Jumat, 06 Desember 2013

Understanding of God: The road to justice and peace in the world

Understanding of God: The road to justice and peace in the world!
By Farsijana Adeney – Risakotta

I keep writing because only that I can I do now. But there are many questions that arise from our friends. They asked how I could interpret the accident which resulted in the suffering of
my own body to be comparable to the death of was happening to the people of Papua. There is a view I can do work associated with Papua without having to go through this pain now. Many are recognizing that writing is a way to heal myself because I need time to recover. Some people think I  build positive thoughts about what’s goint on with us  and hope that my husband will also be infected with this view. To their amazements, I have carried the suffering of the body  by putting it in perspective that is supported by  detailed explanations  so that it can strengthen the other fellows. There is a perceived need to pray  more to us because of this accident.  People think that the way I faced this tragedy is not much anyone can do. On top of all the comments, I am grateful there are a lot of friends who continue to pray for my healing. 

I have written about the actual date of the accident along with the dates when the Papuan students in Jayapura, protesting government plans to cooperate with the central government to replace the UU Otsos Papua (Special Autonomy Law of Papua) with the  Special Autonomy Law of Papua Plus. I wrote an article specifically related to the prophetic voice of the Rev. Benny Giay, who led the resistance movement against the government 's plan includes asking about  why the students were detained by police and some were put into jail  when they questioned the status of the preparation of new law.  Reflecting this case,  the nature of democracy that has changed the face of politics in Indonesia, is not  applicable in Papua. The Papuan continue to be depressed who cannot ask about injustice that is going through the system and and the absence of peace because people live in fear.  The students protest occurred on the same date when we had an accident . The date was 11/4/2013 ( the fourth of November 2013) .
My amazement grew stronger because of  spinal fractures are  the T - 11 and L - 4 . Once again , the same number appears , namely 11 and 4 . I 'm not using numberlogy to interpret what happened to me. However,  the numbers of 11 and 4 are important to me, because in the month of May 2013  I did a solo exhibition with the title of the blog and the visual arts exhibition of  Indonesianku Indonesiamu Indonesia untuk semua”  (my Indonesia, your Indonesia, Indonesia for all). The exhibition showcased  my artwork totaling 44 pieces . These work are divided into four sections each containing 11 works of arts . The first part is wire artwork entitled 11 national law satire. The second part is the 11 paintings that visualize the poems I posted on the blog for Indonesianku Indonesianmu Indonesia untuk semua”. The third part is the 11 pictures  that I took from my own collection as a photographer called peace photographs. 11 pictures are made by giving the meaning specified in the sentence to explain the nature of each of these photos. Eleventh peace photographs are part of the  peace movement as I am a member of the mepeace online organizations to support the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.   Sentences of photos are all written in English. The fourth part, the latter is the work of 11 posters containing narrative writings, and criticism comes with the photographs that reflect the topics of discussion  studied and published on the same blog.

I want to connect this article with my larger struggle that I have done since I was forced to change the subtance of my PhD research because I faced a frightening incident.  It all started when I was doing my  PhD research on the impact of globalization for rural communities in Galela, Halmahera, North MaluccasMy PhD research was a continuation of the questions contained in the footnotes of my thesis. I wrote a thesis to earn a master's degree in the field of development ethics related to  cultural values ​​ in Galela, North Maluku where people were not involved in the development program spearheaded by conglomerate, investors from Jakarta. People become victims because they lost their land. Resistance formed among the people who refused to sell the land of coconut plantations that causing the land was then surrounded by banana plantations owned by transnational company with the purpose of export to Japan. Bananas producted in Galela but the product sold under the name of Bali Inn. Galela as the name of market selling is not too well known  compared to Bali, the island of the gods, where tourists from all over the world know her exoticm. 

But Galela later became very famous not because of banana products , but was used as a proper name when mass violence involving Christian and Muslim communities committed attacking and killing each other.  Media in Java portrayed violence as a manipulative mass violence to attract the attention of Muslims in Indonesia because there were Muslim communities named Galela were slaughtered by the Christian community in the most remote areas in the eastern part of Indonesia . I know that the description given by the media was very manipulative because the reality was not like that (Adeney-Risakotta: 2005). But in a way this would be no movement  depiction of Muslims in Indonesia to support the humanitarian team led by Jihad to Maluku.  I insisted on not going back to my research area , in the predominantly Muslim vilage, which Ngidiho because my presence would be confusing for them, whether Christian, because I am a Christian but studied and lived with the Muslim community.

Then I heard  about oom Din, who is the head of the family from where I lived in Ngidiho convened by the Jihad because they accused me  as a spy before violence occured during my staying with the family.  Thankfully they were able to obtain my research permits which were stored   in local government office in Ternate when I took care of them after arriving from the Netherlands before going to Ngidiho, in Galela, North Halmahera island, North Maluku. Oom Din finally released.

The first time I went  to Ngidiho with my husband.  We were received very well by the village government and the Din family that I chose to stay for a year of research. Then we planed, my husband would be back again with me to celebrate Eid together with brothers and sisters in Ngidiho. In 1999  the celebration of Christmas and Eid occured adjacent to each other.  Eid was celebrated before Christmas. But this plan did not happen because we heard about the existence of mass violence between Christians and Muslims in North Halmahera Island. The plan initially, after the Eid and Christmas in Ngidiho, my husband would give a lecture on STT GMIH given in accordance with the invitation from them.

But before we had crossed over from North Sulawesi to Ternate, the news of the conflict had come to us. My husband still wanted to go there mainly to Tobelo along with the church to help stopping the violence there.  His attempts  several times to look for a ship were no vail. While waiting and trying on, my husband’s neck grew ulcers.   We went to check out the hospital in Manado where then recommended for further investigation as there was suspicion associated with infection or tumor. Finally we returned to Java, to Kediri because there are some American doctors at Baptis hospital, but they suggested us to Singapore because they do not have a sophisticated laboratory.  We finally got to Singapore.  They did a surgery to take the lump but until now not known what caused it.  I told my husband, I believe the lump grew to prevent  him from his desire to go to Halmahera in the wrong time.

So if now we were both back again confronted  with the accident that almost killed, then I know there is God’s plan for us. I especially still see the relationship between my work in Halmahera with  movements for justice and peace that I have done with my Indonesian fellows to establish justice and peace in Papua.  Both North Halmahera and Papua are the areas that are very lush and abundant with mining .  The riots ended with mass violence involving religious people began debate about territorial claims involving two communities, the natives, the Kao and the immigrant, the Makian.  Makian moved from island Makian closely to Ternate island after a volcanic eruption to Halmahera island, in the land of the Kao tribes.  Disaster of the conflict  that spread out to occupacy other districts around Halmahera which were divided into Muslim and Christian communities, caused thousand died. Exported target of banana plantation set in Galela, North Moluccas which became the pride of the Eastern Indonesian development to bring more than one billion dollars and various labour from all over Indonesia and the world finally collapsed as a result of mass violence in the region (Adeney-Risakotta, 2005). It took approximately four years more before the people of each village can be returned to its original position. The changes seen in the composition in the rural communities that previously lived together in one village, both Muslim and Christian, are now more likely each religious community to live apart from each another. While most of the indigenous people in North Halmahera both Muslims and Christians are blood relations.

Since then, after earning my PhD, I promise to always be working with the people at the grass roots, those who do not have power and easily marginalized. I gave ten years to work directly linked to peace efforts between Christians and Muslims in conflict zones. I facilitated the children in the surrounding  area to where they live in Yogyakarta.  They were the children of Muslims who then could help Christian children from conflict areas in Galela to be healed from their trauma. Christian children were orphaned whose parents died in the  conflict  in Galela. These children were taken to Yogyakarta by a foundation that cared to send the children to school.

When they arrived  in Yogya, they  always shocked and frightened to see veiled women because it reminded them of the incident in the village of Duma, in Galela, Halmehera where their  parents were killed by the Muslims. So these children every encounter with veiled women often fainted and fell self unconscious  anywhere. I heard about this story and decided to bring the children home to me.  I drove  them from the house where they lived together to take to my house. I played music and songs that I recorded while doing research in Galela. Folk songs accompanied by drums made them were very happy. They said: "Oh, it is our song from our village." We danced together. 

Dance teacher,  Tina and her husband, Wawan who has helped me for children activity at our Pendopo involved to work with this orphans. We made ​​a trauma healing programs for children. In addition to dancing, storytelling and children described their stories in the form of paintings. Then children tell the meaning of their paintings. Their paintings depicted about the war situation.  Wawan then guided them to reinforce each painting associated with coloring and composition. Sometimes they came to clean up our garden where I would discuss about how their land in their village  are procced to ready for planting and harvesting time. Then I cooked for them and we ate together. Other times, they came to watch a movie together , followed by a discussion. They became involved creating their own dances using the music of their village.

After these Christian children getting stronger, I brought them to meet Muslim children who had danced at our dancing program at different day.  Children always dance at our pendopo which  is a front open space for people to use. Children always love  dancing together.  But what most surprised me was these Muslim children  asked me whether they could bring a wall ornament inscribed with Arabic letters meaning Creed which relates to Sahada (There is no god but  Allah) . I allow  the Muslim children  to put on the wall the Arabic inscribed ornament.  Until now the east wall of the pavilion (pendopo) is still visible wall hangings with Arabic script. I explained to the Christian  children about the symbol which belongs to the Muslim and showed them about the Christian symbols that exist on the pendopo floor which contains of two lines meeting to form the line of the cross and in the middle there is a circle that shows a brilliant pearl as a precious gift from God to us . The sign of the cross signifies the people come from various majors and tied in a warm affection of God for all human beings, as  God's precious creation. Children accepted each other and they danced together, celebrated the life that has been refurbished to provide relief to children Christian. When there was the earthquake in Yogyakarta, in 2006, these children, Muslim and Christian came to visit the children whose homes were destroyed for comforting their families in the time of lost.  Now the children from Duma already graduated from schools in Yogyakarta and had returned to Galela, in Halmahera, North Moluccas, Indonesia.

With the youth from conflict areas such as Maluku and Poso, whom attended their school in Yogyakarta, I encouraged them to facilitate peace. Young people gathered at our house for the first time after many years not seeing  each other because of the trauma of the conflict in Maluku. I invited them to come to our house to begin their meetings. Then we did some discussion related to the topic of how to understand the origin of the similarity of the two communities, Muslim and Christian who are the original inhabitants. Once they accepted,  with previously traversed by past suspicions among each other, they could finally sit down with me to facilitate preparation for cultural Moluccas dialogue 

Our house every week was infested by young people who later formed the committee to plan the cultural Moluccas dialogue. While continuing to finalized  concept of  the program of the cultural Maluccas dialogue, we started the activity involving young people who gathered together to sing, dance, and storytelling together. They were asked to create a dance that shows the origin of the bloodhood of Muslims and Christians in Maluku. The dance was later given the name "tali pusar” (umbilical cord) of two communities, Muslims and Christians in Maluku". I created educational videos that contain stories of how young people could get together to start building peace between them, and then from there to reach community leaders, the indigenous communities in Maluku. For four months, the program was compiled together including creating and practing the dance. I wrote the narration of the dance and together with young Maluku, the dance was created to present at the official ritual of one nation at the Sultanate Palace in Yogyakarta.  

                         A ritual of one nation was performed at the Sultan Palace in Yogyakarta

The program was divided into four phases. Firstly, strengthening young people Moluccas , the Muslims and Christians was an important starting point to help them coming back together after their experiences of separation.  Secondly , these young people Moluccas were empowered to prepare a peace program which invited parents , traditional leaders , religious communities around Yogyakarta and later from Maluku to come to Yogyakarta to attend cultural Moluccas dialogue . Thirdly,  facilitating the youth desained the implementation of the cultural Moluccas dialogue in Yogyakarta involving Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, the governor of Yogyakarta and several national facilitators who functioned to run the program. Fourthly , encouraging the grass roots leaders and the government to continue the cultural Maluccas Dialogues  which would be followed by traditional practices  carried out between Muslim and Christian in Maluccas.

The program was expanded throughout the province of Maluku.  The program was very influential on peace efforts with the two religious communities to keep the relations of “baku bae” (reconciliation) as part of culture and customs of the Moluccas. Government involvement to reinforce basic cultural kinship between Muslims and Christians carried out during the celebration of the anniversary of the city of Ambon in August 2006 when all the people, both Christians and Muslims engaged in so-called “Panas Pela” (mutual visit among sibling ties). Pela is a designation to describe the bond between Muslims and Christians as sibling of the blood passed from generation to generation offspring even develop in a village. They also are associated with other family members raised a family without blood relationship through adoption so happens fraternity like siblings. Fraternity between related family since Pela through adoption evolved into fraternity between villages.  
 I am also involved in writing articles published in Kompas newspaper associated with  the argument that the alleged  the involvement of RMS (stand for Republic of South Maluku) as a  part of the fantasy that intentionally embedded in the Moluccas to be the reason for the military to occupy the Moluccas . This article had calmed the violence that occured suddenly in May of 2004 in the area surrounding Pohon Lemon in Batu Gantung and Tanah Lapang Kecil, in Ambon city.

Departing from my experience to supplement the capacity of the community so that they can keep peace among themselves and  attempts to write in the paper so that other ordinary people can understand how an individual or group that led to  engage in acts of mass violence.  I try to see the same phenomenon in cases of violence in other areas throughout Indonesia. It is true, the incidence of violence in one place cannot be used to justify  the ethnographically size about violence elsewhere.

But I want to build an argument that ordinary people need to understand about how easily they are considered a staple of social conflict, including conflict of religious background. I would like to see further the relationship between the social conflicts that occurred in various places with the community's efforts to halt the expansion of social conflict. At the same time, I want to know how social conflict is built upon the interests of those in power associated with economic interests and exploration of natural resources.

All my thoughts I shared in my blogs especially in “Indonesianku Indonesiamu Indonesia untuk semua,  so that the little people are not manipulated again for the benefit of those in power . Religion can easily become the cause of conflict as I discovered on the use of flyers anonymous letter linking Christianity with efforts to seize hidden areas in eastern part of Indonesia . I want to prevent the reccurrence of conflict at the expense of ordinary citizens from areas rich in natural resources . That's enough of thousands of people died in Papua , Maluku , Poso in Sulawesi, in Borneo , in Sumatra , everywhere where are  rich in natural resources. 

In this line of thinking, I seem to feel that the omniscient God’s  work in me is not finished  yet.  I am reminded of Psalm 139 that seems to explain about my life. It says:
...“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; If I make my bed in the depths, you are there, If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say.., “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even  the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully  and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ..   .How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand, When I awake, I am still with you”... (verses 7-17)

I once asked my mother, why I was given the name like grandma.  My full name is Farsijana Rohny Cootje. My mother said she was so ill after giving birth so she did not know about how my name was. The names of all her children were given by my father.  Before my father died , I asked again about the meaning of my name . When I was a teenager I asked the meaning of my name , but he would not tell . When I was at high school,  I wanted to know my name, not the name that sounded bad when it was called everytime my mother was upset with me, she shouted Everyday I was called “Nona” .  Only in Yogyakarta, at school I was called Farsijana . I so did not like that name, Farsijana. But at schools in Yogyakarta each student must use the name of he/her birth certificate. So I had no other option to not want to know about my name before I began to allow people to call my name, Farsijana.  

When I want to understand, my father said I have to live with it. Huh , why my father played  with me . So I had to wait since the first grade of my high school in Yogyakarta until my graduation at STT Jakarta.  One day, a week before my father passed away,  I suddenly remembered my name , in the late afternoon , I asked him. . He asked for a paper and wrote down the meaning because he could not speak because of a stroke. He wrote about the meaning of my name,   Farsijana.  Earlier  he said  I 've lived in my name.  Farsijana derived  from Fa because I was born in February, and sijana which is a Sankrit that means seeking  knowledge. Fa and sijana is tied up with “r” which derives  from my middle name, Rohny,  written in Arabic that means holy spirit (ruah in Hebrew, roh in Arabic). My third name is Cootje, is the name of my grandmother who gave  birth to my mother on Serui island, in Papua. So the whole meaning of my name, Farsijana Rohny Cootje is a girl born in February filled with the Spirit of God, seeking knowledge, sharing it, taking care of my families and communities. Because Cootje is my grandmother, a nurse who was with my grandfather worked in the hospital in Serui, Papua. 

The stronger within myself, about God 's mission for me to write about what I'm working for religious peace in Indonesia , also for justice in Papua. This mission is not my mission, but it is the will of God. . I fell asleep and woke up two times to find my elbow dislocated and my spinal fractures of T -  11 and L – 4.  I know I do not understand much about what God's plan for me, but I heard with my deep conscience about how God turned me to follow God’s way which is not the will of my own.  God does not allow me to do anything except write!

I am not a robot, to go along with what God wants, but I was given the name.  I have the spirit and wisdom of God to interpret the signs that came to me and actually follow me because the darkness is not dark to God is surrounded day and night by light shining directly from God . I'm grateful now I already know what God put in my understanding,  to start acting in faith because God is guiding my own. God wants justice for the truth happens to remind those in power does justice to God and repent in using ordinary people as if they were the cause of social and religious conflicts in the world today.



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