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identity

Amsterdam, 8 November 2016: Rumah Gamelan di Negeri Belanda

Hujan rintik di malam dingin bulan November di Amsterdam. Tetapi itu tidak menyurutkan niat lima belas orang dari berbagai bangsa ini untuk berlatih memainkan orkestra tradisional Jawa. Di antara mereka ada Ivy, seorang perempuan paruh baya Cina Suriname yang telah bermain gamelan selama 20 tahun. Dia piawai memainkan slenthem, instrumen tetabuhan berupa barisan lembaran logam tipis yang menghasilkan dengungan rendah. Matanya setengah terpejam dan kepalanya bergoyang-goyang lambat, manakala tangan kanannya mengayunkan pemukul, dan tangan kirinya me-matet, atau menahan getaran lembaran perunggu agar suara yang dihasilkan tetap terkontrol. Sedangkan Ruth Jaeger yang berasal dari Köln di Jerman rela datang jauh-jauh ke Amsterdam setiap Selasa untuk berlatih gamelan. Di negaranya sendiri memang ada grup gamelan, tetapi dia menemukan permainan di Amsterdam ini lebih bervariasi dan menantang. Di sini, dimainkan gending yang cepat maupun lambat; yang mudah seperti Menthog-Menthog sampai yang sulit seperti Palaran, yang menuntut kerja sama tingkat tinggi antara vokal, kendang, ketuk kenong, dan gong. Ada pula Gabriela, yang kecintaannya terhadap gamelan berawal dari kebiasaan. Rumah wanita asli Belanda itu berada di dekat Het Gamelanhuis—tempat grup gamelan ini berlatih—dan sejak lama dia sering mendengar dengung alunan orang berlatih gamelan, yang begitu magis terus bergema sampai ke alam mimpinya. Itu membuatnya tertarik [...]

November 22, 2016 // 6 Comments

On Journey and Reconciliation–A Panel with Yu Hua in Beijing International Book Fair

Back in 2011, when the first time I read any of Yu Hua’s work, I would never imagine that one day I would share the same chair with this great man. Yesterday, in Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF)’s Literary Salon, we sit together in front hundreds of audience, discussing about my book, Zero: When the Journey Takes You Home. We shared ideas about the meaning of journey, conflict of identities, search for meaning, and reconciliation. Yu Hua started with a story, quoting a 1001-night story about a boy from Baghdad, who went all the way to Cairo to find a treasure, but then went home to Baghdad to find the real treasure. He mentioned that the boy’s journey is not unlike my journey–that journey is about going out and returning home. We also shared much about Chinese and Indonesian identity. Raised in 1965, when many Chinese-Indonesians were forced to leave and had to return to China because of racial discrimination, he used to hear bad news about Indonesia. The image of Indonesia among Chinese people reach its worst position after the 1998 riots in Jakarta, and it has never fully recovered, until today. In fact, among so many visas in [...]

August 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

[Detik]: Panggung Agustinus Wibowo dan Yu Hua di BIBF 2016

Detik Beijing – Bermula dari Beijing, Agustinus Wibowo bermimpi ingin melakukan perjalanan ke Afrika Selatan. Ia pun melakukan perjalanan dari Tibet, Nepal, India, Pakistan, dan negara-negara lainnya. Di ajang Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) 2016, Agustinus bersama Yu Hua membicarakan tentang identitas, perjalanannya menulis dan soal budaya dua negara. Penulis ‘Titik Nol’ itu membicarakan tentang identitas ketika dirinya lahir. “Saya dibilang orang Cina dan ketika saya belajar di negara ini, saya dibilang Indonesia. Sebenarnya saya ini dari mana. Karena itu saya mau mencoba menjadi traveler. Selalu ada pikiran yang baru di setiap tempat dan saya mencari Indonesia itu seperti apa,” ucapnya ketika berbicara di sesi Writer’s Stage di BIBF 2016, Rabu (24/8/2016). Dengan berjalan mengunjungi banyak negara, Agustinus keluar dari zona nyamannya. Dia menceritakan ketika turis asing dilarang bepergian ke Tibet, pria asal Lumajang Jawa Timur justru ke sana. Saat dia belajar jurusan komputer, dia juga tak mau hanya menjadi sarjana dengan lulusan tersebut. “Saya mau jadi jurnalis tapi kuliah nggak sesuai yang di mau. Tapi saya bisa motret dan menulis, kenapa nggak jadi jurnalis saja. Kita traveling ke mana saja dan bersama siapa itu nggak penting, yang penting adalah merasakan kehidupan baru dan orang lain. Dan itu yang membuat [...]

August 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

[Detik]: Diskusi Buku Agustinus Wibowo dan Yu Hua Perkuat Hubungan Dua Negara

Detik Beijing – Duta Besar Indonesia untuk Republik Rakyat Tiongkok Soegeng Rahardjo hadir dalam sesi diskusi ‘Zero: When The Journey Takes You Home’ yang berlangsung hari ini di Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) 2016. Sesi kali ini menampilkan dua penulis kenamaan dua negara, Agustinus Wibowo dan Yu Hua. Dalam sambutannya, Soegeng mengatakan hadirnya untuk pertama kali Indonesia di BIBF makin membuka peluang pengenalan sastra Indonesia ke publik dunia. Sekaligus, mempererat hubungan antar dua negara. “Dengan adanya Agustinus dan Yua Hua hadir untuk memberikan cerita-ceritanya tentang dua negara dan pesan yang disampaikan akan menyebar ke masyarakat Indonesia dan Tiongkok,” ujarnya di atas Writer’s Stage di gedung China International Exhibition Center (new venue), distrik Shunyi, Beijing, Rabu (24/8/2016). Di diskusi ‘Zero: When The Journey Takes You Home’ yang terselenggara berkat kerja sama Komite Buku Nasional Indonesia dan Paper Republic ini membicarakan tentang pengalaman mereka tentang Tiongkok, baik personal maupun sejarah. Karya Yu Hua ‘To Live’ telah diterjemahkan oleh Agustinus ke dalam bahasa Indonesia. Sedangkan karya lainnya tengah disiapkan untuk segera diterjemahkan dan diterbitkan di Tanah Air. Seperti apa hasil diskusi keduanya? Simak laporan [...]

August 25, 2016 // 0 Comments

[BIBF]中印对话的桥梁 ——走近印度尼西亚作家、翻译家翁鸿鸣

2016-08-23 纸托邦 零点——走向回归的远行 作为将余华作品翻译引入印度尼西亚的第一人,如同余华成名作《十八岁出门远行》,翁鸿鸣也在十八岁离开家门,踏上中国的土地,开始了他背负祖辈多代人乡愁的寻根之旅。 始于寻根的旅行 翁 鸿鸣的父辈身在印尼,心念故国。由于印尼过去复杂的政治环境,华裔在印尼处境艰难,他们在印尼被当作外人,始终无法融入印尼主流社会,遭受各种形式的歧视 和排挤。对翁鸿鸣的父辈来说,回归故土是一桩萦绕心头的难了心愿。翁鸿鸣生于印尼从未到过中国的外婆,曾看着一幅中国地图流泪伤心,“我们原来中国是一个 很大的海棠叶啊,现在就是一个鸡的形状了。”正是这份叠加几代人的牵念,牵引着翁鸿鸣在十八岁时离开印尼,来到清华读书,由此也开启了他十余年不停歇的旅 程。 来 到中国的翁鸿鸣发现,真正的中国现实和父辈口中传颂的故国形象之间,有着巨大的鸿沟。父辈对中国的“所有记忆也仅停留当初第一批移民华人离开中国时的样 子”,“当初对中国所有印象和概念都是一片片”,“印尼华人当初对于自己的‘根’只是一个国家的概念,没有那个省市村,就是中国,地图上的那个版块”。他 回到的不是祖辈魂牵梦萦的故土,而是一片崭新又陌生的土地。 [...]

August 24, 2016 // 0 Comments

“ZERO” in Beijing International Book Fair

ZERO—When The Journey Takes You Home Sponsored by: BIBF Curated by: Paper Republic Co-organized by: Paper Republic, Indonesia National Book Committee Date: Aug 24th, Wednesday, 13:00-15:00 Address: Writers’ Stage, BIBF Venue Guests: Agustinus Wibowo, Yu Hua Join Yu Hua and writer Agustinus Wibowo in conversation about stories of the Chinese experience, both personal and historical. Yu Hua needs no introduction: from early works such as To Live, to the more recent blockbuster Brothers, he is among China’s foremost portraitists of modern Chinese society. Wibowo is an Indonesian translator and author of Chinese descent: his translation of Yu Hua’s To Live is already published in Indonesia, and Brothers and Chronicle of a Blood Merchant are forthcoming. At a young age he ventured to China in search of his roots and, finding China not at all as he’d imagined it, embarked on a ten-year journey through the world, which is the subject of his new book, Zero: When the Journey Takes You Home. Yu Hua and Wibowo discuss their authorial relationship, the similarities between China’s recent history and the history of the Chinese in Indonesia, and the role of the individual in historical narrative. “零点:走向回归的远行”   主办:北京国际图书博览会(BIBF) 策划:纸托邦(Paper Republic) 联合协办:纸托邦(Paper Republic)、印尼国家图书委员会 时间:8月24日星期三13:00-15:00 [...]

August 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

中国网:呈现|“寻家”之路 道阻且长(No.103)

印尼人?中国人?从18岁起,奥古斯丁开始只身踏上“寻家”之路,当行走成为挑战自我的模式,他的足迹开始踏及吉尔吉克斯坦,巴基斯坦,土库曼斯坦,伊朗,遍布整个中东。终于,他通过行走得到了内心的和解,打破了旧有的“墙”,让当下和过去握手言和。 An in-depth article from China.com.cn (中国网) on my searching of identity as a Chinese Indonesian, about my winding journey to find the real “home”.   中国网 原创 2015-05-09 陈潇 印尼华人作家奥古斯丁最近把自己微信签名改为“新书要出啦”。34岁,十余年旅途,行走阿富汗、巴基斯坦、外蒙古等地。按他话说,《Ground Zero》作为他第三本书甚至凝聚他30年行走心血,一切视角核心围绕“家”。“对,我就是想给大家讲一个回家的故事”。 “寻家”因于他曾分不清自己是哪里人,印尼人?华人?这种自我身份无法认同的过程驱动他踏上寻家之旅。如今,他用文字讲述自己的故事,在路上寻家的过程。 实际上,印尼,中国,印尼华人,两片土地,以及在这上面生活肇始非同源的人们,从上上个世纪开始曾为生存而共存或斗争,更多沦为政治纠葛而罅隙,周遭山河变,转眼一切让在新土地上生活的人们,开始尝试和自己内心和解,用时光消融曾经的伤或痛。 [...]

May 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Shakhimardan – An Uzbek Island Surrounded by Kyrgyz Mountains

Shakhimardan, an Uzbek “island” surrounded by Kyrgyzstan As artificial as any other thing in Central Asia was the border lines between the countries. The nations created by the Soviet rulers now had to be provided their homeland. Stalin might say, land populated by most Uzbek should be Uzbekistan, those inhabited by mostly Mongoloid Kyrgyz then became Kazakhstan (the Kazakh was called as Kyrgyz) and Kyrgyzstan (of which people was called as Black Kyrgyz). But the matter was not simple in the Ferghana Valley. Ferghana Valley was always a boiling pot in Central Asia. The people were renowned as deeply religious Muslim, if not fundamentalist. It was more than necessary for the Russian to divide this huge mass with the highest population density all over Central Asia. Then, besides the division of ethnics (who were Uzbek, who were Kyrgyz, and who were Tajik), there was a clever intrigue by dividing the border lands to divide the people. Then, the identity in Ferghana Valley was not single ‘Islam’ anymore, but new artificial entities of Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Tajik. But this was not something special if it was just borderlines. Borderlines created by Stalin were so complicated, zigzagging, and nobody understood the reason. [...]

April 7, 2007 // 1 Comment

Almaty – the Golden Man

The busy and colorful “green market” of Almaty During my stay in Kazakhstan, today was the first time I saw a sunny day in Almaty. The city suddenly became lovely and friendly. Somehow now I started to understand how this city had a lovely name, Almaty, which was the original form of its old name, ‘Alma Ata’, which literally means Father Apple. The Chinese call this name as ‘Alamutu’, which might be the closest form the Chinese spelling could make to this city’s name in Silk Road time. Anyhow, it was said that Almaty’s apples were as big as coconut, and it was said the best apples produced here at that time. Now, for a poor Russian dwellers like Lyubova, apple is a luxury in this ‘apple city’, as the price of apples was far beyond their budget. I got used already with Almaty’s high cost of price, and as people coming from financial power below poverty line, I started to know the strategy to keep living in low budget. I started to do self-catering from the Zelyonii Bazaar (Green Bazaar). There were many Korean ladies selling the famous Korean cabbage salad and prickles. There was also a cheap Chinese [...]

December 10, 2006 // 0 Comments

Tokmok – The Dungan

A Dungan family “Хуэйзу либянди щинфу” – Happiness Among the Dungan Hueimin Bo 26.01.2006 My first interaction with the Dungans was with its food. There is a busy, crowded, small restaurant near the Iranian embassy in Bishkek offering Dungan food. When I entered the underground room, I felt I was thrown again to China. It is Chinese, and only Chinese language, spoken among the cook and servants. The food also resembles Chinese food you eat in mainland China, with slight variation of Central Asia touch. That second I immediately decide: I want to know who the Dungans are. Tokmok is a little town 70 km east of Bishkek. This town is located nearby to Chuy River which now separates Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Tokmok is a kaleidoscope of ethnics: Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Uzbek, Russian, Uyghur, and Dungan traders stuff its busy Sunday bazaar. Tokmok is home of most Kyrgyzstan’s Dungan population. Not far from the bazaar there is a little Dungan mosque. Here, in Central Asia, as countries are split into ethnic-nation idea (e.g. Kyrgyzstan – the country of the Kyrgyz, Uzbekistan – the country of the Uzbeks, etc) even the mosques are now ethnic-based. The Dungans only go to their own [...]

November 26, 2006 // 1 Comment

Toktogul – The Kyrgyz Language

It still looks so Russia It is the first chance for me to get acquainted with one of the Turkic languages. Kyrgyz, as well as Kazakh, Uzbek, Turkmen, Turkish, and Mongol are Turkic languages. The first five are quite close each other, but Mongol is completely intelligible to other Central Asian Turkic speakers. Some linguists put Korean and Japanese in the Turkic language group, due to similarity of word order and agglutinative verbs. But newer linguistic classification, as what I believe, has thrown away the two Oriental languages out of the group. Before getting confused, please notice the difference between ‘Turkic’ and ‘Turkish’. The Turkic languages family is a group of languages with similarities of grammar and word forms, which includes Turkish and most of Central Asian languages. Books for learning Kyrgyz in English language are quite difficult to find even in Kyrgyzstan, and I was lucky that I met two Peace Corps volunteers who lent me the grammar book. For me, Turkic language experience was very fascinating, full of formulas, and I read 100 pages of grammar rules in 2 nights, and used to wake up full of linguistic formulas in my head. The Turkish languages have similar word [...]

November 14, 2006 // 0 Comments

Istraravshan – The 2500 Years of History

The 2500 years of history, Istaravshan Tajikistan has to dig up very deep into its glorious past to emphasize its identity. Tajikistan had to leave behind its historical luggages, as the Persian Tajik civilization centres, Samarkand and Bukhara, were handed to Uzbekistan by the Soviet government. Among what was left now, it was Istaravshan to testify to glory of this tiny country’s past. Istaravshan is located about 280 km north of Dushanbe, after passing two high passes of Anzob and Ainy (Shakhristan), both are higher than 3700 m. The passes are covered by snow in winter, making it’s impossible during the period to travel overland from Dushanbe to Khojand – the second city of the country. The only possible transport by that time is by flying. Along the way there were many Chinese workers on road and tunnel construction projects. They navigated the tractors, measured the parameters, and broke the stones. I did really wonder why it was so necessary to have all Chinese workers to do the projects. “Tajikistan doesn’t have sufficient technology,” said fellow passenger in my taxi. But is that essential to have international workers just to break the stones with hammers? Maybe the Chinese contractors didn’t [...]

October 14, 2006 // 0 Comments

Dushanbe – Tajikistan, First Impression

Just across the river border, even the grilled meat looks very different, despite of the same name, kabab. Oh, it also gets a Russian name here, sashlik. Before actually physically stepped on the country, I had heard, and seen Tajikistan when I was still in Afghanistan. It is the country idolized by many people in the Badakhshan province. It is the country of freedom, flourished by goods, electricity, and public services. It is the country where women can walk on the streets freely without fear of not covering properly. Now, I am in Tajikistan, seeing and experiencing what man of the northern rural Afghans dreaming about. But for me, Tajikistan is not about dream. According to a reference, the average salary of the people in the country was only 61.81 Somoni (US$ 19.93/month, 2005) and average pension was as low as 16.92 Somoni (US$ 5.23/month, 2005). Life cost is not cheap at all, at least in Dushanbe, compared to the low income statistics. Long distance transport was incredibly expensive, comparable to Afghanistan, as oil costs almost 1 US$ per litre. 93% of Tajikistan’s land is mountains, making it only 7% inhabited and potential for agriculture. It has distinctive four seasons [...]

October 8, 2006 // 0 Comments

Qala Panjah – The Afghan Values

The question is how to unite all of them. “What are the values to be a nation?” Arnault Sera It was a long dusty journey in the dusty unpaved main road connecting the Badakhshan province to Takhar. With most roads in the country unpaved and full of dust, Afghanistan simply might be the dustiest country in the world. Traveling here is not easy either. Passengers are usually packed, pressed in carries like Falancoach, can load up to 18 passengers (many times overloaded up till 20 people) in the narrow seats of the car. Those who can afford more might choose TownAce, comfortably at 7 passengers in the car. If the road track is not too difficult, Corolla and shared taxi might be the most comfortable way of traveling. Traveling is always costly in Afghanistan. Even the cheapest Falancoach may only carry you traveling from Faizabad to Ishkashim for 550 Af (11 $) for the 160 km distance, while the same amount in Pakistan might take you 1000 km away. In anyway, traveling in countryside of Afghanistan requires high stamina, luck, bunch of money, endurances. I was not made for this kind of trip, as most of the way, I force [...]

August 6, 2006 // 0 Comments