Wow. Hari terakhir di 2017. Sebelum hari ini berakhir, saya ingin berbagi memori mengenai salah satu hari paling Patronusable di tahun 2017, tepatnya tanggal Sabtu, 15 April di mana saya jalan-jalan keliling Kyoto dengan empat teman sambil memakai kimono. Kok tumben baik amat mau berbagi? Ehe. Soalnya pada hari itu, banyak turis Indonesia dan Malaysia yang melihat kami dan bertanya di mana kami menyewa kimono, berapa, sampai kapan, dsb. Berhubung sepertinya promo ANA dan JAL ke Jepang pp 4,5 jutaan belum akan berakhir dan berakibat turis Indonesia ke Jepang pun akan makin membludak, yah siapa tau postingan ini sampai juga ke orang-orang yang tertarik keliling Kyoto menggunakan kimono.

Mending sewa di kota mana? Dengan argumen “Kyoto tuh kayak Jogja-nya Indonesia, budaya Jepang-nya masih kental, ga kota banget kayak Tokyo dan Osaka“, akhirnya kami memutuskan bakal sewa di Kyoto saja. Ternyata keputusan yang tidak salah, saudara-saudari! Dari ketiga kota tersebut yang kami kunjungi (empat kalau Nara dihitung), memang kota yang dengan populasi pemakai kimono paling banyak tuh di Kyoto. Bukan hanya turis, banyak juga orang Jepang–kebanyakan cewek-cewek–yang jalan-jalan pake kimono. Kalo cowok, biasanya pake kimono pasangan, nemenin ceweknya. Dari 8 harian di sana, kayaknya ga pernah sih lihat geng cowok doang pake kimono jalan-jalan keliling kota, kecuali mungkin turis mancanegara.

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Berdasarkan pengamatan, tiga dari tujuh penduduk Kyoto memakai kimono setiap harinya (survei ngasal). *If you happen to be one of the subject of this photo and you mind this photo to be published, please contact me immediately, I’ll remove it*

Lalu apa yang harus dilakukan selanjutnya? Sebetulnya, tempat sewa kimono BANYAK BANGET ternyata di sana, terutama di tempat wisata kayak Kiyomizu-dera. Jadi ga perlu khawatir dan maksa banget harus di Yumeyakata, karena sebetulnya si Yumeyakata ini cukup jauh dari tempat wisata populer. Cuma emang kelebihan Yume (biar cepet) adalah:

  • Relatif murah (total ngeluarin 3900an yen, dan di tempat sewa kimono yang ada di tempat wisata biasanya 5000-6000 yen).
  • Situsnya ada bahasa Indonesianya: https://www.id-kyoto.yumeyakata.com/cara-melakukan-reservasi
  • Banyak staf internasional. Saya udah berharap ada staf Indonesia, tapi waktu itu sih ga ada. Cuma ada staf Malaysia (di name tag staf ada benderanya) yang ngerti-ngerti dikit, ngasih rekomendasi obi yang cocok ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Pilihan warna kimono-nya lebih sesuai sama selera haha. Kalo di tempat sewa kimono yang lain kayaknya banyak yang warnanya ngejreng banget, motif bunganya gede-gede, dan sebagainya. Nah di Yume ini banyak pilihan warna yang lembut dan motif bunganya kecil-kecil (penting banget ye)

Kalau sudah mantap ke Yume, hal yang harus dilakukan selanjutnya adalah:

  1. Reservasi. Wah setelah saya cek sekarang, situsnya udah lebih canggih dan ramah untuk orang Indonesia! Dulu tuh UI-nya khas situs Jepang, more is more, jadi foto di mana-mana. Sekarang kayaknya udah jelas banget, klik aja link ke formulir dan bisa langsung liat aja informasinya semua di situ.yume2
  2. Isi formulir. Bisa pilih paket, berapa orang, tanggal, dan isi data kita. Waktu itu kami pilih Kimono Rental Plan yang 3500 yen seorang. Dengan pajak dan sebagainya, total bakal jadi sekitar 3900 yen. Ini paket yang paling murah meriah dan simpel. Pinjem kimono, jalan-jalan, balikin paling lambat jam 19.30! Banyak juga paket yang bersama fotografer profesional.
  3. Terima e-mail konfirmasi. Kira-kira kayak begini. Kita ga usah bayar apa-apa dulu kok. Bayarnya langsung di sana. Oh iya, jangan lupa simpen screenshot e-mail ini, jaga-jaga kalau di sana ga ada internet.yume1

 

Lalu, pada hari H, apa yang harus dilakukan? Langsung datang saja sesuai jam. Nanti pas datang, langsung dikasih formulir yang harus diisi dan diminta kasih liat e-mail reservasi, dan dikasih tas kain untuk masukin barang-barang. Nanti tunggu dipanggil sama stafnya, dan disuruh naik ke lantai 2. Tiap lantai itu ada fungsinya masing-masing yang bakal saya ceritakan, dan walaupun customer-nya banyak, layanannya cepet dan profesional banget dan ga pake ngantri! Oh iya, ingatan saya juga campur aduk sih jadi mungkin beberapa detail agak ngaco dan ga sesuai sama keadaan sebenarnya, tapi semoga ga terlalu banyak ya ngaconya! Haha.

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Yumeyakata. Fakta remeh: kanji yang dipakai ๅคข (yume), artinya mimpi.

Di lantai 2, bakal udah mulai dibedain wanita dan pria. Di lantai ini pula langsung disuguhin bermacam-macam kimono warna-warni. Ga hanya kimono, ada juga obi, dalaman, hiasan rambut, dan sebagainya. Sebagian besar sudah termasuk paket Kimono Rental Plan (kimono, dalaman, obi, hiasan rambut). Karena saya emang sudah bertekad dari tahun lalu untuk memakai berjalan-jalan memakai yukata hitam seharian, saya udah pakai kerudung hitam dari airbnb tempat kami nginep. Nah itu sih tips pertama saya: kalau kamu berhijab/pake kerudung dan udah tau mau pake kimono warna apa, pastikan kerudungnya udah sesuai ๐Ÿ˜€

Setelah staf yang bertanggung jawab sama kita nentuin ukuran kimono yang pas, ngasih rekomendasi obi yang cocok, dan sebagainya, kita bakal langsung disuruh bayar (nah ini sih yang lupa-lupa ingat urutannya). Berhubung saya dan teman-teman pakai kerudung semua, jadi ga perlu cari hiasan rambut. Setelah bayar 3500 yen + 8% pajak, kita disuruh ke lantai atas.

Di lantai 3, sudah ada beberapa wanita yang cukup senior aka cukup tua yang cekatan menunggu. Yes, ini kamar ganti! Sempet agak self-conscious karena dikelilingi cermin di sekitar, kita semua disuruh lepas baju. Iya, beneran lepas baju, jadi ya tinggal dalaman saja haha. Karena emang paketnya lengkap dengan dalaman. Jadi buat yang ngerasa ga nyaman buka baju di depan orang banyak (perempuan semua), ya mungkin pikirin lagi aja hehe. Atau mungkin kalau bisa bahasa Jepang bisa nego dikit sama ibu-ibunya..

Staf ibu-ibu yang bertugas bantuin ganti baju bakal dengan cekatan bantuin pasang dalaman, kimono, obi, dan sebagainya. Ternyata, pakai kimono juga ga sembarangan kayak kebaya yang tinggal pakai. Obinya harus kenceng banget, saya ampe sesak pas stafnya tarik-tarik dan kencengin si obi. Setelah selesai semuanya, langsung ambil tabi (kaos kaki) sesuai ukuran dan lanjut ke lantai atas. Berhubung semuanya pakai kerudung dan ga pakai hiasan apapun, jadi langsung lanjut ke lantai atas. Tapi mungkin buat yang rambutnya bakal dihias, bakal tetap berada di lantai 3 buat rias dan hias rambut. Oh iya, satu tips lagi buat yang pakai kerudung: lengan kimono memang panjang, tapi didesain supaya lengan bagian dalam juga kelihatan. Jadi kalo megang pegangan di bis pasti lengan kamu bakal keliatan ke mana-mana. Karena itu, bawa manset yang cukup panjang kalau kamu ga nyaman dengan hal tersebut. Kalau di Memoirs of Geisha, dibilang kalau bagian lengan dalam adalah salah satu bagian yang seksi gitu lah ga ngerti lol.

Di lantai 4, waktunya milih tas. Pilihan tasnya cukup banyak dan kelihatannya bisa dibeli juga di lantai bawah, atau juga banyak di tempat jualan souvenir. Staf yang ada juga bakal ngasih rekomendasi cocok atau ga sama kimononya, hahaha. Selama seharian, kita bakal pakai tas ini doang (ga lucu kan pakai kimono tapi bawa ransel wkwk), jadi pilih tas sesuai apa yang mau dibawa dan sesuaikan juga apa yang mau dibawa supaya ga terlalu banyak dan ngeberatin diri sendiri.

Masih di lantai yang sama (kayaknya, lupa), ada penitipan barang. Semua barang bakal dititipin dan bakal dikasih nomor barang. Jangan sampai lupa ya! Habis itu, balik deh ke lantai paling bawah dan milih bakiak.

Setelah itu, bebas! Maksimal pengembalian jam 19.30 kalau ga mau kena denda. Di lantai bawah juga ada rekomendasi tempat wisata dan cara menuju ke sana. Kalau kami, itinerary-nya antara Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, dan Kiyomizu-dera. Setelah berbagai pertimbangan, langsung ke Fushimi Inari dan Kiyomizu-dera. Capek polllllll karena nanjak! Kaki rasanya kayak langsung langsing bagaikan girlband Korea. Tapi ga sih huhu :(. Walaupun capek, sepertinya Fushimi Inari dan Kiyomizu-dera pilihan yang tepat untuk foto-foto pakai kimono. Kenapa? Karena pas besoknya ke Arashiyama.. Yah, namanya juga hutan bambu, jadi cukup redup pencahayaannya. Bagus sih kalo di deket sungainya. Kalau di Kiyomizu-dera, banyak tempat terbuka yang terkena sinar matahari jadi bakal lebih puas untuk foto-foto.

Lalu bagaimana cara ngembaliinnya? Setelah berlomba dengan waktu, akhirnya kami sampai di Yume lagi jam 19.00an. Kita bakal langsung disambut sama ibu-ibu yang bantuin pakai kimono lagi buat lepasin semuanya. Terus namanya juga ibu-ibu sih ya, lagi lepas baju gitu juga tetap aja suka ngajak ngobrol. Pakai bahasa Jepang. Untung ngerti-ngerti dikit sih, standar juga yang ditanyain, kayak: “Genki? (Sehat?)”, “Doko kara desu ka? (Dari mana saja?)”, “Mareshia? (Dari Malaysia?)”, dsb. Tapi lagi super self-conscious terus ditanya-tanya gitu kan ya jadi deg-degan (naon).

Dan inilah beberapa foto contoh kimono yang ada di Yume jika penasaran… (alias foto kami hahahaha, credits to kamera Tifa dan kak Karina sebagai sang fotografer pribadi)

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Selesai! Semoga bermanfaat! Semoga Yumeyakata kasih komisi ke saya! Amin!

xoxo

N

*If you happen to be one of the subject of the photo on this post and you mind this photo to be published, please contact me immediately, I’ll remove it*

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My Timehop showed me the photos of my undergraduate graduation which happens…. four years ago!!! Unbelievable! I can’t believe I have ever been young and full of dreams. Was it really four years ago? I can’t decide whether it’s been so fast or so slow. Because if you reflect on some time and making several points of your timeline as the base point, it will have different sense of pace, depends on where (or when) you see it. Get it?? Lol. You don’t have to because I know it doesn’t make any sense.

But I will make this point of time to reflect on my graduation, because.. my, I had the best graduation arak-arakan party ever! Big thanks for my juniors who arranged it very well! And as a tradition in every graduation party in my major, we got the messages written by our friends (juniors to seniors) to congratulate us. Our graduation theme was “British” (yeay!) so the design of the message holder is that iconic British post box. Like this ๐Ÿ™‚

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I read the messages again after four years and I kind of getting sad. I missed my friends so much it almost hurts. I am still in here, doing my jobs, friends are getting masters, phd, jobs in another cities and countries…

No need to be sad.

So I will upload their kind messages here, to make sure that they will stay alive. I didn’t remember that we will have the messages and I was expecting very few messages because I don’t have any charisma or popularity or as inspiring as my friends but the messages I got was more that I expected!

So here they are..

From mafren ma gostip freeeenn ma five++ years college freeeenn :*

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From Dea Rahmatia (whose wishes to graduate is granted)

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From our angel Caci aka Sasri aka Dyah Dewisasri, the one that is beautiful inside and out. Congratulations on finding your Mr X, Sas!! Pray for mee.

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From Gita sagittarius_9174 Desrianti (lol)

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From Umek Umeee Umeee

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From Latifa Dwiyanti. Thank you for the Pixar wishes :”

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From Agastia. Love you tooooo :”3

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(Lol Riza, if it’s read with no context…)


The shorty

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From Adinata

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From Anshor. I never wish to have RBF, so… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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From Amel, Evlyn, Rita, Etha. Awww thank youu girls ๐Ÿ˜€

The ones that make me regretful about not writing much to my seniors and friends..

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From Puti puti melati alibaba. The “makasih atas bimbingannya” always make me realize that I never really “membimbing” them ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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From the imbaest Daniel Widya, good luck to you too!!

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Aww kak Atin :’3 Thank you for coming to the graduation (Padahal mah ya karena ada Hasby).

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From Danny Wong, who also become my successor in 2 years, my LO in my graduation. Thank youu ๐Ÿ˜€

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Raheeess mafreenn. Sepertinya kita belum pernah jalan-jalan tim admin sampai sekarang :))

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From Aribowo (??) Thank youu for the wish!

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From the now-arrogant Marchy. Thanks and bhay!

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From the kindest Edo :”

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Thank you so much Tika yang sudah asik di Inggris bersama Faiz. Jangan lupa cari jodoh ya.. Hmm.. Ga lupa kok, cuma yha ga ada yang mau ajha.

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From Gurun, who also had his wish granted ๐Ÿ˜€

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From the prince Adhiguna S. K. yang sudah menjadi kahimku, I am sorry that I am not that good doing my job.. Thank you for letting me join your DE.

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From Ichal the super imbalance and genius 4.0

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Thank youu Faiz!!

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From Okihita. Thanks!!

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From Algooooo the cat master.

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From Ardian (?) Really surprised that you join the Internal Affairs Division because of me?? I think Ardian is joking ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hapsyyy the purest one. I’ll invite you to my wedding….of course… If I ever have one..

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Thank youu Gilang! I see that you took notes of my observations and some of the programs are still running until now ๐Ÿ™‚ Good job!

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Liooo. Thank you too!! Loosen up a bit???? Reallyy??? I am the most laid back person I know!!!!

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Hasboooyyy thank you for asking me to join your team in that competition!!! I learned a lot from you!!

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I don’t think I am a good head of division, but that “Aku sayang kak Nadin” melts my heart, Fani :”

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Ebeee, thank you for using your own paper to write the note. And now you’re getting married before me??? Bye!

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Auuul! You currently far far away, I hope you can learn French in the Netherlands! Hahaha.

The unidentifiable ones..

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Unidentifiable 1. He/she calls me Nadinos. There are several people hmm..

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Unidentifiable 2. I can’t read the name.. Akau? Auau? Aliau? Sorry :((

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Unidentifiable 3. The signature says SG but I can’t remember anyone….

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Unidentifiable 4. He/she is a junior, but I can’t identify the writings..

That’s all!

Every once in a while, I recall many moments in my university life and somehow I want to go back. There were the best times of my life so far.

Thank you for all the memories.

x,

N

I don’t know what that Arabic means, I only took it from Pixabay lol

Every person interested in Islam most likely have known this: the very first revelation of Quran, the holy book of Islam is ุงู‚ู’ุฑูŽุฃู’ ุจูุงุณู’ู…ู ุฑูŽุจู‘ููƒูŽ ุงู„ู‘ูŽุฐููŠ ุฎูŽู„ูŽู‚ูŽ – (Al-‘Alaq (96):1). In Bahasa Indonesia, it is translated into “Bacalah dengan (menyebut) nama Tuhanmu Yang menciptakan”, in English, it will be “Read in the name of your Lord who created”.ย Iqra, the transliteration of the first wordย “ุงู‚ู’ุฑูŽุฃู’ ” has a meaning as “baca” or “read” as in “reading the book”, “reading the comic”, etc.

That’s what I understand, until my English is getting better and I read the Quran English translation.

Based on Sahih International, the translation is:

Recite in the name of your Lord who created –

Recite. Not read. Which has a different scope of meaning. Read, as most of know, is “to learn from what one has seen or found in writing or printing”. Calmly, no sound. While recite has the sense that you read something aloud.

This is something for me. As someone who interested in language studies, it is very interesting. A change of scope of meaning that could change my perspective of reading Quran. Moreover, Muslims are taught that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was illiterate, so “the angel Jibril asked an illiterate man to read, and suddenly he can read” thingy made the Quran revelation story seems magical. (Well, there is a discussion about whether Prophet Muhammad was illiterate, but it is irrelevant now and I have no knowledge about that, so I’ll just leave it here).

So what is the real meaning of iqra “ุงู‚ู’ุฑูŽุฃู’ ” ?

Muslims was taught that Quran can’t be truly translated, since Arabic is an old language that has concise nature in its words. So the answer to my question lies in the knowledge of Arabic… so I googled it, and found this link that has interesting answers.

In summary, it turns out only Sahih International that translateย “ุงู‚ู’ุฑูŽุฃู’ ” as recite. Most of the translators translate the word to readย and one of them toย proclaim. So what’s the context or the situation when the first revelation revealed? From the top answer in that link, based on Ibn Kathir’s tafsir..

The context indicates that the word Iqra in verse 96.1 is a command to the prophet (saw) to recite or read or proclaim. Its meaning may be to read and understand the meaning and then proclaiming/reciting it aloud to others. So the conclusion is the word Iqra in the said revelation seems to have a broad meaning (a command to the prophet) to read and then proclaim it to the people of Mecca (who were pagans) by reciting it aloud.

There is also another interesting answer that needs a basic knowledge of Arabic root word system. Turns out the word “ุงู‚ู’ุฑูŽุฃู’ ” has the same root as ”ย ู‚ูุฑููˆุกู” which means “menstrual periods”, which can be found in Quran 2:228. Wow, talk about blood clot! The “menstrual periods” word itself come from the real meaning “gathering the blessed blood in the womb and being thrown out” and over time, it has been used as the name of the periods that include women’s idle days and immediately after them.

Later, the word began to be used in the sense of “accumulating something, distributing it, transferring it to other places”. The word used in the sense “getting pregnant, carrying the baby in the womb, and giving birth to it” and “bringing together letters, words, sentences or information and transmitting it to someone else”. (Please go to this answer link for clearer explanation). This is also why it is used in the sense of “reading”, but the real “act of reading something” is “tilawa” in Arabic, which roughly translated as “reading a text that has already been written”.

So by using “iqra“, it means the revelation is a command for the prophet to accumulate something (knowledge/revelation) and then will distribute that knowledge, because he has the responsibility to teach people what he learned, either verbally or in writing.

Yeah! That’s the conclusion of what I have read. My comprehension of the word “ุงู‚ู’ุฑูŽุฃู’ ” gone deeper, started as only “read”, then “recite”, then has connection with “menstrual blood”, then the real meaning: accumulate something (knowledge/revelation) and then will distribute that knowledge.ย This is new to me. Hahaha.

This “revelation” also struck me hard. I love reading (but I am getting lazier these days), I love accumulating knowledge, but I realize never really distribute it other that in the format of tweet or social media post. So this blog post should be one of the first steps to “distribute” the knowledge that I had today.

See you later,

N

Another source:

  1. The meaning of “read” in Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/read
  2. The meaning of “recite” in Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recite
  3. The meaning of the root word “iqra” http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=qrA
  4. The meaning of the root word “tilawa” http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=tlw

Akhirnya. Selesai juga. Setelah melalui drama dengan penjual buku online yang ternyata menjual buku fotokopian dan halaman tidak lengkap, sekian bulan kemudian, saya menyelesaikan buku ini, yang direkomendasikan seorang dosen yang cukup dikenal di media sosial.

Tingkat keterbacaan (readability) buku ini menurut saya sangat rendah, karena saya sering sekali tertahan di satu paragraf untuk memahami maksud dari kalimat-kalimat tersebut. Entah karena saya yang kurang pintar dalam memahami kata, tata bahasa yang mungkin berbeda pada zaman saat ditulis (tahun 1940an), atau editor yang tidak membuat buku ini lebih mudah dibaca. Kalimat yang ada kadang terasa seperti transkrip kata per kata ketika seorang dosen sedang memberikan kuliah. Buku ini termasuk buku yang harus dibaca lebih dari satu putaran untuk benar-benar dipahami (bagi saya).

Terlepas dari semua itu, buku ini memang memberikan gagasan yang ingin mengganti gagasan masyarakat Indonesia yang sangat percaya pada logika mistika/supernatural dan tidak mau berusaha/berubah. Well, buku ini mengandung banyak hal yang tidak asing bagi pelajar SMA jurusan IPA atau mahasiswa pendidikan teknik, contohnya bab tentang matematika, hukum fisika, logika, dan premis-premisnya yang sangat bertentangan dengan logika mistika.

Walapun buku ini sepertinya harus dibaca berulang kali, ada beberapa hal yang dapat saya tangkap dalam putaran pertama (ditambah sedikit pencarian di Google). Mohon koreksi jika saya salah. Salah satunya adalah materialisme. Selama ini, materialisme dikaitkan dengan harta, tahta, foya-foya, dan sebagainya. Namun, di buku ini saya dikenalkan dengan materialisme yang lain, yang dipertentangkan dengan idealisme, yang tentu saja berbeda dengan idealisme yang selama ini saya tahu. Kata kunci dari materialisme adalah materi (you don’t say), di mana materi atau bukti bendawi sebagai titik awal kita dalam berpikir. Sementara idealisme tentu sebaliknya, ide yang menjadi patokan. Hal-hal gaib (yang tidak ada bukti bendawi dan/atau termaterialisasi) tergolong ke dalam ide.

Setelah membaca penjelasan materialisme vs idealisme tersebut, entah kenapa saya langsung terpikir penemuan mesin uap oleh James Watt. Mesin uaplah (yang sudah ada bukti bendawi) membawa pengaruh pesat bagi kehidupan manusia hingga dapat memicu terjadinya revolusi industri, bukan sekadar ide-ide yang mungkin ada di masyarakat Inggris ketika itu. Maaf melantur. Intinya adalah Tan Malaka mengajak kita untuk “memperhatikan kenyataan bendawi menggunakan pendekatan ilmiah” dan tidak menggunakan hal-hal gaib untuk memutuskan sesuatu.

Setelah itu, dialektika dan logika. Dua hal tersebut berkaitan dengan sudut pandang dan cara berpikir kita dalam memahami sesuatu. Logika adalah ketika suatu permasalahan dapat dilihat dari sudut pandang “ya” atau “tidak”. Sementara dialektika adalah ilmu berpikir kontradiksi yang digunakan ketika suatu permasalahan tidak dapat disederhanakan menjadi “ya” atau “tidak” karena harus memperhatikan berbagai aspek lainnya.

Selain tiga hal utama di atas, buku ini juga membahas agama-agama seluruh dunia, mulai dari logika mistika (dinamisme dan animisme) yang masih banyak di Indonesia hingga agama-agama besar yang banyak dianut di dunia. Tentu pembahasan agama-agama tersebut dikaitkan dengan madilog. Terlihat sekali bahwa Tan Malaka adalah seseorang dengan pengetahuan yang sangat luas (mulai dari matematika, fisika, politik, hingga filsafat) dan memiliki pemikiran yang revolusioner.

Melihat keadaan masyarakat Indonesia sekarang masih menganggap komunis, ateis, dan liberal adalah hal yang sama (saya sempat menganggap komunis sama dengan ateis, terima kasih kepada propaganda masa kecil) hingga menutup pertunjukkan Tan Malaka di Bandung beberapa waktu lalu, serta terkungkung pada logika mistika sehingga tidak tahu caranya berpikir rasional, Madilog masih sangat relevan. Tapi yah, kemungkinan orang-orang tersebut akan mendebat, “Tan Malaka kan komunis! Ateis! Tak beragama!”.

Semoga dugaan saya salah.

Referensi menulis ulasan karena saya tidak paham mengenai banyak aspek filsafat dan paham-paham yang dibahas di Madilog (haha):
1. http://kiriituindah.blogspot.co.id/20…
2. http://www.kompasiana.com/revolusione…

xoxo

N

24973785I was surprised to see that this has not received many ratings and reviews. This book is a great start for anyone who is interested in Islamic studies or want to see a different but objective perspective about Islam. The writer, Dr. Carole Hillenbrand is a Professor Emerita in Islamic History at the University of Edinburgh and the first non-Muslim to be awarded the King Faisal International Proze for Islamic Studies. As a Muslim myself, it is interesting to read another view of my religion.

I expect that some so-called religious people in my country will not even bother to read this book because it is “written by kafirs” and so and so, but I guess that’s what makes their perspective as narrow as they are now. Reading this book made me understand how Islam is perceived by Christian (the author was raised Christian), such as how Christians can’t understand the concept of Muhammad SAW’s “warrior leader who leads the war” because they are used to the concept of “prince of peace” of Jesus. It also bravely points the problem with Islamic world, such as lack of leadership and extreme interpretation of Islam.

The book itself is very beautiful with 79 colored photos and illustrations. Using popular language, the book provides many historical stories such as history of Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs and the sects that “divide” Islam. The book also contains detailed sources, glossary of Islam, and further reading. I can even learn many new things only from the glossary.

Maybe I have some disagreements from some statement in the book, some things about Indonesian Muslims that maybe not too accurate, but overall I enjoyed reading this book. I’ll recommend this to every Muslims, especially the people who acts like nothing is wrong with some people’s interpretation of Islam (you know who “some people” are haha). The best part about this book? I got this book by chance on a half price discount at my favorite book store ๐Ÿ™‚

My Goodreads rating: 4/5

xoxo

N

2517

The “My Name Is Red” as title already made me, a devout reader, hooked. Is it Red the Color of Anger? Is it someone named Red? Is “Red” a Turkish word with a whole different meaning that I don’t understand? Not only that, the author is a Nobel Prize winner in Literature. The story is also about Islam and its view about drawings and paintings. Last but not least, the starting chapter: I Am A Corpse, which is a chapter about a corpse telling us about his murder. Say whaatt? Yes, I will read you through and through, my darling.

Using metafiction here and there (a term I understand after seeking guide of the story, because it is not an easy read for me, which is basically a narrative techniques where (two of the example) the characters in the book realize that they are just characters or where “a story about a writer who creates a story”–you get the idea). Just like me will always reminding you that I am a reader, a confused one, after reading this story.

Why did I become confused? Mainly because I don’t really understand Turkish culture, especially Ottoman Turkish one. What is miniaturists? What’s the difference between miniaturists and painters and drawers? What is binder? Why everyone has Effendi as their last name? Who is the murderer of the corpse in the first chapter? Why Black (original: Kara)’s name is specially translated? Why the author loves to make lists?

So here is the list of the answers which hopefully will help the reader to understand the story. Well, it actually a list for myself, who, after doing some googling, became less confused than the beginning.

1. When I first heard the word “miniaturists”, I immediately think about the 3D miniature of some place. I was wrong. Miniature, especially in Ottoman era, is a form of art that made by several people in a team and really reject the idea of individualism aka artistic style. It is actually paintings on paper or golden leaf, and actually a highly-valued art at that time. Only Sultan and rich people can afford it. Miniatures sometimes is used to express a famous story, like Layla and Majnun or Husrev and Shirin. It is the main theme of the story, which intertwined with Islam’s idea about drawings and unfolds slowly as the story progress.

Nizami - Khusraw discovers Shirin bathing in a pool.jpg
Example of Ottoman miniature: “Nizami – Khusraw discovers Shirin bathing in a pool” by Nizami – page detail. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

2. Ottoman Turkey had their own naming system which is a bit different than what we usually know. Some of the recurring names are Effendi (more than 2 characters), Chelebi, Pasha, and Hoja. They are placed after the first name, like Black Effendi and Elegant Effendi (Elegant actually not a real name, it was just a nick name). Turns out that those names are actually titles and it is common at that time to refer at those words in place of family names. Effendi is like “Master” or “Lord”, Hoja is “teacher” or “adviser of Sultan” (Maybe like Haji in Indonesia?). Source.

3. The detective story about who murdered the corpse in the first chapter is also the main theme. The murderer himself allowed us to guess who he is by his choice of words (he has his own chapters). I failed, lol. But the author has an excellent way to disclose who the culprit is until the story is almost finished.

My Name Is Red is not an easy read for me. The words are relatively difficult so the dictionary is a must (for me). The cultural gap also make it worse. Sometimes I hate Shekure. I only wish that the author or the translator making some footnotes here and there to explain the culture.. Or maybe there is an illustrated edition?

However, it is a good read, like the site I am writing the review.

I actually finished it within a week–maybe about 4-5 days. Maybe because the English used is relatively easy. The story itself is quite spine-chilling, where six women are mutilated and buried in several places across Japan to create Azoth, the perfect woman. There are times when my hair raised and I am too scared to sleep while reading the story, lol.

The detectives in the story, Mitarai Kiyoshi and Ishioka Kazumi acted like Sherlock and Watson, respectively. The story is written from Ishioka’s perspective, where we observe eccentric Mitarai’s smart and peculiar behavior. I rarely read detective stories, and I almost forgot the details of Sherlock Holmes, but it is said that what make this story is different is that the author already put the clues in the story. He even encouraged us to solve the case before the detectives does.

The conclusion and the twist are really disturbing for me, but it just shows the reader that the author is quite genius. I am looking forward to read another cases.

xoxo

N