Tita Larasati on Picturing Her Adopted Hometown through Cultural Perspective

Tita Larasati is a name of author who represents her idea through comics. Her works are always questioning about cultural perspective and it makes us seeing deeply about some cross-cultural thing. One of her remarkable works is Curhat Tita: Back in Bandung. This book tells about her arrived in Bandung after doing her post doctoral in Delft. After 8 years she spent her times in Netherlands, she starts her day with her family in Bandung, Indonesia. And, what could be really nice is her family adaptation with her adopted hometown.

 

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Angkot is one of public transportation in Bandung. Her children discovered the enjoyment of Angkot.ion

 

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Rice is staple food in Indonesia. 
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Indonesians name people who have white skin with bule. As Tita mentioned in her book, its word has no negative meaning, it just named a difference.

While doing her family adaptation, Tita also mentioned her wishes to her adopted hometown.

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She wishes it is easier for us, bike users, to go around town and to visit venues.

To have a wider access to quality books (availability and price) and for a decent comics shop.

She wishes Bandung has a much better system to take care of its garbage.

She wishes for a cheap and fast internet connection.

And so on.

A Book for Child Who Learns to Sleep Alone from Marjane Satrapi

Living as “an Iranian in the West, and a westerner in Iran”, we always remember the figure of her – Marjane Satrapi – who had written her autobiographic novel, Persepolis. Her childhood gives us a fully background that tells mostly about social and political transformation in Iran. Moreover, that autobiography also tells about her youth that strongly rooted on her political ideas. Despite of her kind of identity, she also wrote a children book which titled as Les Montres N’Ainment Pas La Lune. As translated to Bahasa, this book title is Monster Takut Bulan. This book is impressed us because of her imagination is easy to be learnt by kids. It is also easy to be spelled and read by children who learn to read.

In this book, Satrapi did not only write the story, but also gave her ability to draw the illustration of her children book.  The story is quite interesting, also reminding us our childhood moment when we start to learn sleeping alone in our bedrooms. The memories of childhood moment are different from everybody, but there is also a way to cope with any fear when sleeping alone; this way to cope is also happened in our main figure – Marie.

The end of story is quite fascinating, because it offers a twist between an only fiction story and a reality. The end is also reminding us to any myth that explains a cause why an event happened.

“Jadi, kalau melihat gadis kecil tidur ditemani kucing di kaki ranjangnya, sekarang kau tahu sebabnya.” (Satrapi on Monster Takut Bulan, Bahasa version).

The Underlying Theory behind A Detective Story

One of geniuses in interpreting the conceptual framework of mathematics is Hyang Suk Choi through Find The Jewel Crown. As translated toBahasa, this book title is Mahkota Permata yang Hilang. This book tells about the pattern recognition through a detective story.

The illustration of the book had been created by Su-Yeon Choi. Its illustration is such a surrealism creation; this kind of illustration can be an alternative reference for kids in drawing. This illustration also acknowledge kids to another styles of painting earlier and easier.

And at the end of the book, the brief framework of Chaos Theory is explained. As the underlying theory behind this storybook, kids can experience and acknowledge Chaos Theory in their early development. Not to mention a complex concept of that theory, but to learn this theory briefly.

This is one of clues that have to be solved by the detective (Bahasa version):

Mari membuat rumah siput

Rumah yang nyaman dan cantik

Lebih besar dan lebih besar,

Warnanya pilih yang mencolok

Mari membuat rumah siput

Rumah yang nyaman dan cantik.

–Bintang Hitam–

Methal Pertiwi: Documenting Indonesians’ Daily Life Circumstances

 

Long ago, Indonesians had many creative comic creators. You can mention R.A. Kosasih who previously wrote Ramayana or Mahabharata comic books, or any traditional folklore in Indonesians’ sphere. He was well-known as a father of Indonesian comic and his books sounded as Indonesian comic representative. One of comic books he wrote was Sri Asih. This figure tells mostly about local woman superhero which has ability to fight enemies and rescue its people. But, this was just a long ago and right now, we mostly face comics from outside of Indonesia.

To hydrate our thirsty on Indonesian comics, there is an Indonesian young man who tries to create a figure and he puts this figure into a comic called Methal Pertiwi. Sofyan Syarief as one of creators of its figure; calls the figure as JagoRockk. The figure has a strong body, a messy hair, and a skull face. A mission of him is simple; the purpose of his each journey is to find his soul mate. But, the mission is not easy to be completed, because the journey is more complicated than he expected.

In his new comic – Methal Pertiwi: Wisata Kanuragan – Sofyan Syarief tried to make a plot for its figure. The plot is quite interesting for readers to enter the writer’s mind. But, the most interesting part of its comic is not a plot, but the small details of the story. It stories Indonesians’ humors and documents Indonesians’ daily life as well.

In this comic, you can find well-known Indonesian traditional food like rendang paru which is mentioned here, or sometimes you can find Indonesians’ daily language which is adopted in this book, like “terus gue musti bilang “aung” gitu?”And, the comic also tells the influence of Korean culture in Indonesia indirectly. Yes, all Indonesians’ day to day life has been documented well here. And, sometimes the setting place – Ratnakalinda –  reminded readers to a metropolitan city, a tourist city, and a traditional city in Indonesia. Maybe, the creator mixed those cities as a setting place harmoniously. For readers, this book is a small place for every Indonesian or people who want to learn about Indonesians, because the comic represents every detail of Indonesian people. And, Indonesian readers shall laugh out loud every time reading daily humors written in this comic.

We need something deeper to analyze this book, maybe we have to do an ethnographic study or a discourse analysis for understanding deeper this comic, because its comic is not only telling a story, but it offers Indonesians’ daily life into a comic. And, yes, we can call this comic as one of Indonesian comic representatives nowadays, because it honestly tells Indonesians’ life circumstance.

The story and every small detail in this book shall be a document of Indonesians in the future. And, to know the figure briefly, this is an introduction of its figure in the beginning of the story:

Ladies and Macho Men,
There was a time, longer than you think but sooner than you know, a time of swords, sorcery and myths.
An age when this world was ruled by the Primordial deities in their empyrean throne of the everlasting sky.
An age when the great empires of four slumbering antediluvian colossal emerged as the jewels of the earth.
An age when the seven renegade dragons lurked in the four corners of the universe.
An age when the offspring of Set gaze upon the distant stars on heaven for the very first time.
An age when a mysterious, leather clad, skull faced young warrior with a long-black-curly mullet roamed the world under the celestial kingdom.
The steel muscle from the south east region.
The one who overpowered the fiend that plagued Asmara river.
The conqueror of the great moss serpent.
The one that subdued the malignant scourge of Dalem forest.
The one with the “single” status of his accounts.
The one that was known as Jago Rockk.
After twenty summers, twenty rain seasons, and Five leap years. He ventured beyond the mundane plain of his homeland far, far away…
Now,
Sit back, grab some nibbles and let me take you to the realm of so-so adventure…
-\m/

The Great Bait Al Hikmah: Absorbing The Science from Various Cultures

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Taken from “The Great Bait Al-Hikmah: Kontribusi Islam dalam Peradaban Barat”, an Indonesian version of “House of Wisdom: How The Arabs transforms Western Civilization”, written by Jonathan Lyons

This book describe about the era of Abbasiyah and Umayyah Caliphate, especially describe about the muslim scholars who invented and discovered various disciplines, long time before the rennaissance era in the Western happened.

Inspired by Greek & Hindu tradition and religious belief, the muslim scholars developed and revised the old perspectives into more practical and understandable, such as the invention of zero number, hospital, and Astrolabe application which these inventions influenced the work of Western scholars in the medieval era.

 

Throughout this book, it can be concluded that science has no single history. While people acknowledge that the beginning of science invention is in the rennaissance era, the history shows that the science movement starts earlier.

The book also shows how one culture absorbs the science from another culture, and the absorption becomes new cultures for its civilization.

So, pointing those arguments above, why do we not try to learn something from other cultures?

Retelling Rapunzel

Rapunzel has been retold by many writers and this figure’s also characterized in Disney film, like Shrek and Tangled. Everyone better knows Rapunzel from Tangled movie. This character was told as a child of The King and The Queen, being kidnap and imprisoned by a witch in a tower. She was very curious with life outside her tower.

One of retelling stories of Rapunzel which written by Vera Southgate in 1968 captured another side of this story. Rapunzel was not a child of The King and The Queen, but she was a child of an ordinary parent. She was imprisoned by a witch, because her father always took green salads silently from the witch’s garden for Rapunzel’s mother. Because the witch was getting angry, she asked Rapunzel’s father to give his child if his wife gave birth a baby. Moreover, in this version, Rapunzel was not falling in love with a burglar, but she fell in love with a prince (like any other story). But, circumstances that surrounded her and her prince were not easy. The witch created a scenario to make this couple breaks. The witch told the prince that Rapunzel was died. Consequently, the prince was sad and became blind because of his loss.

Years after, this couple met each other. The prince heard a singing voice that he guessed as Rapunzel. On the other hand, Rapunzel acknowledged a man who was blind and poor as the prince. Tears which were down from Rapunzel’s eyes healed the prince’s blindness. Then, like any other fairy tale, they were getting married and happily ever after.

The story that was written by Vera Southgate offers different perspectives of Rapunzel which can acknowledge next generations how to tell essential stories in many ways. Moreover, like a history of Rapunzel that written in the book, “the story of Rapunzel has evolved over the years, but the theme of a young woman imprisoned in a tower by a witch has always remained.” So, what story of Rapunzel do you will write in your own perspective?

The Importance to Make A Book List

In this episode, I do not want to review any book. I just want to share my habit about buying books. I wish this can help readers to have a good habit while buying books, especially to distinct your wants and your needs on books, and at the same time, this will save your money and sustain your cash flow. 🙂


I know that all book worms really love to buy books. But, when I went to their Goodreads accounts, I found that they did not enjoy what they had read; this was shown by ratings that they had given. Did they really enjoy and love what they had read? I think, no.

Books, Stack, Book Store, Stack Of Books, 2Nd Hand

So, right now, when I want to be a financial freedom woman, I have to figure out how to spend my money on books. Then, I found that making a book list is important, because I can release my energy to buy books, and moreover, I can love the books that I have bought, too.

I know that books are a good investment, but when you choose bad books, you also ruin your investment. Then, when I want to buy a book, I prefer to know the book that I really want to read, or if I do not know what kind of book that I want to read, I prefer to go to Goodreads, and browse high rated books that are similar with my interest.

Voila! I never feel regret after I buy some books, because the enjoyment that I feel after reading those books is very satisfying, and also save my money a lot.

So, have you made a book list for future buying?

KODE-KODE NUSANTARA: HOW EAST TRADITION BREAKS ‘THE HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION’

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As a reader of Prof. Yohanes Surya’s works, I tried to analyze his social networks who focus their works on encouraging Indonesian cultures. I found one of leading researchers in complexity studies as his social network. He was Hokky Situngkir who wrote a book entitled Kode-kode Nusantara; a book which uncovers the codes that lied on Indonesian cultures or heritage.

In this book, he compared the principles of thinking between West and East traditions. When englightment spread in The West and announced the principle of mechanism into natural science, arts, and social science; that time was like a sign of West progression and called as The Rennaissance. This sign showed by geometrics which internalized on arts (ex. School of Athens and The Last Supper paintings); and it also clearly showed that The Rennaisance movement tried to set the world as mechanistic machines.

At that time, East tradition was called as outliers, because its civilization did not show the principle of mechanism. But, different from that point of view, Hokky Situngkir found that East tradition showed ‘different geometrics’ from West tradition had shown. And he called that ‘geometrics’ as fractal and mentioned the works of Waclam Sierpinski in doing his project.

Smaradhana

 

 

Pattern recognition of Smaradhana

He showed this fractal on Smaradhana painting which acknowledged the ‘unusual’ pattern of recognition which was not a form of conventional geometrics.

Why does he propose this fractal point of view? Because the world and the universe are not like a mechanistic machine; it has uncertainty patterns which are uneasy to be acknowledged. Even though, people found a regular pattern of the world, it is just a way to simplify the complexity, not the real reality itself.

So, when West tradition found the mechanistic principle of the world in order to simplify the reality, the East tradition found that the world was very complex. Then, fractal had been being a part of East people’s civilization, as Hokky Situngkir analyzed.

Language and Diversity: How Aldo Zelnick learns

Aldo Zelnick claimed that he wrote and drew comic novels which were told about his daily event. Apart from the reality, his claim was not true, because he was just a main figure in those books. Yes, he was a main figure which created by Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer.

Aldo Zelnick was a 5th grader in his school. As psychologists said, a 5th grader was a transition from childhood into adolescence stage. So, the story was very nice in telling the developmental stage of Aldo. On the other hand, the writer and the illustrator offered an interesting way to tell Aldo’s story. They gave the titles their comic books alphabetically. Here are the titles of their books:
1. Artsy Fartsy
2. Bogus
3. Cahoots
4. Dumbstruck
5. Egghead
6. Finicky
7. Glitch
8. etc.

Not only gave the title of their books alphabetically, these duo creators also made a dictionary to explain the meaning of many awesome words. Readers can find “E” gallery in the end of Egghead episode where so many awesome words that began from E letter.

Enigmatic (page 137): Mysterious; seems unexplainable.
Epaulets (page 25): Those fancy shoulder pads that army generals and Captain Crunch wear.
Epic (page 53): Important in the whole history of the world.
Epicurean (page 17): Having to do with fancy good.

The most interesting thing does not stop here. The duo creators also acknowledge readers about diversity. In Dumbstruck episode, Aldo should meet a new friend which was a deaf people. In the first, he was annoyed by his new friend and often, he and Danny (a deaf friend) were miscommunication, because Danny always used sign language and Aldo did not understand what he said.

In another episode, Egghead, Aldo also had to learn Spanish which he hated so much and resisted to learn this language with his Spanish friend, consequently, his Spanish friend disappointed with Aldo’s behavior.

“When people can’t communicate with me, it’s frustrating. For both of us,” he said. “But when people don’t even try to speak my language… it’s like they’ve decided my language isn’t good enough. That I’m not good enough.” – Danny, page 121, Egghead. 

Under those circumstances, Aldo did not stop to learn new things. He always had chances to learn and to accept diversity from his new friends. He almost successfully learned various new languages and befriended with his differ friends who make Aldo more understand about diversity.  And, that precious which makes Aldo Zelnick comic novel different from other children/teenager books; there is a chance to acknowledge children/teenager about diversity and how to accept those diversities in life.

To acknowledge us in other different languages, the duo creators also introduced another language which could be found in every episode, such as sign language and Spanish.

Abuelo: Grandfather
Mapache: Racoon
Tengo hambre: I’m hungry.

Below are the words that represent Aldo Zelnick comic novel:

Every cloud has a silver lining: This is saying that means everything that’s bad has a little good in it too. (Egghead, page 129)

Animalism, An Analogy of Human’s Greed by George Orwell

Animal Farm is one of dystopian books that written by George Orwell. This book tells about betrayal in animalism which is an analogy for humanism.  After my experiment with this book, I am pretty sure that I really want to read other George Orwell’s books, and also put Noam Chomsky’s books in my wish list (Ehm, by the way, Noam Chomsky had been influenced by George Orwell’s works).

The story tells about Napoleon and Snowball who are successors of their elder, Mayor, who has a dream about animal equality, animal sovereignty, and animal independence. This dream has a purpose to improve animal’s welfare through controlling and managing their resources for themselves, not for human’s greed. So, for achieving that dream, they do systematic action for reducing human control in their farm.

Unfortunately, this long mission is not on the right track afterwards, especially, when one of successors follows his greed and has a plan to control all over the farm for his limited community only, not for all animals. And the story which show human’s greed is explained precisely here.

Yes. Animal Farm is a successful analogy for telling human greed over power and control. The story has a deep meaning on telling how many people that have to do hard work for fulfilling limited and exclusive community who control them. It is all about exploitation towards someone’s loyalty and vulnerability.

After I read this book, I remember the story of human exploitation in coffee plantation that I had written on this link. It is so awful when many people have been exploited for fulfilling other human’s greed, and moreover, they have no power or control for confronting this unjust system, so they have no chance to change their destiny if they are still in this condition.

Do you think that this unjust system still exists?

Let me now!