Problems with Urban “Mudik” in 1998
Indonesians continue to move from villages to cities from year to year. Urbanization is increasingly prevalent when the cities grow rapidly. They have various destinations move to the cities, from studies to finding a decent life for relatives.
When the Eid holiday has arrived, no doubt returning to the hometown becomes a mandatory rite in the fasting month. Millions of people move to their respective places, from riding motorbikes, cars, trains, to planes.
This was not experienced by Kamil and his family in the short story before Lebaran which was written by Umar Kayam.
At first, Kamil’s strange gesture was captured by his wife, Sri, when Kamil arrived at his house. That was not realized by their two young children. Even though, the maid, who had worked for them for ten years, also didn’t get a bad signal from Kamil.
When the children had moved away from both of them, Kamil began to say that he was one of the employees who was laid off because his company had collapsed due to the chaotic economy.
Literature, de Bonald said, is a picture of the real society. The short story presents the events of the monetary crisis in Indonesia that occurred in 1998, which made the price of goods soared and strangled the people, trust in the government began to disappear, so that the peak on May 21, 1998, President Soeharto resigned from his post.
Kamil and Sri were forced to cancel their plans to go back to their hometown in Java, although initially they believed they could still get there. However, the unprecedented price increase made Sri, who had previously calculated the remaining money, undoed the original plan and changed it.
They canceled going home to Java. However, the news was not immediately conveyed to their two children who still had hope to be able to meet with their grandparents. When the two asked his mother, Sri answered with God willing. They also asked for certainty about the question. Sri did not agree with them.
“Hehehe. Yes, God willing, Mas and Ade. If allowed by God, of course we will leave. “
“If not allowed by God?”
“God, surely God must have good and good reasons not to let us go.”
In fact, he suggested to Kamil that Nah, their maid, also end up like her husband, being laid off, due to no more money to pay her.
“Nah, don’t get me wrong, OK. We are forced to dismiss you because we cannot afford to pay you one hundred and fifty thousand rupiah every month. My husband has become unemployed, we ourselves have to work extra to earn money … “
However, Kamil canceled the dismissal with the condition that Nah would temporarily not be paid because it of no money left. Such an attitude is because Kamil sees her figure as a good person who is credited with remembrance of her years of dedication.
He promised to give more salary after getting a decent job and salary later. Sri and Nah agreed.
The determination and optimism of a wife named Sri greatly helped Kamil as a husband in taking policies in his household. They build mutual trust and take solutions that calm various parties.
After being dismissed, of course they don’t stay silent. After Eid, the husband planned to immediately look for work again to rebuild the family’s economy that had fallen.
Reading the short story illustrates the severity of life in that year. But of course that is nothing compared to the suffering of our other brothers who might not be exposed.
Therefore, we certainly must always be grateful for the gifts we enjoy until this moment.
Thank God, we can do this by sharing with our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate. Because, the essence of fasting is to increase our empathy how much suffering does not eat and drink all day. It is felt every day by some of the people around us.
In addition, while we still have relatives, try as much as possible to maintain friendship. It’s not enough just through social media, physical meetings will give different impressions and nuances.
The Prophet Muhammad strongly advocated this. Of course it is different if the situation has not been able to impose that desire as experienced by Kamil and his family.
Thank you, we can still go home, meet relatives.
Congratulations on widening with loved ones
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