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Cultural Confusion

Another sekat/partition.

I have a feeling, that if I spend considerable amount of times in two different countries with completely different cultures, I will be confused about what is right and what is wrong.

Suppose in one country, A is right, and B is wrong. In another country, B is right, A is wrong.

If go back and forth between the two countries, I will get confused about how I should stand with regard to that matter.

Of course I can die-die say, even though I just keep it to myself, that A is right and B is wrong. However, if life brings me to the second country and I accidentally do A. bang. I will be in trouble.

Menuju Sina

Aku baru saja bangun tidur. Kepalaku pusing, sepertinya karena tiga pekan terakhir ini matahari bersinar sangat terik, tak seperti bulan-bulan sebelumnya.

Tak terasa sudah dua bulan lewat sejak aku terakhir menulis di catatan perjalananku. Kota yang dulu lama kutimbang-timbang untuk kusinggahi, telah jauh kulewati. Entah karena apa. Mungkin karena mengurus izin masuknya sangat rumit. Mungkin karena impianku untuk ke Murrakus mengalahkan niatku masuk al-Sa’ada. Yang jelas adalah aku sudah jauh dari sana. Mungkin tidak tergariskan untuk kudatangi kali ini. Mungkin memang tak tergariskan sama sekali. Tapi kalau memang ada tergariskan, aku akan megunjunginya kembali.

Kalau petaku tak salah, dan kalau saudagar-saudagar yang kupapasi benar, aku sebentar lagi masuk Sina. Aku ingin mengunjungi Jabal Musa, sebelum singgah di…aku tak tahu, al-Qahirah atau al-Iskandariyya. Aku punya perasaan yang kuat tak lama lagi, dalam beberapa bulan saja, aku akan sampai di sana.

Dengan mengucap Bismillah, aku melanjutkan perjalanan.

.

Menuju Sina, tahun 521 bulan 10

Crosswalk

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
I am you and what I see is me

“Echoes”, Pink Floyd

Ever since [Difo introduced me to this song], I have always been fascinated at these particular lines. It became apparent to me years ago that while in 2D it is easy for line segments to intersect, it is not so in higher dimensions. And I see human being as multidimensional being.  We are not only physically 3D being, but our characteristic, behaviour, decisions, etc affect our position at a particular time. So for two strangers to pass in the street and have their separate glances meet, it requires a big deal of coincidence, and as I believe in the existence of God (you may agree or disagree), there is God’s work in it.

So starting from this day, I will try to forget a lot of things I fear and make a real effort. I have a good intention, so I should have my confidence. However it will end, it is to be dealt with later.

lambrtz and Languages

Just now, this [Superman] shared [this link] on Facebook. To understand this, I need not to look farther than my mirror. I consider myself belong to the earliest generation in which this phenomenon starts to be prevalent. By Indonesian standard, even for non-native standard, I speak fluent English. But my proficiency in Javanese, which is supposed to be my first/second language, is limited to the ngoko/”rude” form and very little krama inggil/the “polite” form. That’s like only knowing a half of the language. There are a few reasons of this. Somehow my parents decided to teach me more Indonesian, which I am very fluent in, and only little Javanese. Family members can also speak to each other in ngoko, although with some krama inggil words when referring to the parents (although I usually just replace those words with Indonesian words instead), so it’s no wonder that my krama inggil doesn’t improve much.

I live in Singapore, so there is very little need of knowing and speaking Javanese. There was one occasion though, when I die die had to speak krama inggil Javanese. When I still rented my previous room, I stayed with, well, the Singaporean owner, of course, and a Javanese family also from my hometown (actually our homes are just a few hundred metres apart). The couple’s parents often visited them, and they seemed to speak Javanese more often. So, when I conversed with them, I had to use krama inggil. It felt very awkward, since I didn’t know the polite forms of many words, so at times I had to resort to Indonesian, or mistakenly used the rude forms. Another thing is, older Javanese generations speak veeeeeery slowly, whereas I am known for my fast talk, so the way I spoke krama inggil was like very un-Javanese.

On another occasion, when I returned home last year, my Father took me to his school reunion, in which I talked to some of his friends. At this time, however, I initiated to talk in krama inggil, instead of Indonesian. At home, my Father laughed. He seemed very surprised and was very keen of talking about this to my Mother.

Closing remarks. I talked to my Father just a few weeks ago when he visited me (I am in [Palapa Oath] mode, so I don’t want to return home until I submit another paper), that quite likely I will not have a Javanese wife. I understand very much about the surrounding issues of having girlfriend/spouse of different ethnicity/nationality, but like it or not, with this current condition most women I meet are not Indonesian, let alone Javanese. So the family line from my branch may stop being and speaking Javanese at some point of time.

lambrtz Phase II and God and Religion

“In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals.”

“After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that [1] all religions are true; [2] all religions have some error in them; [3] all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one’s own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible.”

“Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different road, so long as we reach the same goal. Wherein is the cause for quarreling?”

All by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi…whom I found a few years ago has as many opponents as there are sympathisers.

To me, religion and God matter are already clear: whatever you do, you will never know about it, at least during your lifetime (and BTW that is why it is called faith, instead of knowledge). You can believe or disbelieve anything the way you want it to be, and actually nobody can falsify your belief/disbelief without being trapped in the circular argument. For me, there are two consequences of this. Firstly, I grow more and more uninterested to discussions, let alone debates, about religions, especially if they carry high #flamebait potential. Secondly, probably ironically, I seem to embrace Roman Catholicism deeper, albeit with some questions, doubts, and disagreements, both petty and fundamental.

So yeah, there you have it. Be a vegetarian, grow your beard, worship the sun, wait for the Second Coming, embrace any belief/disbelief you are most convenient with, and as long as you are not an effin’ troll or musketman, I will not raise arms as well. While I am the same time avoid joining flamewars. Not that they matter. You win, the world is still like that. You lose, the world is also like that. Unless you are the king of your tribe.

Update 18/06/2013:


lambrtz looks like this

Me

You can write comments in any language that you want, but please bear in mind that I only understand 4 languages: English, Indonesian, Javanese and Malay.

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