Balada Sakit di Negeri Orang

Sesedih-sedihnya sakit di negeri sendiri, lebih sedih sakit di negeri orang.

Begitu saya pernah mendengar sebuah pepatah. Beberapa orang mengakui kebenaran dari pepatah tersebut. Bagaimanapun, sakit saat berada di negeri sendiri memang terasa lebih mudah. Minimal kita tidak perlu susah-susah menerjemahkan apa itu masuk angin kepada dokter yang kita temui, hehe. Tapi, sakit ketika berada di luar negeri juga membawa pengalaman sendiri. Terutama dalam hal mengendalikan rasa panik dan penggunaan obat yang rasional.

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Belajar dari Thailand

Kalimat “Belajar dari Thailand”, barangkali menjadi kalimat yang paling menyebalkan setelah kekalahan Indonesia pada leg kedua final AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 kemarin. Meski memang harus diakui bahwa kalimat tersebut benar adanya. Bahkan dari kacamata awam seperti saya, secara kualitas permainan, Thailand memang lebih unggul. Kekalahan kemarin hanya menegaskan bahwa dalam sepakbola, beruntung saja sering tidak cukup. Dibutuhkan lebih dari sekedar dukungan 240 juta penduduk Indonesia untuk membuat kita jadi juara. Dan sejujurnya, menjadi runner up pun sudah lumayan. Saya kira, kita tetap bisa berbangga menjadi yang terbaik kedua di Asia Tenggara.

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From Diaspora to Racism: The Impacts of Migration in Globalisation Era

When I was in Sydney last year, I went to a suburb called Lakemba from the Sydney domestic airport by train. Once I get off in Lakemba Station, for a second I thought that I was not in Australia anymore. All the people I met were Asians and they spoke in Arabic or Hindi or other languages except English. From my friend I finally knew that Lakemba is well known as a suburb of Asian immigrants.

This experience is just a little example of how migration has become an essential part of globalisation. Moreover, migration is the earliest form of globalisation, as LeVine (2010) argues, “The theme of migration has been part of the collective human narrative for as long as there has been recorded history”. The Economist (2001, p. 65) supports this argument by states that “migration has been one of the most conspicuous features of human history”. In addition, according to Keeley (2009), “Almost 3% of the world’s population – or about 190 million people – live outside the land of their birth” and many more people move temporarily such as to study, as tourists, or to work abroad under special scheme (The Economist, 2002, p. 6).

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Child Labour: The “Unwanted Child” of Globalisation?

In one episode of “The Big Bang Theory”, an American television series, there was a scene when Sheldon, the main character in this series, had a conversation with Penny, his neighbour. In that episode, Penny tried to make a handicraft for charity and Sheldon became the timekeeper so Penny would knew how long she took to make one brooch. In the end of Penny first attempt, Sheldon said that it took 14 minutes. In a cynical tone, he added: “You are much slower than children who make Nike shoes in Indonesia”. Indeed, child labour was a sad phenomenon in Indonesia before Nike factory moved to Vietnam in 2007. At that time, as Sheldon said, most workers who worked for Nike factory in Indonesia were children.

Child Labours and International Trade

The international trade as a part of globalisation has led to some sad phenomena including child labours. A data from UNICEF indicates that children with age ranges 5-11 work at least one hour of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week (Menendez, 2009). In addition, the ILO’s report in 2002 shows that approximately 211 million children under 15 are working worldwide (cited in Edmonds & Pavcnik, 2004, p. 1).

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Anti-Globalisation: Who is The Real Opponent?

Anti-globalisation movement has become the popular jargon since years ago. According to Giddens (2003, p. xx), “The activities of Anti-Globalisation movement have grown apace since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meetings in Seattle on 30 November 1999”. However, the manifestation of this jargon is sometimes not really clear since some anti-globalisation movement supporters do not really know what they are fighting for as Giddens (2003, p. xxxiii) argues, “When the anti-globalisers blame inequality on globalisation they normally have in mind narrow interpretation of globalisation. They identify it with the growth of market competition and free trade”.

In Indonesia, for example, some supporters think that globalisation is simply equal to Westernisation and Americanisation. Thus, they often held a demonstration in front of the franchise store of McDonald’s (McD) and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). It is not an entirely wrong understanding, indeed, but it is not fully correct either. Giddens (2003, xxii) contends, “Globalisation today is not a simple recapitulation of the past and it is not identical either with Americanisation or Westernisation.” It is far more complex than that. Globalisation is as complex as a can of tuna that contains tuna from South Australia but packaged in Thailand, then distributed in Indonesia and eaten by Italian tourist who had vacation in Bali. Certainly, “globalisation is multidimensional, non-territorial, polycentric and involve multiple intentionalities and cross-crossing projects on the part of many agents” (De Block & Buckingham, 2007, p. 3).

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Our Winter Experience: The Unspoiled Tasmania

Deep in the forest (Photo by Zaki Habibi)

The plane that took us from Sydney was about to land, when the flight attendant suddenly announced: “Welcome to the beautiful state: Tasmania!”

Tasmania, our destination that evening, is indeed well known for its beautiful nature. Located in the southeast part of Australia, Tassie, that is how the locals call it, is the only state in Australia that is located outside the mainland.

Geographically, this island is divided into five major regions: Hobart and surrounds; East Coast; Launceston, Tamar and North; North West Coast; and Western Wilderness.

On our last winter trip, we only had chance to visit two regions: Hobart and surrounds and the Western Wilderness. However, these experiences were more than just enough to know that the landscapes and the views in Tasmania are just amazing.

Ranging from ports, museums, markets, to mountains and national parks, Tasmania is just too beautiful to be missed.

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Kisah Para Sepatu

Satu demi satu,

Sepatu-sepatu mulai bertingkah mendedah kisah

Bertutur kata layaknya manusia

“Memangnya kamu saja yang punya cerita,” begitu kata mereka


Satu demi satu,

Sepatu-sepatu mulai bertingkah mendedah kisah


“Aku sepatu yang paling disayang” kata sepatu tertua

Wajahnya usang pertanda usia


“Tapi aku yang paling cantik” tukas si sepatu batik

“Setiap memakaiku orang selalu melirik.”


“Kalian tak lagi dipuja seperti aku,” ujar si sepatu baru

Wajahnya mulus belum lagi berdebu


Sepatu-sepatu lalu berdebat siapa yang paling hebat

Baru berhenti saat si empunya sepatu lewat


Sepatu-sepatu lalu diam seribu bahasa

Manusia tak perlu tahu mereka punya cerita..


Perth, 23 Oktober 2012