hingga mengelola pameran, sering melibatkan peran orang tua. Begitu juga dengan kegiatan kommun (semacam lingkungan kelurahan/kotamadya) yang dilaksanakan dengan partisipasi aktif dari masyarakatnya. Tentu saja tak ada paksaan. Mau ikut ayo. Tidak ikut ya boleh-boleh saja. Namanya juga sukarela. Continue reading “Bekerja Sukarela di Swedia”

Better When I’m Writing

Zaki asked me the other day, what things I am still passionate about lately. I gave him three answers, and among those, the first and most definite one was writing. Later I realised that writing is actually the only thing I consistently do since I was still in the elementary school. Though I must admit, I never had any chance to work on it properly.

Part of it was because it seemed like being a writer was less prestigious than being a doctor, or a teacher, or an astronaut, or an architect, or any other profession in this world. And it was just so hard to keep your passion when everyone around you didn’t take it really seriously. In my case, I found it was hard for me not to be tempted with the idea of being “somebody”. And the general definition of “somebody” in Indonesia is anything but freelance, including writing. Most people will consider it as merely a hobby.

I got some people who supported my passion, in different ways, though. My dad used to take me to his school library so I spent most of my childhood drowning into books and that’s how book became one of my obsessions (there’s a story about it here). My mom gave me a diary so I had something to write on. And there was a teacher in my junior high school who once asked me to join a writing competition. I didn’t join the competition at the end (because I wasn’t sure what to write and bit lazy, to be honest) but he was one of the few people who made me feel that I can write. Somehow. Someday. Continue reading “Better When I’m Writing”

Why was I with Sweden last night? A note from an Azzuri fan

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Heja Sverige!

Had been known as the loyal fan of Gli Azzuri since the first day I understood football, I received some comments from my friends and family regarding last night qualification result (in case you missed it, Italy didn’t make it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. And guess who beat them? Sweden. Yes. Sweden. Surprising, huh?), and the fact that I was in Sweden’s side this time. Some of them argued that it is simply because I am now living under the Sweden’s sky, so it’s just make sense for me to support their national team. Maybe they’re right. It’s one of the possible theories. But actually, that’s not the only reason why I support #hejaSverige last night. My loyalty is not that “cheap”, you know? 😀

In fact, my decision to go with Sweden in the 2018 World Cup is an accumulation of a long contemplative road. Ahem. The road of my love over football in general and the Italian team in particular.

Continue reading “Why was I with Sweden last night? A note from an Azzuri fan”

Senandung Musim Gugur

Jauh sebelum saya mengunjungi negara empat musim, musim gugur sudah menjadi musim favorit saya. Meski lahir dan besar di negara dua musim yang hanya mengenal hujan dan kemarau, entah mengapa saya merasa terhubung dengan memori musim gugur yang saya baca di majalah-majalah, saya lihat di televisi atau saya bayangkan dari puisi-puisi. Mungkin karena karakter dasar saya yang (sok) romantis dan melankolis. Sehingga daun-daun jatuh saya anggap sebagai momen magis yang menghanyutkan.

Jangankan musim gugur di belahan bumi selatan atau utara, “musim gugur” di kampung halaman saya, yang ditandai dengan daun-daun pohon Akasia yang berguguran, atau pohon Jati yang meranggas, sudah cukup membuat saya duduk melamun lama menikmati setiap detilnya.

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Musim gugur di kampung halaman

Ah, saya ini memang sentimentil. Gemar berkubang dalam romantisme yang saya buat-buat sendiri.

Continue reading “Senandung Musim Gugur”