Showing posts with label javanese idiom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label javanese idiom. Show all posts

The outbreak of Covid-19 has been a matter of unforeseen circumstances. The pandemic occurring in the global scale is no longer a battle of health, but an economic struggle that ultimately impinges on energy issue and social solidarity. For the last two years the hazardous disease has inflicted serious damage on the foundation of our life including the loss of people we dearly love. Not until the vaccine is invented and massively implemented that we are no longer at the mercy of the deadly virus.


The loss of family and friends has been an indescribable test. Restrictions on outdoor activities and the recommendation to spend more time at home have presented yet another problem to deal with. Mental health is becoming a serious matter of concern. Worse still, employees and labors alike were laid off, either temporarily or permanently, that results in a more challenging economy and gets them nowhere but holding up under the strain.


Javanese people have their own way to cope with the situation. They have philosophical doctrines to get its adherents to endure the stresses and strains of life like what we experience today. Sumeleh, sareh, ora jireh, and sumeh are a series of values we have long believed to equip us with power to thrive during hard times like the ongoing pandemic.


To flow like water

Sumeleh is derived from the word seleh that literally means “to put down”. Instead of giving up, sumeleh encourages one to embrace self awareness and to get rid of egoism while submitting to higher authority, i.e. Gusti (God). Sumeleh indicates a deliberate act of submission or subservience. With sumeleh we are required to understand that we cannot always impose every will without constraint, no matter how ideal and decent it may appear to us. Being sumeleh, we are to flow like water so that we able to adapt to obstacles or turns, and other matters we encounter along the way.


While sumeleh also suggests we keep things in perspective, there are points when we need to grow sareh. Sareh equals patience and ability to remain composed. We are said to be sareh when we demonstrate endurance without inclination to instant insurgence. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we become fearful. We should never be afraid (ora jireh) of fighting for goodness despite the unexpected resistance. Ora jireh implies the audacity to act with reason and to be strongly disposed to take consequences.


The power of unfeigned smile 

The courage to engage in a fight against the current plague or any adversities should be equalized with sumeh (responsively unfeigned smile). This is perhaps the most paramount value underlying the Javanese philosophy. Be prepared for new challenges with a genuine smile. A smile makes us stranger and keeps us from being frightened (ora jireh). In addition, a smile sets us more unwearied (sareh). It is also smiles that keep us submissive without recklessness (sumeleh).


To make the secret work, we must:

  • not deny the pandemic as a real occurrence as well as the serious impacts it entails;
  • build connectivity through collaboration to support each other during this catastrophic episode of life;
  • maintain both physical and mental health by regular exercise and stress management;
  • get vaccinated to build herd immunity that will protect us from the harmful disease;
  • relax our mind to give us a respite from taxing activities or intense anxiety.  

There are many ways to have a relaxed mind including listening to music, watching movies and travelling. Travelling might be ideal to refresh but currently not viable due to mobility restriction and will cost quite a lot of money other than staying at home.

 

Why online gaming?

And when it comes to longer stay at home, especially during the pandemic, playing games seems to be a perfect pick for us. Not only do video games enhance memory and boost concentration, they can also establish social connection and lead to financial benefit. Online games are getting more and more popular as pandemic hits humanity as we spend plenty of time at home than outdoors. People prefer playing online as there are a large variety of games and come with a more attractive visual presentation.


More to the point, online games can be played anywhere and anytime with flexibility of the number of players. Children and teenagers, in particular, will enjoy online games the most as they are digital natives. Parents may help them find the good source of games and expect their language skills to improve along the way.


If you have no idea what to play at home, plays.org is all you ever need to make online gaming fun and entertaining. It offers hundreds of games on the site and they are all free. A couple of games are added everyday and the best part of it is you do not need to download particular apps in order to play. This way you neither have to bother with losing phone memory nor deciding which app to remove in exchange of gaming apps.


One of the games worth trying is a math game called Guardians Defenders of Mathematica. It is an educational game that allows a player to work on addition, division, subtraction, and decimal fraction in an amusing way. Kids will certainly find this game enjoyable as they will likely focus on those attractive characters while unknowingly learning math.


Players can pick a character out of the available groups including knights, warriors, elves, rangers, witches, and wizards that will create strong ambience for kids with fitting sound and appealing narration. While it is a digital game, kids still have access to paper and pencil to do manual calculation in order to answer every question. Winning a math battle from evil wizards, trolls, giant spiders, hobgoblins, and dragons only by answering at least 7 out of 10 questions correctly will be a distinctive experience.



Trying to celebrate the past TV series including TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Tom & Jerry, Plays has another science game called Electrio based on the Beano character Rubi von Screwtop, who appears in Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed back in 2017. In this simple game players are to help a young girl repair her broken gadgets by linking broken circuits together. Our duty is to connect positive and negative nodes, representing circuits, in an alternating pattern to form a closed loop in order to function.


We simply click (when using a computer) or tap (on a smartphone) a negative node to connect it to a positive one until a completely closed loop is made. When a correct link is complete, we then go to the next level and be prepared to expect moving nodes as the level increases. It may seem effortless but it takes strategy and involves brain exercise to complete this mission.


If your kids are clueless how to connect the nodes, they can always click the Help button on the lower right corner of the game screen and a circuit arrangement will appear as a hint. Don't worry to lose points as there is no score deduction in this game. I am convinced kids and adults will equally enjoy this game in their leisure time as it comes vivid animation and easy operation.


Obah, mamah

With Plays, online gaming has never been this fun. Just open your browser on a cell phone or a laptop and enjoy a wide collection of games in various categories to choose from. We would care less about any possible lockdowns once we know where and what to play to stay energized.  


A Javanese catchphrase says, “Obah, mamah” that literally means “to move, to chew”. This highlights the powerful nature of human being that if we are willing to make a purposeful move we will be able to survive. Quoting Albert Einstein, the key to survival is that “you must keep moving" if “life is like riding a bicycle.” Accept what happened with submission and expect challenges with boldness to take action without forgetting to smile up and endure even the most harrowing phase of life.       

One of the most memorable moments I cherish during the pandemic and would like to repeat when things go normal is my participation in Kelas Inspirasi, a volunteering act in education that provides me with opportunities to visit elementary schools across the country. I have only joined four occasions in four cities including my hometown.


To be frank, visiting Madiun has been a hell of memory for me. There is when I discovered the magical phrase, "Ojo leren dadi wong apik."


The phrase may be short but it proves powerful. It is fueling life with energy      

Komber and Simin are best friends who enjoy each other's company for years. They have been friends since childhood and seem unseparated by any means. They would spend important moments together in most occasions. Not a day passes without them being unitedly that people say they resemble "tumbu oleh tutup". 

When two persons or objects seem unseparable, they are tumbu oleh tutup.  

Tumbu is a woven bamboo container that is designed in two pieces with one being the container and the other as the cover. When placed together, tumbu can hold objects normally found in the village. Traditionally vilalgers use tumbu to contain nasi berkat or rice package presented in an important feast. Tumbu is then used to carry fresh meat during Idul Adha as well as to keep herbs and spices for later use.

   

When two people or two objects are said to be like tumbu oleh tutup, the expression indicates that the two supplement each other. It is like when two lovers who have different characters but complete any flaws. It's not necessarily lovers, but any pairs that help sustain each other that other people see an impossibility of separation.

Are you and your best friend or couple like tumbu oleh tutup?

Ojo geme-geme is used to imply that someone needs to be cautious as well as preserve great care in handling something -- a job or a task. The sentence is likely to indicate a soft warning or prevention against potential danger or mishap.
Ojo geme-geme implies impending threat. 
One day you were teasing a friend of yours who happens to be a daughter of a very important person. You made fun of her not knowing that agonizing consequences are imminent as her dad typically avenges what one does to his daughter. He takes mockery very seriously even if you did it out of mere fun.
"Ojo geme-geme, koen!" One of your buddies strongly told you, reminding that you are likely to experience something bad due to your action to the girl. You may be entitled to punishment you've never anticipated. That's what ojo geme-geme is relevant.
The expression conveys a serious message that you can't underestimate what you have done. Beware of what you're doing as it may lead you to troubles. Next time you're about to commit something bad, be alert and please ojo geme-geme!

Becicik ketitik, ala ketara is a very famous idiom in Javanese and frequently used in many situations including the present time. The idiomatic expression never cease to be popular due to their significance and powerful message it conveys. To understand what it contains, let us read the following story -- a true one.

The village secretary in where my mom lives has long seemed incapable of doing his job. Not only is he irresponsible for what he's assigned to, all he has always cared about is making money outside his main task. Villagers have grown furious to find him leaving his office continuously that leads to important issues unattended.


Truth will find its way.


They are involuntarily driven to compare the village officer with my father who previously held the post. They say my dad was a more reliable person and may be a paragon of virtue in what he is doing. From my point of view, I need to tell that my dad was kinda extreme when carrying out his job. He seemed to have cared more about local villagers than his own family. He tended to spend more time with his people than with us at home.


However, villagers do not have the guts to confront the incapable secretary. They opt for keeping it a public secret and to some degree submit it to God for him to handle. And time speaks up. The despotic was finally doomed. He was met with inevitable adversary. 


One sunny day, a wedding feast was held in a villager's house. The village secretary attended the occasion as well. Out of the blue, a man approached him and scolded him for presumably having an affair with the man's wife. The village officer denied and rushed to attack the man complaining. 


To make story short, the village secretary was then questioned in the sub-district police station. He had to lose a lot of money during the process including his beloved automobile. Now that he has no more time to spend on making money in the port like usual. He is assigned to a new post in the sub-district center which is more strict and disciplined. He has no choice but to keep attending the new position whereas he may be unable to enjoy it.


In Javanese the idiom becik ketitik, ala ketara is an ideal portrayal of what has happened to the village officer. The idiom clearly means that what is true shall be true and the bad will appear the way it is. No matter how hard we're trying to conceal lies and deception, it's only a matter of time before everything is made ostensible. 


This way we need to be true to ourselves and remain just in what we do regardless of what role we are playing. Do you have a similar idiom of your native language?      

       

I WAS BUT shocked when a fellow member of NBC (Nasi Bungkus Community) told me one Friday morning, "Masbro, sampean ketiban sampur ya. Dadi ketua panitia kurban." This is how her sentence would sound in English, "Ya bro, you're ketiban sampur. You've been appointed to be the head committee of kurban."

Our short conversation reminds me of a long forgotten idiom in Javanese. Ketiban sampur is a Javanese idiomatic expression that denotes a condition when someone is assigned to carry particular responsibility which he does not desire or expect. 


The origin of ketiban sampur 

Ketiban sampur is derived from a dance party known as tayub. The phrase is composed of two main words: ketiban and sampur. Ketiban indicates an unexpected windfall whereas sampur refers to the shawl worn by female dancers in the tayub. The narrow and long shawl is normally placed over their shoulders or tied to their hips when dancing.
 
Accompanied by traditional instrument called gamelan, the dancers will be dancing through the party and randomly pick a male guest to join them. The selection is made by placing a colorful shawl around his neck. The one receiving the shawl is called ketiban sampur as he has no idea he'll be selected.

Whenever you are assigned to something you must handle or a duty to complete but you actually never expect it, then you are ketiban sampur. While you can typically deny it, completing the task will be of great value.        

MY WIFE AND I were a bit alarmed when Pak Rajin (not real name—literally means Mr. Diligent) hadn’t shown up for two weeks now. It is his habit to come over as other people in the neighborhood have relied on him too to clean up their garden. As for us, we sometimes asked him to buy flowers to replace the old ones. 

Buffaloes bathing in mud (Image: bobo.grid.id)

Now we’re wondering why the diligent man who speaks a little has seemed to disappear. We would like to assume he has returned home to his village since rice crop is progressing. It’s likely he is harvesting paddy in his own fields or his neighbors’.

When he finally showed up two weeks later, I immediately invited him to clean up our yard. Dried leaves and long lawn are everywhere.

“I haven’t seen you for a while now. Have you been home?” I asked.

He smiled and replied, “I was but jailed, sir.”

My wife and I were shocked. “Don’t be kidding! Why on earth were you jailed?”

He told us he was watching his neighbors gambling when policemen came to arrest him. He was alleged to join the bet in the game. Taken to the nearest police station, he was declared guilty and sent to prison for two months.

“How ill-fated had I been, sir! I was there but to watch,” said he groaning. I couldn’t buy his words completely. I’m convinced he’s got something to conceal. He might have been in the game as well due to the temptation to get money effortlessly.

“Don’t you ever read ojo cedak kebo gupak by the way?”

“What does that mean, sir?” While he’s younger than me, it’s clear he seemed to be unfamiliar with the Javanese expression.

“Never draw near a buffalo deep in mud unless you want to be filthy. When you spot a buffalo bathing in the mud, you’ll likely get yourself muddy as it moves its tail. That is how it goes when you are hanging around with indecent people. You may be tempted to join them and get addicted to what you’re committing.”

Be warned

The catchphrase ojo cedak kebo gupak should be a warning when we make friends without the tendency of discrimination in social life. We must be selective in taking whom to get along with. Enjoying the company of drinking people will probably drive us to taste one sip or more. As we encounter them more and more often, the influence becomes even stronger that drinking gets instilled into a habit. The situation will turn worse as those people add gambling into the habitual action. It is no wonder there’s a song titled "Mabuk dan Judi" (Drunk and Gamble).

The great Prophet once said, “A good friend and a bad one resemble a perfume seller and a blacksmith assistant. A perfume vendor may spray some perfume or you purchase from him or you simply smell the aroma. Whereas the blacksmith assistant will probably cause your cloth to be burnt or you’ll simply deduct unpleasant odor from him.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Parents should be aware of whom their kids normally spend time with. Teenagers are now enveloped by every possible temptation they can have. Their growing age creates a proclivity for finding who they really are. “You’re such a dweeb!” is a typical expression addressed to those unable to gel with. When one refused to join his friends burning up the road, he will be doomed to laugh and mockery. They don’t seem to care what they do obviously endangers the life of others and of their own.

A group of students engaged in a gang fight will likely force others into the same commotion. Those saying no will be dubbed disloyal, disbanded, and averse to standing for their friends. Instigation and mock flavored with a portion of intimidation may cause other teenagers to join the fight. On the basis of peer solidarity those who were cowardice and normally indisposed to any brawl finally decide to get involved. It is a nearsighted solidarity by the way, that tends to go negatively destructive.

Ojo cedak kebo gupak is a counsel proposed by elderly that remains valid until no time. If our kids get along with folks who are regular prayers, industrious students, and those with manners, they’ll probably turn out to be good.

(Original text by Abdul Cholik, translated by misterblangkon)