Last post was about blog in 2013, so now I’d like to share some of my memories from 2013. All related to culture. They’ll be often connected to Indonesia, as I spent most of 2013 in Indonesia. I’m gonna group them into several categories: events, films, music, books, websites.
If you’re not scared of a lengthy post with photos and videos, continue reading.
Goodreads Solo (March)
That was something I will remember for a long time. Tho I was attending offline meetings earlier (with my fellow MMORPG friends), this one was special. I hadn’t know the people before coming to the meeting. I had doubts should I go at all, but I’m glad I went. It might looked like I had no fun (I was mostly silent, I think) but it wasn’t truth. In contrast with the stereotypes like “Europeans are easy-going, open etc.” I’m the kind of shy European who takes time to get friendly with people. It was nice to meet other booklovers in the country when reading is not a common hobby. It was nice to see how many books people borrowed each other. I hope I’ll be able to attend another meeting, again, one day.
Cultural Night at UNS (May)
The last time I performed on stage was in my 8th grade, when I was a part of the school music group and played keyboard. This time, as one of the international students at UNS, I had to (decided to) perform with my Polish friend, Karolina, who was learning movement under Pak Prapto. Cultural Night was a time for the international students of UNS to show their culture and let visitors (including university’s officials and VIPs) try their national dishes.
We made some Polish food and performed on stage. I was reading “poems” in Polish and Indonesian, Karolina mas making a performance using the similarities between Polish and Indonesian history (and flag). The cage is symbolising the occupation of both Poland and Indonesia. There was a funny story to it also, as the announcers announced something we didn’t say, they made up their own info. They said I made those poems, but I was reading other people’s work. I was reading Garuda Pancasila and two Polish poems – one – “Kto ty jesteś” is probably known by all of the Polish, it’s a patriotic poem from 1900, when Poland was still under its neighbours occupation, the other one was modern poem celebrating the independence.
If my friends from UNS International Office will read it, thanks for the help! It was a stressful night for us.
MahaDewa in Solo (June)
I attended few concerts and festivals in Solo. This one was special for me. A tobacco company made concerts across Java (?) to promote a new brand of cigarettes. People in every town voted which band they’d like to see and it happened to be MahaDewa for Solo. A quick look at MahaDewa’s vocalist – Judika. He got 2nd place in Indonesian Idol (2nd series) in 2005. He’s Christian and he’s from Sumatra.
Ok, that’s not what I want to pinpoint. It’s the tobacco & music close ties. It’s common for tobacco companies to hold concerts and tours of Indonesian bands. It really is. I was surprised to see such a concert. After coming to the concert, I exchanged ticket for a pack of cigarettes. If I remember correctly, the ticket was 25.000 IDR and the pack of cigarettes (which I got free) was 12-13.000 at shops. Indonesia has a serious problem with smokers. Ok, they might not see the problem, but half of the people are smoking or something like that. Non-smoking areas are almost non-existent. At least, such is my experience.
Another reason for the speciality of this concert was: I was left to myself and finally (sic!) I wasn’t a “tourist attraction”. You know, usually people want photos on concerts with friends or with bands/musicians, right? The outside/open field/during the day concerts were always annoying with the people storming me “can I have a photo with you?”. If I’d charge them for asking, I’d be a millionaire. Wow, on MahaDewa’s concert I was finally not bothered by strangers thinking they have to take a photo with “this strange thing”. The bad side was the ciagrette smoke hovering everywhere. Definetely, something to remember. 😀
Below is the video f the song that was played during the concert. Cinta Itu Buta (Love is Blind). To tell you the truth, I prefer the CD/music video version of MahaDewa. I was totally put off by Judika’s appearance (clothes). No red hair, no leather jacket with studs… His look was so… popish… ><
Surprisingly for me, I often went to cinemas in Solo. It was often spontaneous. I went to see light films, mainly Dee’s adaptations (Madre, etc.). That is also a difference from Poland – there are more book adaptations in Indonesia.
One of the last films I saw was Honeymoon, a romantic comedy with a newly wed wife (Farah) who doesn’t want to have sex with her husband. She’s beautiful housekeeper that on one fateful party gets attention of her husband’s colleague. He’ll do anything to break them up, to have Farah for himself, hurting on purpose his own (loyal and from the looks of it masochistic) wife.
Below is the trailer.
In Solo I started watching DVDs (we scheduled watching it) with my friends. I continued it in Warsaw, to the point of my New Year End “party” consisting of watching a DVD (Korean anime “Wonderful Days“) with my friend.
Apart from the concerts, me & my friends went to karaoke places (with separate rooms) and enjoyed singing to Indonesian, Western and sometimes Chinese or Japanese songs. I often sang Kotak’s songs – most often “Masih cinta”. I knew that song well, from before my arrival in Indonesia.
In Poland there are no such karaoke places, as far as I know. The karaoke bars I know offer singing in the public space, which is quite stressful for me. I know my voice isn’t the best, but I still like fooling around while singing. 😀
I was listening to new (2013) music, watching new films in cinemas, but I haven’t really read any 2013-published book. Don’t ask me why, it happened.
One thing of which I’m proud of is more serious reading in foreign languages. By foreign languages I mean not-Polish and not-English. I’m not English native, but I’ve been reading in English long enough to not remember when I first started. 😉 I’ve read only one book in Indonesian, moreover after coming to Poland, a collection of Dee’s short stories. It wasn’t easy to read, and it was boring (for me). I’ve read (seriously and paying attention, word by word) a Japanese tale about tanuki, it was a version for children, but I think my attitude was more important in this case. I plan to read more books in Indonesian (got some from Indonesia), Japanese and Korean (my weakest link).
I started reading more Polish literature. I was neglecting it for the past few years. With my renewal of access to district library, and joining Polish literature challenge, I got more motivated.
2013 is definitely a year of social books sites (for me). Starting with Goodreads, Booklikes (Polish creators, but with European market in mind) and Poland-oriented LubimyCzytać. LubimyCzytać is the weakest of them all. Mainly because the people officially writing news/reviews for them are a bunch of uneducated people who can’t recognise an important information or who just write the marketing bullshit without thinking. If they’d just keep with the shelving books only. Sigh.
Anyway, thanks (?) to the sites like Goodreads, I started to pay attention what I read during the year. So that’s why I noticed I haven’t read any 2013-book or that I hardly read books written by women (I’m not referring to chick-lit). I’m afraid 2014 might not be so different in this case.
Bye bye, 2013! Welcome 2014!