Showing posts with label local wisdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label local wisdom. Show all posts

One of the most memorable moments I cherish during the pandemic and would like to repeat when things go normal again is my participation in Kelas Inspirasi, a volunteering activity in education that provides me with ample opportunity to visit elementary schools across the country. I have only joined on four occasions in four cities including my hometown in 2019.

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

Ojo leren dadi wong apik

The clause may be short but it proves powerful. It is fueling life with an energy that transcends belief and intelligence. The Javanese phrase literally translates, "Never cease being good!" and that is what makes us human. 

People today may be driven by greed and superficiality and more people are perhaps taken into joining the group. However, it is our job to remain who we are, to show everyone we enjoy doing good, and take pride in preserving any acts of random kindness. 

It doesn't imply we desire no money or wealth, but the clause emphasizes that doing good is neither a hobby nor a mere manifestation of God's command but a part of lifestyle because we have it in our DNA so that we escape life if we don't embrace it.                 

Climate change has been a hot issue that draws ongoing debate and frustration. I remember reading news that Bojonegoro, a regency bordering Lamongan, once experienced a 40-degree Celsius back in 2018 higher than the normal figure of 26-35 degrees Celsius. 

The head of the local Environmental Agency pointed out that an increase in the temperature has been inevitable one of which is due to the activities in the oil and gas industry. While trees decrease in number, exhaust emission from vehicles has contributed to the temperature hike. Diminishing water supply in relevant rivers has also been a key factor.

Water shortage during dry season and hot weather due to climate change

This reminds me of “pluruan” a garbage dump usually located behind the house of every villager. The mini dump belongs to local wisdom that needs revival. In most cases, two or three houses share the same dump where the households throw garbage away. The pluruan is said to accommodate massive garbage all over the village hence helping the temperature to decline. As people grow in number, the number of pluruan gets fewer and is even no longer found.

Another local wisdom in our village that helps save the planet is the practice of urup. It is giving away trash in exchange for valuable stuff. Inorganic trash including bottles, cardboard boxes, paper, and particular metals are usually weighed to measure the stuff in return we can get. The objects include spices like onion and garlic whose price may increase considerably without anticipation. 

“Thank God this handful of onion is so valuable when its price is hiking in the market,” said mom one day after trading trash with spices. 

I personally think that both pluruan and urup are local practices that are worth keeping. The form may not be precisely the same, but the spirit must be implemented to maintain the purpose of saving Planet Earth. Pluruan allows trash to be concentrated in mini dumps that prevent villagers from littering in the river like those found in Bojonegoro. With urup, local residents help with the rate of new garbage production as old trash goes recycled. More importantly, they collect instant advantage from the trade to support their family.