This website is the archive for our old blog

Please visit our main page for the latest update

Lilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Baby Shower

On 15th of January we had our seventh month baby shower. It’s a traditional Javanese ceremony to pray for the well being of the mother and the baby, because, practically, after 7th month, the baby could be born anytime.

Ibu Tuti arrived the day before with heavy suitcases containing all the necessities for the ceremony, from spices to food, because she wanted to minimize the hassle of cooking traditional food in Singapore. She also brought a carved coconut that represents the womb.

She even brought a big bamboo cone to be used to shape up the rice into a Tumpeng (Rice Cone). On Saturday morning, we and the mothers went to Tanglin Halt market to have breakfast (prata and ham chim beng) and buy fresh vegetable for the ceremony. In the early afternoon we started to heat all the traditional food that Ibu Tuti brought as well as cooking the fresh veggies we bought in the morning. Meanwhile, Yodhi and Dimas were downstairs trying to flame the charcoal to roast the spicy chicken. It was one helluva work to set up fire into an old charcoal and to fan it continuously to keep the flame burning.

At 3pm the guests – our Indonesian friends and relatives and their children too – started to arrive. While Indi was preparing the holy water with three types of flower, I was getting dressed in my shower garb. After all the guests were in, we started with recitation of prayers led by Tante Nunik. Terra (Wicak’s daughter) was busy playing hide-and-seek under the table when we’re praying.

After the prayer, we continued outside the house for the most exciting part of the ceremony: The Shower! Ibu Wies started to pour the holy water all over my body and continued with Ibu Tuti, Ibu Cipluk, Mbak Ami (Judhi’s Wife), Mbak Lina (Andre’s Wife), Mbak Ratna, and lastly, Indi, who was obviously having fun while pouring the water. Lucky the water was warmed.

Right after the shower, we rolled the coconut from the top of the shower garb and let it out from the bottom of the belly, symbolizing a hope for smooth delivery process. Amen to that!

The ceremony continued by having me changing garments seven times, while the guests will scream that they were all ugly-looking garments. Finally, in the eighth times, the guest will scream out that it was the most beautiful fabric I wore. I am not sure what this part of ceremony is all about.

Indi continued with cutting the coconut and analyzing how the water came out of the nut. If the coconut water sprouts out like a fountain, then the baby is going to be a boy. If the water just spills or dribbles down without sprouting, then the baby is going to be a girl. In our case, the water sprouted out each time Indi slammed the knife against the coconut. Both of us then drank the sweet coconut water.

The ceremony was closed with us cutting the rice cone. The guests continued to have proper lunch, all were traditional Indonesian cuisine imported direct from Jakarta!

Read the full article...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Faith and God and Tsunami

I've been receiving many emails from usenet contemplating on the divine intention of Tsunami disaster.

One of the email I receive is about how Mosques are spared from tsunami in Aceh, and this shows miracle that God is saving Mosques and muslims. The email is quoted below:
--- In smandel96 pandu station wrote:
> Terserah bagaimana anda mengartikannya, yang jelas adalah...........
> ALLAHU AKBAR !!!!!!!!!!!
> foto2 ini dr - AllahuAkbar!!
> Minggu, 02/01/2005 16:58 WIB
> Berita Foto
> Masjid-masjid Penuh Mukjizat
> Tsunami menggulung Aceh. Namun, di setiap musibah ada
> Suatu keajaiban mukjizat dan Karomah Allah. Salah satunya,
> bangunan-bangunan masjid, yang masih tetap berdiri
> meski sekitarnya porak-poranda.

However, quoting other source, this reporting is not entirely true. As Mosques are also human-built structures, many of the mosques in Aceh are wiped out by the tsunami (and also churches, temples, and houses!). Some mosques stayed put, simply because their structure is stronger (Similarly with other buildings with stronger structure). Quoted below:
> Harian Komentar
> 05 January 2005
> 18 Gereja, 2.707 Masjid Rusak Berat
> Sedikitnya sebanyak 2.745 rumah ibadah dan 1.151 seko-lah di Propinsi
> Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam rusak berat akibat gempa dan tsunami yang terjadi
> Minggu (26/12), lalu. Berda-sarkan data Depdagri yang diperoleh dari Posko
> Ditjen Bina Pembangunan Depdagri per 3 Januari 2005, dari 2.745 ru-mah
> ibadah tersebut, 2.707 di antaranya adalah masjid atau mushola, 18 gereja
> dan 20 wi-hara/pura.
> Sementara dari lebih seribu sekolah yang rusak, sebanyak 914 di antaranya
> sekolah da-sar, 155 sekolah menengah pertama, 67 SMA dan 15 SMK.
> Sedangkan untuk infrastruk-tur kesehatan kerusakan meliputi 8 rumah sakit
> dan 232 puskesmas. Kerusakan parah juga terjadi pada infra-struktur jalan
> yang meliputi jalan nasional sepanjang 423 kilometer, 2.191 kilometer ja-lan
> propinsi, dan 3.270 kilome-ter jalan kabupaten dan kota.
> Adapun jembatan yang me-ngalami kerusakan mencapai 495 buah dengan total
> panjang 18.761, dan lima pelabuhan tercatat mengalami kerusakan parah.
> Kerusakan terparah untuk seluruh infrastruktur ini terjadi di Kabupaten Aceh
> Besar, Ka-bupaten Aceh Barat, Kabu-paten Aceh Utara, Pidie dan Kota Banda
> Aceh.
> Sementara itu, kantor-kantor pemerintahan yang rusak tercatat satu kantor
> propinsi, 6 kabupaten/kota, 56 kantor kecamatan dan 1.550 kantor kelurahan
> atau desa.(dtc/*)

Hence, nothing so miraculous about the aerial photos showing mosques in Aceh staying intact.

Hmm, there is no God miracle in this aspect. Then, how?

And let me contemplate further in relation to this issue.

Is your faith shattered if there is no miracle in Aceh?

Let me jump to the second issue. Rumor has been spread out that aid distribution to Aceh is ridden by hidden missionary motives. There are debates on the internet on possibility to reject international aid to block missionary infiltration to the predominantly muslim Aceh.

Then, let me ask another simple question.

Is your faith so weak that you need to be afraid to people of other religion?

If your faith is strong enough, you will not have fear of the people of other religions, hence there is no need to accuse people of hidden motives, and no need to worry yourself on missionary tactics.

If your faith is so strong, why you don't follow what your religion taught you "Let us compete with each other in doing good deeds, and not in making destruction of the world" (I presume "destruction" should include spreading of negative notions about people outside islamic faith)

Now let's wrap up this discussion with my personal contemplation.

I think true faith is what ties your heart directly to God.

With true faith, you do not reassurance from outside yourself to strengthen it. You do not need other people telling you about miracles, because miracle is what you experience personally from your heart. You do not need to be afraid of other religions, because your strong faith is enough to guard yourself. You do not need to be affected by externalities.

That's what I think what true faith entails.

Read the full article...