Skip to main content

Jakarta and Social Reality


Illustration, source: Onthel Melintas Zaman

Around 4.45 am, the train I rode entered Jakarta area. It entered Bekasi train station and halted there for a couple of minutes. I knew then that I was about to enter Jakarta as I could see glamorous lights of the skyscrapers on the right contrasted to the darkness of the dawn. Soon enough, people swarmed and entered the train. They were not official Indonesian National Train Company (PT Kereta Api Indonesia, KAI henceforth) workers. They were beggars!


It was 4.45 and there were beggars in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, a supposed to be a rich country. It was ironic since these people did not look like beggars. They wore proper t-shirt and had tidy hair style. Yet, they begged for small amount of money from others.


Illustration,
Source: pencangkul on the blog
Then, a girl came spraying air freshener. I thought she did it voluntarily but I instantly knew that it was a silly thought. “Nothing is free”, so I thought. After spraying the air freshener to the entire coach, she asked for some money. I gave her some as I thought what she did was quite useful. It brought fresh air in the midst of stinky air emanating from surrounding area where the train run.

Then, a boy in black t-shirt came inside the coach. He brought along a broom stick sweeping the coach’s floor from any kind of dirt, from newspaper to plastics. But, again, he was not an “official” cleaning service of the PT KAI. He was just another low class people trying to get some money by cleaning the coach. As I thought he was useful in making the coach clean, I also gave him some money.

As the train entered Jatinegara, more people came in the coach. They worked as porter. However, they wore official shirts from PT KAI indicating them as official porter of the train station.

Note that it all happened before the sun rose! It was still about 5 in the morning. It all happened in Jakarta. Before the sun rose, these people already started their struggles to survive in Jakarta. They struggled for some money to feed their families, or even, themselves.

Illustration, source: kompas.com
Jakarta is probably comparable to New York City as they were both in often times called as city of the dreams. “Your dreams can come true if you go to Jakarta”. But that dreams are often countered with social reality that I narrated above. It was splendid to see people making their dreams come true in some popular reality shows in television. But it was just television show, something that is made up! Dreams do not come true that easily!

The people that I told you probably had their own dreams. But currently, they had to push aside their dreams as they did not have enough capability to achieve their dreams. They were then forced to live in the harshness of social reality. But I believe these people still keep their dreams. I believe that someday their dreams can come true, if they really want to run for it.

This is a glimpse of my traveling experience. More to come J

Comments

  1. i think it's an introduction of the first chapter of post-graduation life. more stories will come up next..

    hmm.. i always think that Jakarta is an arrogant city. and i can feel it too on your post. poor people everywhere, while on the other side the rich and politician sometimes just don't care.

    well, gud luck for your life Riz.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hehe yeah ... post-graduation life (not postrock or even postmodernism loh yaaa hehehe =P)

    It's arrogant in one point of view... but not in the other side (i will post something about this next time hehehe)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Two Most Influential Postmodernist Thinkers

This second post about postmodernism will consist of two greatest postmodernist thinkers and their contribution to postmodernism.
1. Jean Fran├žois Lyotard.
Lyotard is a French philosopher. He opened the discussion for postmodernism in social theory with his groundbreaking publication ‘La Condition Postmoderne’ (The Condition Postmodern). His works stress the decline of meta-narratives or grand-narratives, as some scholars refer it. Meta-Narratives as defined in the previous post are sets of ideas governing what is right and wrong. For example, religion defines how to live a good life. By doing so, people who do not appeal to the characteristics of good man as defined by religion will be considered unfaithful, as bad people. Lyotard argues that this way of legitimating declines in a postmodern society. What is considered good can no longer be clearly separated from what is considered bad.

The decline of meta-narratives was triggered by communication development. Traditional communicatio…

Movie Review | Stream of Tears in Wedding Dress

Last Saturday, I got a runny nose -kind of severe, as I recalled- not because of sick, but because I watched a Korean movie entitled WeddingDress.
I have frequently watched Korean movies. In my opinion, they are much better than Indonesian movies. Not that I dislike my country (I just dislike Indonesia’s movies), but yeah, Korean movies have a wide range of preference. You can watch cheesy-funny-romantic movie that make you feel happy and smile all the time. Or try to watch a horror-romanticmovie that makes you laugh and scared. You can also find cool action movie! Some movies even make me cry a lot. I really mean it when I say some Korean movies really make me cry so badly. Wedding Dress is one that makes me cry. I am a boy and I cry. So what? I don’t buy the ubiquitous saying ‘Boys don’t cry’.

Wedding Dress narrates the life of a single mother, Go-eun, played by Song Yun Ah. Her husband dies already, leaving her only with her young daughter, So-ra, nicely played by Kim Hyang-gi. …

Gender Issues in Japanese Anime and Manga

I've got this idea to write about Japan's popular culture for  some times. Firstly, I love Japan's popular culture such as anime and manga.Japan's anime and manga are so popular around the world, transcending nations, age, sex and gender. I read Japan's  manga from the age of 10 (may be), until now. I watched Japan's anime also for years.

One thing that really makes me wonder is about the depiction of gender in those popular culture product. Before furthering the discussion, it is important to say that i follow Ann Oakley's argumentation to differ sex and gender. Sex is naturally determined, while gender is socioculturally constructed. Thus, to speak of male and female is to speak of sex. While to speak of masculine and feminine is to speak of gender. In doing gender (attributing gender characteristics in body), people are for so long stereotyped by the existing binary relation. It means that male should develop masculine traits to be called as a real man.…