Why Not?

Tanggal 19 September kemaren gue baru aja balik dari Stradonice, Czech Republic. Selama 8 hari gue ikut pertukaran pelajar dari Erasmus+. One gorgeous friend of mine, Caro, who comes from Spain wrote about this amazing experience that we had:


It was a sunny day in Prague. Charles bridge was crowded and Czech people were drinking beers as always. Then, in the middle of the happiness, the phone rang. It was Vladimir and his driving style.

After a long way to Klamovka, the battle to choose the best bed started. It was warmer than everyone thought before arriving to Czech Republic, and everybody tried their best to make the other feel at home. When most of the people were having dinner, a guy that was shouting ‘I am an astronaut’ came as a representation of Germany. Actually, he is Spanish and he came by bike, Penelope. But it was not the only strange thing in the German group, if you can call it German... Two Indonesians, two Turkish, a Spanish and a German were in the group. That’s Europe!

After two hours, the Portuguese and the Spanish made necessary the big rule: BORA-BORA. But you know, latin people don’t care too much about rules. ‘Joder’. During the first game of the project, when everyone just had met each other for one hour, love arrived. The latin lips of Cisco fell in love with Mike’s ass, but the Cypriot was already kissing Marcelo. People wanted to know Stradonice, so some of them went to explore and met the whole population of the village: two people. Maybe not too many, but well enough to know how Czech people are. No expression, no smile, no emotions, no nothing. They can say ‘I love you’ with the same face than ‘My cat is dead’. Soon, they also knew the special kindness of the Czechs. 10% for Tips because of the good service and all the chips”. And remember “If you want to go, you can go, there are so many cheap hostels in Prague”. (Vladimir accent) But not all of Czech people were like these, the amazing Andy came to break stereotypes.

An unforgettable experience was starting. It doesn’t matter if there was no water for two days, because everyone smelled as pigs, so there was no problem with social relations... Even if none could put their hands up. And please do not forget about the food: the chicken that everybody was searching but nobody found.

Some parties later, there was already a ranking of party animals: 1. Portuguese, 2. Spanish, 3. Cypriot, plus Arthur and Kuba. Anyway, the hangover was never a problem to do the activities, even when nobody could speak because Mike was late for half an hour. Of course, alcohol was one of the ingredients: palinka, sangria, rakie, zivania, wine... Can you guess which one was the strongest? PALINKA.

But party is not only alcohol, it was also time to share different music, dancing and life styles. Mixing cultures, even when the Polish songs were played and only Polish people were dancing.
As in every international project, languages were something funny. A Spanish trying to speak Polish, or a Indonesian trying to say something in Portuguese, or a word with different meanings in different languages. Like ‘servilleta’, that means napkin in Spanish, and compress in Cypriot.

Do not forget ‘love’. Not only the couples made from the beginning, kissing each other when nobody saw them. That connections built just two days after meeting. But love is also something more than couples. It is the smile of Gita, the respect of Selam, the humour of Elias, the cheerfulness of Arthur, the passion of Marvin... Love is the paradise created in Stradonice during these days. Even if someone could not speak English, even if a conversations needed to be slower. It is tolerance, respect and generosity. Love is the way the concert was done yesterday.
We learnt how to make bracelets as well with Juanma as an amazing teacher, the free-soul supreme leather. “From the back to the back, from the front to the front, from the back to the front, to the back to the front, and do not forget the middle”. A new life style was created these days, a way of living when it does not matter where you are, the time, the country you are coming from or your religion., when you live the moment. Let’s be free souls.

Breaking stereotypes or confirming others during the whole week, knowing each other deeper and deeper, making friends forever, the project was coming to his end. After this, everyone takes an incredible experience to home. How many times in life will you have in your own room a concert of two Polish and a Spanish guy? How many times will you have dinner together with a girl from Indonesia, a rapper from Germany, and a half Romanian half Cypriot like the unforgettable Diana? How many times will you have a deep conversation with the different views of countries from Asia, South, North and Central Europe?

Imagine there is no heaven
It is easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today.

The sense of community built during the week was represented in the final performance: a final picture of different cultures, different life styles, tolerance, respect, curiosity and a big aim of sharing. Everything, finishing with a exciting song as ‘Imagine’. Love is creating. We have created connections, moments, feelings and values. We did magic. We have created music.

Close your eyes and try to remember every moment here. Just a few minutes to think on what we created.


Can we go back to Sundays 11st? Why not? 


Generasi Salah Fokus

Udah sekitar lima bulan ini gue aktif mengunggah video-video di YouTube. Ini semua diawali dengan kegerahan gue terhadap vlog-vlog yang lagi ngetrend jaman sekarang, yang rata-rata isinya bisa dibilang nggak lain dan nggak bukan hanyalah nongkrong-nongkrong bareng temen dan sesekali mengeluarkan kata kasar. Kenapa gue bisa gerah? Karena yang nonton banyak dan rata-rata penontonnya adalah anak sekitar belasan tahun, yang lagi mencari jati diri dan lagi labil-labilnya. And after watching these vlogs they'll be having this understanding that "cursing is cool" or nongkrong-nongkrong mulu itu gaul. Kemudian mereka akan merongrong orang tuanya yang (mungkin) duitnya pas-pasan buat beliin barang-barang mahal, karena "idola" mereka punya gaya hidup yang seperti orang kaya. I can go on and on and on. Saban hari salah satu temen gue bilang, "Yang gitu-gitu harus kita perangi dengan karya.". I agree 100%. Emang nggak akan ada habisnya kalo kita cuma complain dan ngeluh tentang how crappy their videos are, how low the quality of the content is, or how bad they are influencing the young indonesian teenagers through their lifestyle, karena mereka akan tetap dengan gaya hidup mereka yang masih kecil terus udah minum alkohol dan ngerokok, they will still be making that kind of videos and keep earning money from the ad views on YouTube. Unfortunately your worry isn't their concern. As I know they're as selfish as they can be. So the least I can do is membuat video yang sekiranya lebih baik dari segi kualitas dan isi. That's why I decided to also take part of this whole "vlogging phenomenon". I want these teenagers to at least have a choice, or at least have comparison. They can choose what kind of videos they want to watch. Bukan cuma video yang nggak mendidik, tapi video yang bisa ngasih positive impact ke mereka. Because at the end of the day penonton berhak untuk dikasih konten yang bermanfaat.

After these months of constantly putting out contents and interacting with the Indonesian viewers, there's something that draws my attention. Bukan cuma content creatornya yang menghasilkan vlog-vlog yang kurang mendidik, tapi ternyata penontonnya juga kurang siap untuk dikasih konten yang mendidik. The people on the internet love to focus on things that don't need to be focused on. Bisa dibilang konten video gue nggak kosong-kosong banget. Ada satu dua hal positif yang gue tawarkan di video gue. Ketika gue mengunduh video tentu aja gue dapet komentar-komentar dari yang nonton. Dan nggak jarang komentar yang gue dapetin malah yang di luar konteks video tersebut. Entah tentang alis gue yang kata mereka kurang tebel atau tentang gue yang kata mereka aneh karena pake baju itu-itu doang, atau bahkan ada beberapa orang yang dengan ignorannya pointing out muka cowok gue yang kata mereka kurang ganteng. Ada sedikit kekecewaan yang gue rasain kalo gue encounter hal-hal seperti ini. Gimana ya, I expect something more from these people. Karena lewat video-video ini gue melempar narasi yang jarang orang gandrungi. Ketika banyak orang lebih memilih untuk ngomongin temennya atau gosipin orang di Instagram, gue "mengajak" mereka untuk ngomongin hal-hal positif dari Jerman, negara yang gue tinggali sekarang, yang mungkin bisa dibandingin sama Indonesia dan mungkin bisa menjadi trigger bagi mereka supaya bisa bikin Indonesia jadi lebih baik. Pernah juga gue ngomongin tentang berkerudung di Jerman dan gimana temen gue dan gue berislam di sini, yang ternyata mengubah pandangan gue terhadap agama gue sendiri. Tapi lagi-lagi respon yang gue dapat cuma seputaran muka gue, tepatnya--yang mereka anggap sebagai--kekurangan dari muka gue. I guess I should've not expected anything in the first place.

Let me start off with one thing I've been questioning the whole time. Bukankah akan terpikir dengan sendirinya ketika kita ingin berbicara sesuatu atau melontarkan isi otak kita, lalu kita bertanya kepada diri sendiri, "Penting nggak sih omongan gue?". Kemudian dilanjutkan dengan pertanyaan selanjutnya, "Kalo gue ngomong gini dia tersinggung nggak, ya?". Lalu muncul pertanyaan lainnya, "Emang harus banget ya dia tau isi otak gue?". Terutama ketika isi dari uneg-uneg yang ingin kita lontarkan itu nggak seberapa atau bahkan sama sekali nggak ada, bukankah thought process-nya akan lebih panjang lagi? Gue pribadi nggak tau kapan dan gimana asal-mulanya. Tapi mungkin ini semua berawal dari budaya orang kita yang seneng gosipin orang lain, yang seneng pointing out kesalahan atau kekurangan orang lain, dan ngelakuin hal tersebut hanya untuk kepuasan diri. Lalu jaman sekarang muncul social media platform di mana kita bisa being totally anonymous commenting on someone's video or photo, yang tentunya makin menggelitik kegemaran kita akan ngejelekin orang. Either destructive or constructive people somehow have this urge of "I must putting my statement out there.". Dan keberanian mereka untuk berbicara hal negatif ke orang lain di sosial media semakin bertambah, karena toh mereka nggak berhadapan langsung sama orang yang dijelek-jelekin. Tapi menurut gue rela cape-cape nonton video orang lain yang nggak mereka kenal, lalu mengevaluasi visualnya dia, terus dilihat mana kurangnya, setelah itu ngetik komentarnya, butuh effort yang gede banget. Of course, for something that useless, giving that much of effort is also useless. Tapi ternyata orang kita rela-rela aja tuh. Selama dapet kepuasan, kenapa nggak?

Sampai detik ini gue masih belom bisa memahami obsesi orang kita terhadap penampilan orang lain. Entah kalo dia cantik, gendut, kurus, alisnya ketebelan, alis ketipisan, hidung gede, telinga caplang. Apapun bisa jadi sasaran. Moreover, what makes they think pointing out someone else's facial feature on the internet is something they're allowed to do? What's with this obsession of telling someone (you don't know), "Dude, your eyebrows are too thin.", "Your nose is huge.", "Why did you draw you eyebrows that thick? They don't look natural.". Padahal si orang yang mereka ribetin ini fine-fine aja sama mukanya dia. Gue cuma bisa berharap, kalo orang kita kelak bisa lebih kritis dalam ngelakuin semua hal. Kritis dalam hal-hal yang mereka lakuin dan lebih memilih untuk mengerjakan hal yang berfaedah. Gue juga masih punya harapan, kalo orang kita nantinya tidak terlalu fokus ke penampilan luar dan lebih fokus ke kepribadian dan isi otak orang, siapapun itu. Because at the end of the day penampilan itu cuma yang kita liat pake mata, sementara isi dan esensi itu dua hal yang utama. Karena menurut gue pribadi budaya ini akan makin kompleks kalo dibiarin terus-terusan. Akan makin terpaku di dalam mindset orang kita kalau appearance itu lebih penting, looking good in front of others dan pencitraan lebih penting, lalu kita jadi kelewatan poin penting yang beneran penting, kayak yang gue bilang tadi. Korea contohnya. Hampir semua cewek operasi plastik. Kelopak matanya digedein lah, hidungnya dibikin mancung, atau rahangnya lah dipotong. Gara-gara apa? Gara-gara social pressure-nya gede. Semua orang constantly judging each others' appearance. Ada standard of beauty yang terlalu ekstrim di negara itu yang bikin mindset orang-orang jadi rusak. Iya, gue bilang mindset kayak gitu rusak. Karena itu bisa bikin kita lupa kalo yang paling penting itu gimana kita menjadi individu yang baik, yang memperlakukan orang lain dengan baik, yang berkelakuan baik, dan yang menyebarkan hal-hal baik.